Fantastic Four #18
Issue(s): Fantastic Four #18
Reed tells Ben to watch Johnny while they are gone, and the Thing calls Reed "Great White Father", which i thought was interesting.
Meanwhile, the Skrulls have created the Super-Skrull. He's got the powers of all four members of the FF, plus, of course, shape-shifting, plus hypnotism, plus his powers are amplified so that he can do what the FF do much better than they can.
Reed figures out that in order for him to be that powerful, he must be receiving a beam from space, and with the Invisible Girl's help (she actually uses her powers to good effect for a change), he is able to disable that beam. To my mind the Super-Skrull should still be a very formidable opponent even if his powers aren't being amplified, but the FF manage to trap him in a volcano. I guess the sudden decrease in power disoriented him.
The power beam will eventually result in the Super-Skrull developing super-leukemia (indirectly; see Comments).
The Thing's shape is evolving from the early lumpy mess to the scaley version we know and love...
...but the artwork in FF issues at this time period is still a bit sketchy. We need Joe Sinnott's inks.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: This issue starts with the FF watching a newscast discussing their defeat of Dr. Doom from last issue, and Reed says it was their "last adventure".
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Collector's Item Classics #13
Inbound References (5): showDorrek, Human Torch, Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic, Super-Skrull, Thing 1963 / Box 2 / Silver Age
1963 / Box 2 / Silver Age
"The power beam will eventually result in the Super-Skrull developing super-leukemia."
I'm not sure this is true (unless it was retconned at some point and I missed it). It was originally established that he gained cancer from being trapped in a non-corporeal form for a prolonged period in the Van Allen Belt (ie, the radiation belt that surrounds the Earth) - the constant exposure to radiation led him to develop the cancer.
The irony, of course, being that it was probably in the Van Allen Belt where the Fantastic Four were exposed to the cosmic rays that gave them their powers in the first place.
But the Super-Skrull was cured of his cancer after the Silver Surfer was tricked into using his power to reintegrate the Super-Skrull's discorporate molecules back into their natural form.
Posted by: ParanoidObsessive | September 2, 2014 2:10 PM
Well, you're right. Maybe we're both right, but you're more right. The Cavourite Crystal caused the Super-Skrull to warp along the power beam, and then after the Skrull throneworld was destroyed, the beam warped him back to Earth's Van Allen belt, and then it was being trapped in the Van Allen belt that gave him cancer.
Posted by: fnord12 | September 2, 2014 3:42 PM
The Thing can only lift five tons? I believe by the time of Marvel Universe he was at around 70 or 75. That's a massive change.
And the Super-Skrull is Class 100? I don't remember that, unless they just ignored it when they did MU.
Posted by: Erik Beck | December 9, 2014 2:33 PM
Kl'rt knowing what an Earth ram is, and knowing enough about Earth culture to make the battering ram pun, has always bothered me.
Posted by: Thanos6 | January 27, 2016 7:18 PM
@Erik, the OHOTMU Deluxe Edition says the Thing is in the 85 ton class range (in the mid 1980s) but specifically states that his strength level has grown over the years and says that in his early period he could only lift 5 tons. The curious thing is that Super Skrull is listed as being in the 15 ton range (exposed to the power beams) and 5 tons without. That is clearly contradicted by what we see in this issue.
@Thanos6, he was aware of what an Earth ram is but, in one of my favorite scenes, didn't know that you couldn't stick a flagpole into concrete.
Posted by: Robert | January 30, 2016 4:44 PM
"@Erik, the OHOTMU Deluxe Edition says the Thing is in the 85 ton class range (in the mid 1980s) but specifically states that his strength level has grown over the years and says that in his early period he could only lift 5 tons. The curious thing is that Super Skrull is listed as being in the 15 ton range (exposed to the power beams) and 5 tons without. That is clearly contradicted by what we see in this issue."
I'd chalk this up to his two appearances closets to the OHOTMU's publication, where Claremont and Byrne (and then just Byrne) had the Super-Skrull trading punches with Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel without immediately reducing them to paste and then being physically outclassed by Sasquatch.
"Kl'rt knowing what an Earth ram is, and knowing enough about Earth culture to make the battering ram pun, has always bothered me."
The Skrulls have always been handled inconsistently; the "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" type plots require them to be master infiltrators with considerable cultural knowledge, but the "little green men" stories require them to be fooled by comic-book panels of monsters or make stupid, clueless mistakes in their impersonations.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | January 31, 2016 7:57 AM
I think that one reason for the Skrulls' inconsistencies is that Lee and Kirby contradicted themselves about how long the Skrulls have known about Earth- the original story implied they learned of Earth recently but the Kral story suggested they'd known about Earth for at least 30 years prior to their first encounter with the FF.
Posted by: Michael | January 31, 2016 8:57 AM
I always liked the Super Skrull as one of the more physically powerful villains of Marvel's early days.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | October 24, 2016 9:03 PM
I really liked this issue for several reasons-- (a) Super-Skrull was one of the few fairly awesome early villains; (b) Ben's strength is actually quantified here, although 5 tons makes him seem kind of wimpy-- suggests that Spidey may have been about his equal or even superior at that stage-- but that may have just been underestimation on the Skrulls' part; and (c) featured Reed Richards outsmarting a race about a million years more advanced in technology than Earth. That put Reed at a new level of awesome.
Many years later, in Englehart's Silver Surfer run, he portrayed the Super-Skrull as supposedly the Silver Surfer's equal when close enough to the Skrull power-beamers.
Posted by: intp | September 21, 2017 5:31 PM
Comments are now closed.
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