Fantastic Four #275
Issue(s): Fantastic Four #275
She-Hulk is unable to stop the publisher from running the photos, neither legally as Jennifer Walters, nor by intimidating him as She-Hulk.
But things work out when the photos are accidentally "corrected" before publication to give her a non-green skin tone.
Cute story, although it does seem that stuff like this happens a lot to She-Hulk. No one ever wrote a story about a photographer catching the Thing nude.
I also can't help wonder how She-Hulk escapes massive civil suit charges, due to the property damage she causes while chasing the helicopter...
...and when she crushes the publisher's safe, which is full of money and checks.
In a subplot scene, we learn that Johnny and Alicia are sleeping together as of the night before. Alicia corrects Johnny's assumption that he's somehow taking advantage of her.
Most people reviewing this issue note that the publisher resembles Stan Lee, especially on the cover. It wasn't something that ever occurred to me.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: The epilogue to this story, when the magazine issue is actually published, takes place "three weeks later", "two days" after Fantastic Four #276-277.
Since it's a deliberate flash-forward to set up some intrigue for the next arc, i'm treating it like a flashback and ignoring it for placement purposes (More importantly, those are Mattel Secret Wars figures Franklin is playing with! Like every other Marvel fan who got those toys, i see that Franklin chucked the "decoder shields"). I've also left Reed, Sue, and Franklin out of the Characters Appearing for this entry, since they're only in the epilogue.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (3): showHuman Torch, Lyja the Lazerfist, She-Hulk, Wyatt Wingfoot
I thought it was supposed to be Stan Lee, even more so when the wig flew off.
Posted by: JSfan | December 16, 2014 6:34 AM
I kept one decoder shield - the one for my Captain America - and I drew his actual shield emblem and put it inside the shield.
I love that in the MU they actually made a Magneto figure.
Posted by: Erik Beck | May 23, 2015 1:02 PM
Pretty sad that the secret wars figures were the only marvel action figures for a long time (although I had a Mego Spider-man when I was really little)
It would be interesting to see which villains Mattel would use. If I recall correctly, the original figures were: Spider-man, Cap, Wolverine (who wouln't be known to the public), and Iron man. Villains were Magneto, Dr. Doom (doubt Mattel would use a head of state), Kang and Dr Oct.
I think I had Spidey, Iron man, Magneto (whose leg fell off) and Kang (who only lasted till issue 4 of the series)
Posted by: kveto | May 23, 2015 2:22 PM
You do remember correctly. I had all of them except Dr. Octopus.
But Kang made more sense than in the second wave, where aside from the black costume Spider-Man (who I had), there was also Daredevil, who wasn't in Secret Wars (but I had one) and Falcon, as I recall, who wasn't in either Secret Wars or really in the second Secret Wars.
Posted by: Erik Beck | May 23, 2015 3:00 PM
An issue that features exactly *zero* of the real FF, focusing (see what I did there?) instead on Byrne's masturbation-material insert character, the Soporific She-Blah!
"Cute story, although it does seem that stuff like this happens a lot to She-Hulk. No one ever wrote a story about a photographer catching the Thing nude."
Yeah, funny about that. Byrne loves to tell us how "sexy" his pet Green Gargantua is, but at the same time wants us to remember that sexual arousal, porn, and masturbation are bad, bad, BAD! Tease, but don't please, kids! Don't wanna go blind, you might not be able to enjoy next issue!
(Is this where he has Jenn make the "Onan the Barbarian" joke? I can't remember and, as I've written, I had zero interest in keeping these in my collection when it was split.)
Seriously, I wish Byrne would make up his mind about whether he's a pervert or a prude, already. I've got the pompous pedant part, but I'm confused about the rest.
(And who wears a toupée but doesn't dye the rest of his hair to match? I mean, seriously.)
Posted by: Dan Spector | March 17, 2017 3:44 AM
The "Onan the Barbarian" joke was in the She Hulk graphic novel he did...
Posted by: BU | March 17, 2017 1:32 PM
"but at the same time wants us to remember that sexual arousal, porn, and masturbation are bad, bad, BAD! "
When the hell did Byrne ever say this? I'm willing to bet that he didn't.
Posted by: Vincent Valenti | March 17, 2017 3:22 PM
I think he's claiming that that's the point or at least the undertone of this story.
