Characters Appearing: Arides, Crystal, Deathcry, Devlor, Henry Pym, Psi-Lord, Quicksilver, Thunderstrike, Vision
Issue(s): Avengers #383
Ok, it's not that Shatterstar. It's the one from Inhumans #4. But giving his unhelmeted head a ponytail and putting that circle around his eye is a nice touch.
Shatterstar, now calling himself Arides, is still trying to execute his old orders to bring the Inhumans back to the Kree for the "coming" War of the Three Galaxies. He re-manifests at where the Inhumans' Great Refuge used to be, but all he finds are a few Alpha Primitives who have been "liberated" and are scrounging a rough existence out of the ice.
So Arides instead tracks down Crystal at Avengers Mansion. He's able to quickly subdue her and Quicksilver. He takes Crystal to investigate another Inhuman that he's detected in the area: Devlor of Fantastic Force. Arides subdues Franklin Richards and kidnaps Devlor just as quickly as he did Quicksilver and Crystal, leaving Franklin having to explain things when the Avengers show up.
Meanwhile, Arides is finding that no one in Kree space is responding to his transmissions. When the Avengers arrive, Deathcry tells him that the War of the Three Galaxies has already been fought, and beyond that the Kree empire no longer exists.
Moreover, the Vision determines that Arides isn't really even alive anymore.
Arides flies out to space to determine if it's all true. He must find out that it is and let himself fully discorporate, because we never see him again.
It's a very Roy Thomas-y sort of story. Which is actually more of what i'd expect from early Tom Brevoort than what was happening in Fantastic Force.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Takes place after Fantastic Force #3 based on the reference. Huntara and Vibraxis are said to be in Wakanda. Also takes place not long after Nova #13. This should take place before the Vision's miniseries, when he leaves the team for a while. I've currently pushed this back in publication time to go before the Vision series, but based on the References it may turn out to be better to push the Vision mini into 1995.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
I read this issue in real time, and was rather confused. Since this was before Marvel Essentials and all the other TPBs they've release din the last 20 years, I was trying to figure out what the "War of the Three Galaxies" was supposed to be about, and if it had actually taken place in a past storyline.
If I had to take a guess, it sounds like the War could be a three-way conflict between the Kree, Skrulls and Shi'ar. Maybe that was Brevoort & Kanterovich's thinking as well, and they figured the events of "Galactic Storm" were close enough to fit that description, so they tied up an obscure dangling subplot by having Deathcry say the War was now over.
In any case, having a conflict called the "War of the Three Galaxies" is a perfect demonstration of the phenomenon Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale.
On an entirely unrelated note, I really liked Michael Gustovich's artwork for this issue. It was dynamic, but also had a somewhat traditional feel. Gustovich's style sort of straddles the Bronze Age and the early 1990s. It's too bad he wasn't more popular.
Posted by: Ben Herman | March 15, 2018 9:55 PM
Wasn’t there a Marvel story that, at one point, tried to step back on the whole overuse and lack of awareness of scale the word “galaxy” had come to represent? I believe it was Reed Richards who made an off hand comment saying that all the stuff over the years that had been said to have occurred in “another galaxy” all very much happened within our own galaxy, only various characters (and, by implication, narrators) had used the word incorrectly due to their lack of knowledge and/or scale
Posted by: Brandon | May 1, 2018 3:47 AM
According to the Marvel wikia, "the Badoon occupy the Milky Way Galaxy, the Kree occupy the Magellanic Clouds, the Skrulls occupy the Andromeda Galaxy and the Shi'ar occupy another unnamed galaxy".
We have been told that the Shi'ar empire consists of thousands of worlds, and while we rarely get a sense of the scale involved, at least their Imperial Guard consists of various different alien species that are part of the Empire, while to my recollection you never really see other beings in the Kree and Skrull empires.
The Andromeda galaxy is about 2.5 million lightyears from Earth and about 220,000 light years wide, but I seem to recall the FF flying to the Skrull homeworld in fairly small amounts of time, rather than somewhere that should take millions of years to travel to. (You'd think that after Galactus ate the Skrull homeworld, he would then have spent the next hundreds of years eating various other Skrull galaxy planets without any encounters with Earth characters. I mean clearly the travel is not a problem to him, but why would he go to the Andromeda galaxy just for one planet?)
