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The mysterious criminal Fantômas is terrorizing all of France, much to the consternation of Police Commissioner Juve; but Fandor, a newspaper reporter, believes Fantômas is only a fiction created by the police to cover their own inability to capture real criminals. With the help of his fiancée, Hélène, a photographer, Fandor fakes a photographed interview with Fantômas. The printed story infuriates the real Fantômas, who kidnaps Fandor. The criminal, whose face is seemingly made of metal, allows Fandor 48 hours to publish a story retracting his earlier one, but in Fandor's absence, his editor prints an article under Fandor's byline that is even less palatable. Fantômas again kidnaps Fandor and, having the ability to duplicate human flesh, makes a mask of Fandor's face and uses the mask in executing a crime, thus leading the police to believe that Fantômas and Fandor are one and the same. Fantômas then commits crimes wearing a mask of Commissioner Juve's face, and the commissioner is jailed. Fantômas has also captured Hélène, but she and Fandor escape, though the police imprison Fandor along with Juve. Fantômas, disguised as a guard, frees them because he wishes to hold them while committing more crimes in their names. The two escape and with the help of the police pursue Fantômas. The criminal, however, eludes justice by escaping in a submarine.