Posted by: Morgan Wick | March 17, 2017 10:40 PM
My favorite issue of the FF. The She-Hulk is the best thing out if the 80s in Marvel comics.
Posted by: william | September 7, 2017 9:35 AM
The morning after image of Johnny and Alicia has been etched in my mind since I first saw it all those years ago. The Ben/Alicia relationship is destroyed outright. Without benefit of future storyline hindsight (that sounds strange doesn't it?) how do you react to Johnny's observation? Alicia's willingness aside, he's guilty enough to feel as if he "...took advantage of our friendship". Um...yeah, that's exactly what you did.
Posted by: KevinA | May 6, 2018 1:07 AM
I agree with KevinA, Johnny Storm comes off as filthier scumbag than the sleazy celebrity magazine publisher. And Alicia, well... It's disturbing, Alicia was ruined for me, and I loved her. I've always hated Johnny Storm, but he was a different, harmless kind of jerk up until that point. And now, now he's being THAT guy for what was far too soon after Secret Wars. And it seems like he's feeling bad about it, but two weeks later he's checking out his teammates nudie pictures, with green-tinted sunglasses, no less. Y'know, 'cause he wants to see his actual teammate naked beyond any doubt. Even if he were joking, he still comes off as a childish jackass. I know a lot of people here have a soft spot for the Johnny/Alicia relationship, but for the life of me I can't see a single thing that comes across as "character development" out of it. The Torch just takes his immaturity to a deeper level, to the brink of adultery even, with the Crystal thing, and Alicia... Alicia just seems something else.
I'm all in favor of shaking the status quo a bit, but not all change is great. I liked the addition of She-Hulk, even if she's a bit too much of a Byrne pet character.
Posted by: The Transparent Fox | May 6, 2018 3:06 PM
What would be more in character for that Johnny is I can picture him thrusting his hips forward and pumping his fist with her in the room since she can't see him doing it. Why? He remembers Alicia told him she was 19 when she met Ben and had been a virtual prisoner of her stepfather the Puppet Master for three years prior to that. Therefore that evening Alicia would have been almost certainly a virgin.
Posted by: KevinA | May 7, 2018 9:18 AM
So I hadn't noticed it before, but it does seem that one of the few things that both Byrne and DeFalco agree upon is that Johnny likes green gals. He's like Captain Kirk in that way.
Posted by: Holt | May 7, 2018 10:17 AM
The idea that Alicia and Ben never had sex always seemed ludicrous to me, even more so when it was revealed that Ben was trapped in the Thing's body because he subconsciously felt she wouldn't have him otherwise. So I can't really buy the idea that Alicia was a virgin, but assuming she was, the Torch was basically moving in on his friend's girl as soon as possible in order to--ahem--"deflower" her, so to speak. Ben was going to return eventually; did Johnny figure that by showing Alicia the joy of sex she'd reject him when he did? It's kind of disturbing if you consider it.
So while using green-tinted sunglasses to check out pictures of a(n apparently) pink-skinned woman, Johnny was nailing a pink-skinned woman that turned-out to be green. Maybe Captain Kirk had it simpler.
On another subject, I love Franklin's custom-made sweatshirt.
Posted by: The Transparent Fox | May 7, 2018 12:12 PM
Yes, here we are casually discussing Alicia's sexuality, while on alternate literary future Earth D, the poor woman is still helplessly frozen in stasis somewhere, stuck in the horrifying moment of her abduction by Annihilus for an extended period of 7 or however many years. Another huge failure of the Fantastic Four who made it all possible and totally failed to prevent it, brought to us by extensive use of the continuity-by-committee revisionist storytelling method at Marvel.
According to more traditional storytelling moralities of Westernized civilization, there's always a woman to blame, but here we are blaming poor Johnny. Maybe Lyja's exotic feminine wiles were just too much for poor Johnny; happens all the time in Westernized fictions and such.
I seem to recall a story where the Thing reverted to his Ben Grimm morphology long enough to have intimate relations with Alicia (the real one), but I can't find a reference to it. I think it was either by Roy Thomas or by one of the writers under his stewardship. It happened off panel, but all the characters were standing around afterwards and making ribald comments about it.
