Characters Appearing: Agatha Harkness, Angel, Aurora, Beast, Black Knight (Dane Whitman), Black Widow, Captain America, Colossus, Crystal, Cyclops, Daredevil, Darkhawk, Dr. Druid, Firestar, Forge, Franklin Richards, Gambit, Havok, Henry Pym, Hercules, Hulk, Human Torch, Iceman, Invisible Woman, Iron Man Doppelganger, Living Lightning, Madrox the Multiple Man, Magus (Evil Adam Warlock), Moon Knight, Mr. Fantastic Doppelganger, Namorita, Northstar, Nova (Rich Rider), Polaris, Professor X, Psylocke, Puck, Quicksilver, Rogue, Sasquatch, Scarlet Witch, Shaman, She-Hulk, Silhouette, Speedball, Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter), Storm, Strong Guy, Thanos Doppelganger, Thing, Thunderstrike, USAgent, Vindicator (Heather Hudson), Vision, Wasp, Wild Child, Wolfsbane, Wolverine, Wonder Man
Fantastic Four #368
Issue(s): Fantastic Four #368
One thing that we didn't see in Infinity War #3 was the Hulk being a complete jerk (this is after it's suggested that Invisible Woman might need to take a rest since her husband, Mr. Fantastic, was replaced by a doppelganger).
Arguably the really notable thing here is Speedball acting as a peacemaker. I know he's invulnerable, but not many people would jump between these two.
However, it's the depiction of the Hulk that bothers me. Part of it is that it's hard to see this incarnation of the Hulk really getting involved with the heroes at all; he really ought to be off with the Pantheon trying to work out this crisis with his own team and resources. But of course no one really wants that. We all want the Hulk to be part of these big events. The problem, i guess, is that the Hulk's angry personality, in the hands of the wrong writer, just makes him come across looking more like an idiot.
But i do support settling your differences at the foosball table (although personally i'd rather be playing Mr. Fantastic's copyright-infringing clone of Zaxxon).
Anyway, the main plot begins after the Human Torch flies off to clear his head, and winds up getting attacked by doppelgangers imitating a group of X-Men plus one of himself.
Dr. Druid convinced Captain America in Captain America #408 that the doppelgangers aren't really alive and so it's not unethical to "kill" them, but i guess that information didn't get disseminated because it's going to be a point of contention especially in these FF issues. The Human Torch eventually comes to the conclusion that killing them is what he has to do, but he feels guilty about it.
Actually, even the doppelgangers tell the Torch that it's ok to kill them.
On the other hand, contra Dr. Druid, while they may not be human, they do seem to be organic life forms of some sort or another, so maybe it's less clear cut.
But the Torch flash fries the X-Men doppelgangers with a grin.
However, he feels sick afterwards, and his own doppelganger reinforces the fact that he's embraced his dark side.
We do have a story coming up regarding the Torch's powers. But i feel like while the point of the Infinity War tie-ins with the doppelgangers is to confront various heroes with their potential dark sides, this story doesn't really get to that point. This isn't a question about whether or not Johnny is too reckless with his powers or anything like that. It's really just a debate about whether or not extra-dimensional doppelgangers count as living beings, and whether or not the Torch is justified in using lethal force against them. It's not like Johnny has previously shown a disregard for non-human life (the way, say, Nova did during John Byrne's Fantastic Four run). So the question Johnny is forced to face here doesn't seem particularly pointed.
On a more superficial level i guess it's fun to watch the Human Torch incinerate the X-Men.
Some longterm news for this book is regarding Agatha Harkness. She initially rejects the idea of moving back in to take care of Franklin like she used to.
But she changes her mind the moment she hugs him.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: This runs parallel with Infinity War #3, beginning with Invisible Woman containing the gamma bomb explosion, and ending with the expeditionary force teleporting away.
Crossover: Infinity War
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
"I'm gonna beat the spunk outta ya!"?
Posted by: Andrew | April 5, 2016 7:12 PM
Is there a no-prize explanation out there about how Sue's hair ping pongs from long (in the FF issues) to short (in the Infinity War issues)?
Posted by: Bill | April 5, 2016 8:05 PM
I love Paul Ryan's Thing, he really captured that rocky look.
Posted by: PeterA | April 6, 2016 1:46 AM
I can't believe how badly the Merged Hulk is written in this story. Being verbally abusive to the FF and picking a fight with the Thing, despite receiving no prior provocation, was way out of character for this incarnation of Banner.
Posted by: Jason FP | October 10, 2017 4:58 PM
I can believe it, Jason. Tom DeFalco isn't exactly known for good characterization.
Posted by: Matt | October 11, 2017 12:51 PM
Obviously Sue was making her hair invisible in order to, uh, something. Confuse the Magus, maybe.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | October 11, 2017 5:12 PM
Comments are now closed.
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