Issue(s): Thing #2
Both his long time girlfriend Alicia and his nephew Franklin are in the hospital after Annihilus' recent attack, but in this issue the Thing broods over a letter from an old girlfriend.
There's a flashback to a lot of the Ben Grimm's college era backstory, and then we find out that the beautiful girl has been disfigured due to a stroke.
Kind of an odd story, frankly.
This issue ends with Reed and Sue determining that they can't live in the Baxter Building any more because it puts Franklin at risk, and Ben jumps to the conclusion that it once again means "The End of the Fantastic Four!!", but we'll learn in Fantastic Four #257 that it just literally means that Reed and Sue will be moving out of the building.
Also in this issue, it's established that anything that gets broken around the Baxter Building can be thrown into a disposal unit that breaks the item down into molecules to be used for the next gadget that Reed builds. This saves the FF lots of money.
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: It's been "2 days" since the events of Fantastic Four #256 (incorrectly listed as #257) and Avengers #233. This should really be the Thing's first appearance after that story, but we have Fantastic Four annual #17 to contend with. A scene at the end of this issue is repeated in the middle of Fantastic Four #257 so these issues have a loose concurrency (although in this issue, we're left with a cliffhanger leading us to believe that the FF are breaking up, and in the FF issue the scene continues to correct that assumption right away).
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showAlicia Masters, Franklin Richards, Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic, Thing, Willie Lumpkin
Byrne really classed up Wilson's pencils.
Alynn was pretty selfish and self-absorbed, huh? "You're ugly; help me deal with being ugly".
Amazingly, the Annihilus head never came back from the dead...or did it?
Posted by: Vin the Comics Guy | May 8, 2015 3:56 AM
Marvel must have agreed that this really looked like Byrne's pencils because they included it in the enormous Byrne FF Omnibus.
Posted by: Erik Beck | May 10, 2015 9:42 AM
I really liked this issue. I'm not sure how long they did it but I remember they used to sell two-packs in stores that didn't normally sell comics, like dollar stores and such. You'd find them with the coloring books or maybe with the action figures. This issue was included in one of them, as well as Doctor Strange #60 and FF #257. Those are the only three I can remember but I'm sure there were more. All three appear to have been released in August of '83, so maybe it was a short-lived thing.
Posted by: Robert | January 8, 2016 4:03 AM
I bought a few 3 pack bundles around this time. They were some of my first comics and a bunch of them were the assistant editor month issues.
Posted by: Yogi deadhead | January 8, 2016 4:40 AM
Target did it at least well until the mid to late 80's. I have a distinct memory of buying a three pack with the first three issues of Secret Wars II.
Posted by: Erik Beck | January 8, 2016 11:37 AM
I just read this for the first time. And sadly, this is the second Thing in a row I find underwhelming. The majority of the book reads more like True Romance than a super hero book. (Protagonist gets a letter from an old girlfriend. He goes to the hospital to visit some sick friends. He tells his current girlfriend about the old girlfriend. He's afraid to meet the old girlfriend, because he's changed since they last saw each other. They finally meet, and it turns out she's changed too in much the same way.) Once again, we have an issue with no super villain, no major use of the super powers, and no nod to where the book is going in the future.
I also find it annoying that the book continues a story from another title and ends on a "cliffhanger" that will be resolved in that other title. This felt more like a biweekly issue of Fantastic Four than a title on its own.
I'm very surprised at these first two issues. I would have thought someone like John Byrne would have understood the importance of hooking the reader at the start of a new title and giving them something to be excited about. These first two issues feel more like Byrne is just fulfilling a contractual obligation and didn't really care how well the book did. I've already bought the entire run of Thing, so I will be moving on to issue 3. But right now, I have very low expectations of the book.
Posted by: Peter Niemeyer | January 11, 2018 5:43 PM
Peter, unfortunately the Thing series isn't very good. It's publishable mediocrity. While on paper, Byrne should have been a great creator on the title given he was writer on FF, in practice it was not the case. Byrne has said that he did not like Thing having his own solo series as any good solo Thing story would also have been a good FF story. So I think he treaded water.
It is a big disappointment because when done right, the old MTIO title did some great Thing stories - many of which would have been fine if Thing was alone. The title really needed someone who saw the promise of the character outside the FF and had the enthusiasm to build an effective solo title around him.
Posted by: Chris | January 11, 2018 6:59 PM
Posted by: Benway | January 14, 2018 1:47 AM
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