Fantastic Four #164-165
Issue(s): Fantastic Four #164, Fantastic Four #165
But let's start the way the issue does, with the Thing trying to give Sue a spanking with Reed's blessing.
Now back to the Crusader. To start with, he's put on some pants.
He's also gotten super-strong. One of the interesting quirks of the original was that he was actually supposed to be weaker than the average human because he grew up on Uranus. He's also gotten upgrades to his wrist bands. They still only project light, but it's much more blinding than the "more primitive" originals, and can actually melt stuff with the heat. He's also become a murderer.
Apparently back in the 50s, Marvel Boy tried to acquire a loan so that he could purchase medical supplies for the Uranians. He had a hard time convincing banks to give him a loan ("I guess 'Hi, i'm from another planet. Please give me some money." doesn't work). He finally secured what he needed and returned home only to find everyone dead. Not due to some sickness that the medical supplies could have helped with, mind you. They all died from "natural forces", i guess like an earthquake or something. But Marvel Boy still blames the bankers for delaying him. So he heads back to Earth for vengeance, but gets hit by a comet and lays in suspended animation for years. He finally crashes on Earth anyway and belatedly gets to his anti-banker crusade.
Luckily the FF are here.
It turns out that he draws his power directly from the sun, so Reed figures out a way to block the sun to make him weak. Then Reed's cloud cover disperses and the Crusader absorbs too much power...
...and explodes, leaving his bracelets behind.
This arc also introduces Frankie Ray, Johnny's new girlfriend. She's apparently agreed to date him despite the fact that he dresses like a blind gay cowboy and uses pick-up lines from songs written in 1904.
Frankie is more or less traumatized when she sees Johnny burst into flames when the Crusader attacks.
I liked this opening shot from #165 of Reed walking around New York:
And this of the Fantasticar.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (10): show
I believe Roy Thomas did intend for Frankie to be related to Thomas Raymond/Toro, so the line you call attention to may indeed foreshadow her developing powers.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | April 6, 2013 4:05 PM
Peter Gillis has a letter in #165.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | June 29, 2013 3:39 PM
Per Back Issue #74: these issues were originally supposed to be Giant-Size FF #6, but Perez had to be substituted for Buckler due to his slowness. Frankie Raye was actually named after Frank Giacoia's fake Marvel name.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 22, 2014 6:36 PM
The first Fantastic Four issue I ever read because my brothers had a tattered coverless copy of it when I was growing up. Like the second one I ever read (also tattered and coverless, coming about a dozen issues later), it ended on a cliffhanger and I never read the conclusion, so it's great to finally see it here.
There's a great moment in the first issue where Johnny is passing out and Reed has to do an amazing job stretching across the city to catch him.
Interesting to know that, like Defenders #1, I had an important issue (the first appearance of Frankie Raye) and didn't know it because it didn't have a cover.
Posted by: Erik Beck | March 10, 2015 6:27 PM
This is a rehash of Roy's Sub-Mariner plot for the Red Raven: a minor character from a hidden civilization who hasn't been seen since the pre-Marvel era returns, having gone mad in the interim in connection with the deaths of his adopted people. The mad superhero then dies fighting the Marvel heroes thanks to his own recklessness.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | December 6, 2015 3:03 PM
Strange reading the comment directly above this, as I've just read the 2015 story in the Spidey/Inhumans/Cap specials where... Red Raven returns, having gone mad in the interim in connection with the deaths of his adopted people. He doesn't die this time, though.
Posted by: Dave77 | May 1, 2016 10:34 AM
Lol! Last night I was going through this site trying to make sense of the multiple Red Ravens and their timelines. (No luck)
Posted by: cullen | May 1, 2016 12:01 PM
Considering what the Crusader's wristbands later turn out to be, I would say that his delusional mindset actually controlled them for a while, but when he thought the sun was overcharging them, he lost control and was disintegrated.
Posted by: D09 | June 4, 2016 12:11 AM
The splash page for 165 has a wall poster for "She-Devils - The Deadly Sparklers!!", a one-shot fanzine by George Perez.
Posted by: Andrew | December 28, 2016 7:58 PM
#164 has cover pencils by Jack Kirby inked by Joe Sinnott. https://www.comics.org/issue/29222/
Posted by: Holt | December 22, 2017 2:47 PM
Even the Village People would have said that Johnny Storm's outfit in the ninth scan was a bit much.
Posted by: The Small Lebowski | December 31, 2017 8:29 PM
I just read an interview where Roy Thomas admits that after writing this story, he felt bad about driving Marvel Boy/Crusader insane and killing him, especially since he had grown-up reading and loving his comic. That's why he included him as part of the 50s Avengers in that one What If? story he wrote not long after.
It's also why he's fine with the Uranian retcon. "I don't mind that. I was always kinda sorry that I'd turned him into a villain anyway. Usually I hate when they do all this [retroactively altering continuity] but in this case I'm kinda happy because I kinda regretted before too long that I had really made him into a villain, practically. Whoever did that... for a change I'm not annoyed that they changed it. That's a first, right there!"
Posted by: Thanos6 | March 8, 2018 4:36 AM
Comments are now closed.
|SuperMegaMonkey home | Comics Chronology home|