Fantastic Four #72
Issue(s): Fantastic Four #72
The Watcher "doesn't interfere" by explaining to the FF that while the Surfer's goal is noble, his methods are downright stupid. Reed and Sue had just quit the FF...
...and were traveling by train when the Watcher shows up and asks the train conductor to please stop.
Reed and Sue begin to debate getting involved with the team again, but as soon as Reed says he'll go back, the Watcher cuts off the conversation, teleporting Reed back to NYC (and leaving Sue to hike there on her own).
The FF attack the Surfer...
When Sue calls the Silver Surfer all-powerful, the Watcher says "There is only one who deserves to be called All-Powerful, and His only weapon is love". In case you didn't get the reference, he's referring to me.
There's a General in this issue, in charge of the army division responsible for launching the sonic shark. He looks a lot like General Ross to me, but the Marvel Chronology Project have him listed as General Fredricks, who also appeared in some issues of the X-Men. There's no evidence in this issue either way, but i've listed him as Fredricks.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel's Greatest Comics #42
Inbound References (4): showCrystal, General Fredericks, Human Torch, Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic, Silver Surfer, Thing, Uatu the Watcher
I did get the reference.
Posted by: Mortificator | August 10, 2016 9:51 PM
I did, too. I've always wondered if this story influenced Alan Moore's Watchmen, you know, with the whole lets give them a common enemy to unite mankind theme.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | November 13, 2016 3:55 PM
Watchmen (and probably this story) were inspired by an Outer Limits episode:
Posted by: Michael | November 13, 2016 5:25 PM
Cool. I didn't know that. You know, I've never thought that the plan would work for any length of time. Once the threatened aliens did not appear, people would just go back to hating one another. You want proof? The various African tribes united against European colonists and eventually set up their own independent nations. After this, many of the old tribal wars broke out again with attempted genocide is several instances.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | November 13, 2016 5:32 PM
Not that this thread really belongs on this site, but Alan Moore was NOT inspired by Architects of Fear, and he'll cast a spell on you if you suggest he was. It was just an unfortunate coincidence, that Len Wein took way too seriously, as the notes on that Wikipedia link make clear. Plus, as this other web page points out, the Outer Limits was far from the first to use this particular idea: http://www.comicsbeat.com/did-watchmen-steal-from-the-outer-limits-or-from-jack-kirby/
The really crazy thing, is this is not the first time this happened to Moore. One of his first stories, called Skizz, is about an alien who crash lands in London and is befriended by the locals, who try to protect him from evil government agents. As he was writing it, E.T. came out, and Moore had to have his characters say stuff like "This is kind of like that American movie!"
Posted by: Andrew | November 13, 2016 5:46 PM
Alan Moore had to have been aware of Reagan's 1985 speech suggesting an alien threat would unify us. Maybe Reagan was an FF reader.
Posted by: cullen | November 14, 2016 12:14 AM
This issue's cover and #74's both featured the Silver Surfer and didn't show the FF (except in the corner box).
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | November 14, 2016 12:54 AM
Yeah, those two FF covers, #72 and #74 heralded ;) the Surfer's own comic a few months later in 1968.
Posted by: Shar | November 14, 2016 1:14 PM
@Andrew - good link, thanks for sharing. Seems likely then that this issue is not Kirby being inspired by the Outer Limits, but rather recycling parts of the plot of Tales Of Suspense #2, earlier work of his from 1959. (Which itself might be inspired by some earlier sci-fi comic or novel.)
Also interesting that Anthony Eden said something similar long before Reagan.
Off-topic, but that Len Wein Ozymandias looks awful, Wein really seems to have a bee in his bonnet about the Outer Limits plot point.
Posted by: Jonathan, son of Kevin | November 14, 2016 1:24 PM
That bottom panel of General Fredericks looks like a Romita face correction.
Posted by: Wis | November 17, 2016 1:34 AM
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