Posted by: Holt | May 7, 2018 1:06 PM
Posted by: Holt | May 7, 2018 1:16 PM
I think Johnny comes off as a jerk either way. Even if Lyja had been the greatest seductress in the Myultiverse it would be insane to let Johnny off the hook, even slightly. Indeed, the notion of irresistible feminine wiles exists mostly in the minds of men who seek justification for their actions, and it doesn't really matter what Lyja's intentions were because he wasn't being mind-controlled. In fact I can't imagine any storyline, with or without the retcon, which didn't assume Johnny had been hot for Alicia prior to Secret Wars. He couldn't have possibly thought "my, my, I hadn't noticed how sexy Alicia was until we came back from Battleworld", and if he has convinced himself otherwise, he's buying into the traditional storytelling moralities of the Western world far more than the writers.
In any event, even if we were to assume that Johnny is just some poor sap who simply couldn't help himself and had simply been seduced, we'd have to realize that Lyja's wiles were all about espionage, not femininity. Spies, are trained to fool people and in no shortage of ways, be it in fact or fiction. But IIRC, seduction was not a part of Lyja's plan and I don't think Johnny ever felt it was.
Posted by: The Transparent Fox | May 7, 2018 2:48 PM
Eh? If Alicia really meant so much to Ben, he wouldn't have disappeared to Battleworld for months on end without even saying goodbye. It is pretty clear that Alicia isn't very high on his list of priorities.
Then he has the cheek to be annoyed when he discovers that he old life hasn't been kept on ice for him to step back into whenever he feels like it. Well tough! Sorry Benjamin, but life doesn't work like that.
Posted by: Bernard the Poet | May 7, 2018 4:09 PM
Ben won't suffer for long before moving on to Sharon Ventura. And good for him. Alicia was never really his type anyway. Didn't she eventually wind up with the Silver Surfer? Or is that one over now too? I can't keep track. Alicia and Ben together was fun while it lasted, but arguably they were both well past the time to move on. Nothing here that would disqualify Johnny from sainthood. And Johnny was cheering Ben on when Ben finally got to hit the booty in the aforementioned FF #168, so I guess maybe at that time he wasn't quite so hot for Alicia yet.
Posted by: Holt | May 7, 2018 7:27 PM
Regarding Alicia's virginity, she and Ben definitely slept together in Liddleville in Fantastic Four 236- Ben comments about how it didn't feel right in issue 237.
Posted by: Michael | May 7, 2018 7:59 PM
Bernard the Poet, I agree that Ben's decision to stay in Battleworld for a while was inconsiderate of Alicia, but it spoke to one of the central and distinguishing themes of the character: the desire to be human. Secret Wars was of one the very first Marvel stories I read, albeit in a truncated way, starting out from part 7 to Part 12 (it took me a year to find parts 4-6, and a few more to find the first three); I was moved by the Thing's personal drama. By his frustration in becoming human when for once he just needed to be the Thing, and how on Earth he wanted the exact opposite. Back then I didn't even know he had a girlfriend on Earth, but his decision to stay a while longer to think things through was touching. The Torch even said something like "there's nothing and no one here", and he answered along the lines of "I've got myself, kid, and that'll do for the time being". (I may be hazy on the actual words; and I'm freely translating back to English, having read it in Portuguese.) It was poetic.
But yeah, it wasn't cool for Alicia. I wouldn't say she wasn't high on his list of priorities, maybe she didn't rank as high as his desire to be human, but that's fairly understandable (true, the pseudo-psychoanalytic explanation for him not being able to while on Earth messed it all up). But he made it clear he'd only stay for a short while, and while I agree his old life wouldn't be kept on ice for the time being, it was a far cry from the Torch moving in on Alicia.
Posted by: The Transparent Fox | May 7, 2018 8:05 PM
Oops, my mistake. I meant to say "the pseudo-psychoanalytic explanation for him not being able to BECOME BEN GRIMM while on Earth messed it all up."
Posted by: The Transparent Fox | May 7, 2018 8:16 PM
Yes, I did forget the Liddleville story but weren't they miniaturized androids or something? Also, Ben was human wearing an exoskeleton for a brief time. I suppose it could have "happened" then. I missed both of those in my efforts to show Johnny in a bad light and getting too clever about it for my own good. Regardless, it's still a distasteful decision to target your friend's girlfriend so quickly.