The Skrull saucer the FF confiscated must have had some sort of hyperspace technology, not sure if someone who is more of an FF expert can confirm when they have travelled to other galaxies and if it's actually been represented as further than a few lightyears away in the same galaxy?
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | May 1, 2018 9:06 AM
"We have been told that the Shi'ar empire consists of thousands of worlds, and while we rarely get a sense of the scale involved, at least their Imperial Guard consists of various different alien species that are part of the Empire, while to my recollection you never really see other beings in the Kree and Skrull empires."
I don't think the Kree and Skrull race is comparable to the Shiar empire. The Shiar Empire is more like the United Federation of Planets in Star Trek. They're made up of totally different races. IIRC, The Kree and Skrull all look the same within their race (except for different colored Kree).
Posted by: clyde | May 1, 2018 10:12 AM
The FF first traveled to the "Skrull Galaxy" in Fantastic Four #37 (1965), "Behold! A Distant Star!" using a "prototype space ship" of Reed's design, "boosted by a giant Saturn rocket from Cape Kennedy, and fitted out with a new thrust drive mechanism, adapted from Reed's power-ray device."
"But Reed darling, they're so many light years away! No matter how fast we go, we'll never--!!"
"We're not going through normal space, Sue! Our flight will utilize a space time warp--in fact--we're about to enter it now--!"
The Kirby visual effects and Einsteinian pseudophysics are very similar to what we'll later see and read in FF #51, where Reed is therein able to step directly into sub-space (later called "the negative zone") from the Baxter Building, without benefit of a NASA-entangled rocket ship or refitted Skrull saucer ship.
Reed's "power amplifier" on which his "power thrust drive" is based "draws energy from an unknown source from somewhere beyond the confines of our solar system, and converts it into raw, usable power!" Reed's later extended prototype, the "radical cube," as shown in #51, was intended to access sub-space as a "crossroads to infinity" -- a "junction to everywhere." Why that didn't work out, I don't know, but, knowing Jack and Stan, they probably just forgot about it. They were busy.
Posted by: Holt | May 1, 2018 5:24 PM
Thanks, Holt. Come to think of it, speaking of the Skrulls and the vast scales involved, the Super-Skrull has been specified more than once as being powered up from a beam from the Skrull throneworld in the Andromeda Galaxy. (It's a plot point in Alpha Flight that after the throneworld is destroyed, the beam accidentally sends him to the Van Allen radiation belts instead of Earth.)
Presumably this beam is also travelling through some hyperspace device, otherwise surely the Skrulls must have set up this beam (which must be incredibly complex calculations if both the Earth and the throneworld are spinning & travelling through space) millions of years ago in order for it to be useful to the Super-Skrull in the present?
Similarly, I believe we've seen both Kree and Skrull representatives on Earth speaking to leaders apparently stationed many lightyears away without any apparent time-lag in communication.
And Roy Thomas' idea that the Earth in the Kree-Skrull war is like a Pacific Island in World War II makes no sense in the scales involved - I think it's suggested that Earth is equidistant to both empires, but it would still be hundreds of thousands of lightyears away from either, not an ideal place to launch your attack on another empire.
Sci-Fi is hard when you start thinking about it :-)
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | May 1, 2018 6:59 PM
The Kree's Omni-Wave Projector allows them to communicate instantly across space. In the Kree-Skrull War, the Skrulls tried to get an Omni-Wave Projector, which might suggest that they didn't have an instant communication ability prior to that. However, they wanted to use the Omni-Wave as a weapon, so maybe they already had a different technology for communicating.
Posted by: fnord12 | May 1, 2018 7:20 PM
In FF #37 again, Reed draws a simplified visual aid, with the flat outline of a sphere representing "space," and the interior of the sphere representing "sub-space," as they are traveling through sub-space, represented by a line to show their path through the interior of the sphere, to get to the Skrull galaxy. This all reminds me of how the Spacing Guild navigators said they "folded space" to facilitate interstellar travel in Frank Herbert's Dune. Phrases like "folding space," "wormholes," and "warpsmiths" are handy little mental devices which can help us wrap our heads around the real astronomical distances and time frames which are practically insurmountable on the one hand yet treated so casually and dismissively in science fiction nowadays on the other hand. Back in the 50s 60s and 70s science fiction stories seemed to have a lot more exposition about this sort of stuff.
Posted by: Holt | May 1, 2018 7:40 PM
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