Puppet Master is an enemy of the Fantastic Four that uses a special type of clay to control peoples minds when he creates a sculpture of them.
Puppet Master first decided to test his mind controlling by putting a man under a trance after molding a sculpture after him. The Puppet Master then had the man go to the top of a bridge and ordered him to leap to his death. However, before the man could jump the Human Torch flew up and took hold of him and carried him to safety. As the Puppet Master touched the sculpture it burned his fingers and his blind step daughter, Alicia Masters (who is unaware that he is a criminal) ran in to see if he was alright. Alicia attempts to help the Puppet Master. However, he refuses her help and says that she is only his step daughter and no child of his. Puppet Master then watches a live news report on television about the Fantastic Four and becomes jealous because they had greater power then him.
Puppet Master then created a clay sculpture of the Thing and ordered Thing to come to his home which he did. However, before he left Thing and Mister Fantastic had an argument so when he left the Invisible Woman decided to follow him to make sure he was alright. When they got to the Puppet Master's home Thing was greeted by Alicia who also sensed the presence of the Invisible Woman. Puppet Master then realized that the Invisible Woman was also in his home so he released sleeping gas into the room and Sue Storm passed out. Puppet Master then used his skills to make Alicia look like the Invisible Woman. As Alicia leaves the room the Puppet Master tells the Thing that when he returns to the Baxter Building with Alicia dressed as the Invisible Woman that he will kill Mister Fantastic and the Human Torch. After they leave the Puppet Master reveals that he plans to use his mind control clay to take over the minds of several criminals in order to create an army so that he can take over New York City and that the only thing standing in his way is the Fantastic Four.
At that moment the Puppet Master made a clay figure to look like a prisoner named Slash Curtis. Puppet Master then has Slash start a prison riot so that he and several other criminals can escape. However, there is a giant security that prevents prisoners from escaping. The Puppet Master planned for this and after seeing Warden Butler on the television finishes his clay sculpture of him. Puppet Master then has the warden open the security gate. A few moments later Alicia and the Thing get to the Baxter Building. When Johnny Storm opens the door Thing attacks him and Mister Fantastic. However, Mister Fantastic is easily able to snap Thing out of his trance. Thing, Human Torch, and Mister Fantastic then realize that the woman is not really Sue Storm but Alicia Masters. The three members of the Fantastic Four then go to save the Invisible Woman from the Puppet Master.
When the Fantastic Four gets to the Puppet Masters hideout the Puppet Master is able to escape but they manage to save the Invisible Woman. The Fantastic Four then headed to the prison and was able to end the prison riot. Mister Fantastic then realized that in the event that the Puppet Master failed he would have set some clay aside for emergencies and that he would go after Alicia. The four then head to her home. At that moment the Puppet Master confronts Alicia and and gets his final puppet, which is a puppet of him as king of the world. Puppet Master then tells Alicia that as soon as he subjects the world to his puppet kings, presidents and armies will do his bidding. His first act would be to tear down the United Nations, the White House, and the Pentagon so that all the world's power would only reside with him alone. Puppet Master also reveals that he will also make the Fantastic Four his slaves. Alicia could not allow her step father to do this so she grabbed the puppet from out of his hand and during their struggle Puppet Master fell out of a window. When the Fantastic Four arrive they search for the Puppet Master but he is nowhere to be found.
Puppet Master later returned to destroy the Fantastic Four. Thing and Human Torch were helping with one of Alicia's art exhibits when Puppet Master creates puppets of them and takes over their minds and they begin to cause chaos. Spider-Man intervenes and is able to pull them out of the trance. The Three heroes then defeat the Puppet Master.
Puppet Master has no natural superhuman powers but he is able to control the minds of others by sculpting their image from his special radioactive clay.
In the comics
Born in the Balkan country of Transia, Phillip Masters moved to the U.S. at a young age. He was a talented biologist and eventually became the research partner of a man named Jacob Reiss. Together he and Reiss developed a special radioactive clay. Resentful of Reiss's success, Masters killed his partner during Masters's botched robbery of their lab, triggering an explosion that blinded Reiss's daughter, Alicia Reiss. Phillip Masters later married Reiss's widow and adopted Alicia and they changed their last name to Masters. Phillip Masters soon discovered that the radioactive clay had the power to mentally control someone if he molded a sculpture of that person. Masters then turned to a life of crime and began to call himself the Puppet Master. This brought him into conflict with the Fantastic Four. The Fantastic Four was then able to show the Puppet Masters true nature to Alicia who turned against him. Alicia then began a relationship with the Thing and the Puppet Master would be sent to prison and would escape time and time again to plague the Fantastic Four.
- The Origin of the Fantastic Four, Part One
- The Origin of the Fantastic Four, Part Two
- Puppet Master appeared in issue six of the Adventures of Spider-Man comic book but he did not appear in the Spider-Man: The Animated Series.
- Puppet Master was voiced by Neil Ross in Fantastic Four: The Animated Series.