Posted by: KevinA | May 7, 2018 10:27 PM
So Ben Grimm did have sex with Alicia in his human form. It makes the idea that she'd rather have him as the Thing even more implausible. The "pleasure principle" operates in Ben's subconscious as it does in anyone else's. Our mind can be very tricky, and I can accept that he somehow feels Alicia's loves the Thing as opposed to Ben. But it impossible to assume that celibacy is preferable to love-making. Unless we're talking about erotophobia; Michael, however, showed us it's not the case at all.
Posted by: The Transparent Fox | May 7, 2018 11:12 PM
They were "synthe-clones" in Liddleville- whatever that means. Reed was able to mutate their bodies using a gizmo, so they were probably mostly biological.
Posted by: Michael | May 7, 2018 11:19 PM
The synthe-clones were befuddled by Dr. Doom into thinking that Ben and Alicia were married, which might make some kind of difference. A bigger question might be whether or not Johnny was a virgin at the time. Chris Evans' portrayal aside, I can't recall it ever being clearly established that he was not. He dated a lot of gals, but at that time, he still had some kind of hangups with all or most of them: Dorie Evans, Crystal, Frankie Ray, Frankie's roommate, maybe some others I don't remember. He was a good literary candidate for a 'best friend's girl' kind of story like this, but now that it's all mixed up in the Lyja retcon it's all blurred and it's really no longer that kind of story. The Lyja retcon broke that story.
Posted by: Holt | May 7, 2018 11:46 PM
That's an intriguing theory, Holt, one that never crossed my mind. I guess he did have hangups with his other dates, and although it does prove anything in itself, it got me thinking. If Johnny had been a virgin up until this issue, it means he specifically intended to lose his virginity with Alicia, and if so, was he harboring these intentions for a long time? Prior to Secret Wars? By the way, how long had they been seeing each other?
Also, having had so many girls for so long but never doing it with any means that there was something really special about Alicia, or really specific about the circumstances. Whatever it was, I wonder when and how it factored in his mind.
Posted by: The Transparent Fox | May 8, 2018 12:12 AM
I don't recall everything specifically but I don't think Johnny made any romantic overtures towards "her" before "she" put the moves on him. And getting back to before the Lyja retcon, "she" was of course presumed to be the real Alicia. She was in control, and if I'm not mistaken, the intention was that there would have been no romantic encounter with Johnny if she hadn't more or less pushed him into it. In Johnny's mind, they were just hanging around together, and being "just friends" during Ben's extended absence.
Prior to Secret Wars, Johnny was always supportive of Ben and Alicia's relationship but mainly seemed disinterested in it, being basically an angst-ridden teenager type character who was always distracted and often depressed or anguished about his own romantic difficulties with other women. He and Ben were friends of convenience but they feuded a lot, and Johnny was always playing pranks on Ben. Johnny used to have hot rod pals outside of the FF living arrangements, but he was definitely constricted by his socially secluded penthouse superhero lifestyle, and he knew it.
It was never implied that I can remember, that Johnny wanted Alicia prior to Secret Wars and the Byrne "soft reboot" of the whole FF mythos, starting with FF #232. I'm sure it was said or implied somewhere that neither Johnny nor Alicia intended for it to happen but rather "it just happened" -- in other words, it's the classic "best friend's girl" kind of story setup, started by Byrne.
Posted by: Holt | May 8, 2018 12:48 AM
As for Johnny being the virgin I would doubt it. See my comment for issues 276-77. He states that Alicia is "...not just another conquest...". Now sure he could be lying but I have him a handsome 22 or 3 year old by now not a bragging teenager. He was in a college for a time and there would be no surprise for me if it were revealed he spent some quality time with Frankie and he and Crystal both lost their virginity together.
Posted by: KevinA | May 8, 2018 8:11 AM
Furthering the "Johnny loves green women" theory, Johnny does actually make a move on She-Hulk in Spider-Man/Human Torch #4, which is set just after She-Hulk joined the team. She-Hulk & Johnny are going to a fancy dress party, so she is in a French maid costume, and he basically says forget the party, why don't they stay in together with some wine. She turns him down quickly and leaves saying she didn't realise the signal she was sending out by wearing something so revealing, even though it's actually less revealing than her FF costume. (The miniseries is actually quite fun despite this description.)
I guess not long after She-Hulk turns him down, he starts dating Alicia, but he still gets to look at naked pictures of She-Hulk anyway.
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | May 8, 2018 10:44 AM
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