Fantastic Four #120-123
Issue(s): Fantastic Four #120, Fantastic Four #121, Fantastic Four #122, Fantastic Four #123
He's also called Gabriel, and like the angel, he blows a horn to announce the end of the world. He's actually a robot designed by Galactus to play on human religious fears, which is a nice twist. He manages to turn the people of the world against the FF, which seems a bit pointless.
Air-Walker is way beyond the FF's power level, but the Silver Surfer shows up to fight him, and does in about three pages what the FF couldn't do for two issues. More than anything, Gabriel doesn't like that the Surfer ripped his clothes.
Then a rhyming, still-pantless Galactus shows up.
Mr. Fantastic manages to put Galactus in check by infiltrating his ship (which is neither Taa-II or the smaller orb ship Galactus has generally been seen flying around in) and threatening to blow it up, which he claims would strand Galactus on Earth. Galactus seems to go along with that notion, but claims he'd make life on Earth a living hell.
Reed returns the ship, but doesn't reveal that he'd reconfigured it to banish Galactus to the Negative Zone. Agatha Harkness uses her magic to help Reed tell the people of the world that Gabriel was a fake and it's not the end of the world.
Thunderbolt Ross takes a break from perpetually failing to stop the Hulk in order to fail to stop Air Walker and Galactus.
This was basically a poor rehash of FF #48-50, stretched out too thin over four issues, missing Kirby's super-exciting artwork (I love Buscema, but this isn't his best stuff), and treating Galactus like a generic but powerful super-villain instead of a cosmic entity. Galactus tearing up trains; not his finest moment.
Appearance by Richard Nixon, aka Secret Empire Agent Number One, clearly not being shown in a positive light.
And in the opening scene from #120, Reed Richards has invented fireproof plastic and the Thing finds out how Mary Jane Watson pays her way through school.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (7): show
A closer analog than FF #48-50 might be #74-78, in which Galactus also bends his vow never to threaten the Earth again in an effort to get the Surfer back as his herald.
Posted by: Matthew Bradley | June 20, 2013 11:29 AM
In the original Galactus story he never does vow not to destroy Earth. He says if Reed gives him the Ultimate Nullifier he won't tarry any longer. His dialogue as he departs indicates he no longer sees the human race as negligible.
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | January 12, 2016 10:10 PM
This is the 2nd time Buscema has revealed that Benjamin Grimm likes to lounge around with his feet up, chompin' on a see-gar and peepin' at girly magazines (the 1st was in FF #107). What? Alicia isn't pretty enough for him? Scandalous. Then he calls Silver Surfer "Whitey," twice! Who wrote this 4-issue mess of one extended pointless fight scene after another? Stan Lee? Are you kiddin' me?
To protect the FF from an angry crowd, the Torch surrounds them with a wall of flame so hot that soon they're all sweating, and the Thing's sensitive bare feet are sticking to the tarmac. What happened to Sue's force field? Nothing? The Thing's hide can handle molten metal, but the tarmac is too hot for him? Johnny suddenly can't control his flame any better? In #120, Johnny refers to Sue's power to make other things invisible as her "invisible force field" but he should know better than that. Lee meltdown? Too busy to care? Lazy writing? Can't write the FF effectively without Kirby's margin notes? Using a ghost writer and editing it afterwards? Who knows?
Posted by: Holt | December 15, 2017 4:51 PM
Just like what I said about the Thor storyline yesterday, this is a great example of Stan's "illusion" of an actual story- a re-hash using Stan tropes. I think he was such a hip "in" pop culture figure for the level of that time with a college audience that he legit thought he could coast. Really, "Is their MADNESS so deep-rooted.... that FORCE is their only answer??" is something I'm sure Stan thought was actually deep and profound dialogue.
He had been spoiled by the response because I really do think it diluted what made his dialogue stand out and his "writing" charming.
And Galactus was conceived as a cosmic force but has never been correctly portrayed as one; he is almost always written as just a powerful giant sometimes-villain. Cosmic entities beyond good and evil don't say "What?!" in surprise when trains run into them, do not drink with Hercules, cannot be subtly manipulated by the Silver Surfer in Ron Marz stories. Not knocking any of those stories, but really- Galactus is just a big super-villain with lots of powers. Marvel might WISH he came off like a omnipotent force of nature, but he never really does.
Posted by: Wis | January 14, 2018 2:45 AM
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