Fantastic Four #203
Issue(s): Fantastic Four #203
The story is pretty much as the RPG entry describes. Reed Richards has been asked to take a look at 9 year old Willie, whose father was exposed to cosmic radiation during the Vietnam War (shades of Tuskagee or Operation Plumbbob).
Willie is now in a coma. Willie Sr. doesn't have a high opinion of super-heroes...
...but Reed begins his analysis. Meanwhile, however, Willie creates the Fantastic Four duplicates...
...and the real FF has to fight them.
Thanks to my Children of the Atom rulebook, i have access to some information that the FF didn't, including the following limits:
The only difference between the duplicates and the originals are that no powers over Monstrous level can be duplicated (the power will exist at Monstrous rank); and that the duplicates are not creative, have little memory, and depend on Willie's concentration to exist. This last point equates to the duplicate having a -1 CS off of the original's Fighting ability and do not have a Reason greater than Typical or any talents.
I know your next question. Only one member of the FF has abilities greater than "Monstrous". The Thing's strength and endurance are at that level, and so are the Invisible Woman's forcefield's absorption abilities. But the Human Torch's fire powers are "Unearthly" (that's one better than Monstrous, people!). However, i don't see that working to his advantage in this story.
Additionally, Willie can only create a total of twelve duplicates before his energy is used up and needs to build up again.
Mr. Fantastic doesn't need any stinking rulebook, though. He's got his own way to deal with this.
Earlier, Reed had discovered a radiation leak thanks to Quasimodo's recent meddling (the Baxter Building, by the way, is back in New York with no fanfare).
And he's able to use the "radiabsorber" he created for that problem to take care of Willie's duplicates as well.
At the end of the story, Willie is out of the "comatron" that he was being kept in earlier, but he's asleep, so we never get to see Willie conscious. Mr. Fantastic gives his parents Professor Xavier's business card.
In my rulebook, it said the following:
Willie's parents were referred to Professor Xavier by Reed Richards, but so far indications are that they never followed up with their son's training. If this is so, he is in great danger as the cosmic radiation in his body should be building to critical levels again soon and he does not know how to control his power. Willie may also have other powers not yet revealed.
The rulebook has a 1986 copyright. Thanks to the power of the internet, i see that Willie appeared again in the 1986 Iron Man annual, so there was some synergy going on, and it won't be long before i finally close the loop on this guy.
This issue was originally going to be drawn by Jack Kirby but he left Marvel (to get involved in the FF cartoon show, it's said), leaving Keith Pollard to scramble to finish the issue.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showFranklin Richards, Human Torch, Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic, Thing, Willie Evans Jr., Willie Evans Sr.
Willie's father also appears in that Iron Man Annual. His mother doesn't appear, and there's a twist regarding the reason for that in the Annual.
Posted by: Michael | June 23, 2013 11:28 PM
Thanks Michael. Not sure if he's "worth" a tag since he only appears in the same issues as his son, but i guess why not? ;-)
Posted by: fnord12 | June 23, 2013 11:54 PM
I think the ending of this issue leads to a common problem. Utilizing another title's character as a solution to a problem in one title only works if that other title somehow addresses that problem. Otherwise, it creates a scenario where the hero of the other title never bothered to help out. Similar problem you mentioned with the Black Knight cursed as a stone statue and Dr Strange to help out. It took way too long for this problem to be addressed, probably because the writer of Dr Strange (or in this case, X-Men) had other things on his plate (or simply no interest).
Besides that Iron Man Annual, Willie Evans is mentioned in one other place (unofficially). Before John Byrne left Uncanny X-Men, he had made some character designs of potential young mutants to be used as students for the X-Men. Kitty Pryde was one of them. Another was a character called "Caliban" which bore no relation to the actual character Claremont eventually created with that name. Willie Evans was also mentioned in Byrne's notes. Byrne left, and nothing was done with the idea of having new students for Xavier's school until the New Mutants were created, but Willie Evans was not used for that.
Posted by: Chris | June 24, 2013 2:46 AM
Yes, Chris, that is the way I remember it too. He was supposed to be a member of the X-Men if Byrne stayed on, but when the New Mutants spin off was created, he was nowhere to be found and Sunspot was named.
Posted by: augur | January 29, 2014 12:37 PM
You'll notice that on the business card, Marv gets both the name (Children vs. Youngsters) and location of Xavier's school wrong, making the common mistake of identifying Westchester as a town, rather than a county. Am I right that this is the first reference we've ever seen, after 17 years, to a "cosmic ray bomb"?
Posted by: Matthew Bradley | August 31, 2016 10:12 AM
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