Fantastic Four #191
Issue(s): Fantastic Four #191
Len Wein begins the break-up period by capitalizing on the fact that most readers probably didn't believe the break-up would really last. So when a villain, Parnival Plunder, disguises himself as a SHIELD agent...
...forcing the FF members, who hadn't yet made it that far away from the Baxter Building, to go back into action...
...it was probably thought that it meant a reunification of the team. But that turns out to not be the case, and the break-up lasts nearly all of 1978.
The Plunderer really isn't a challenge, as it should be; the point is to get the FF back into action and then announce that they're still breaking up.
Nice art by Perez, and some nice little scenes showing mailman Willie Lumpkin, doorman Sergius O'Hoolihan, etc., as a way of building some nostalgia.
This issue has an outrageous letter. I've included the entire letter and the (lack of) response so you can see it wasn't some kind of joke, but see the section i've highlighted.
Can be overdone. Of course. It's worth keeping things like this in mind when i complain about sexism in comics. It really was a different time!
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (8): show
I think the letter writer was complaining about Sue's status by being ironic, but was too subtle to get her point across.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | June 21, 2013 4:03 PM
I included the whole letter and the response in hopes that someone would tell me that was the case. It's just that there's no sense of sarcasm anywhere else in the letter.
She should've been more careful. After reading all these comics, my brain is not trained to detect subtlety.
Posted by: fnord12 | June 21, 2013 9:57 PM
This was my first FF issue! It got me hooked - until Byrne came along is messed it all up.
Posted by: Jack | July 23, 2013 12:53 PM
I think the Thing's cabbie is supposed to look like David Anthony Kraft.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 23, 2013 9:40 PM
I read this last term and even though I knew darn well the FF were not disbanded forever it was still kind of depressing reading it so I guess kudos to the team. Then again maybe I'm too sentimental.
The Plunderer shows why we gotta have some weaker villains: to have a quick wind up in a single issue.
I gotta wonder fans of the magazine back then took this disbanding and if it varied from age group. Did they have the same cynism as we do today whenever a major character dies or did they go 'oh c'mon they'll get back together soon enough!'
Posted by: David Banes | January 13, 2014 4:50 AM
Sadly, the Sharon McCall letter seems to be all too serious. Just because Sharon is (presumably) female doesn't mean she's going to be a feminist. There were (and still are) many women who prefer the "traditional" idea of femininity, "helpless hostage" tropes and the like.
A good portion of the hate mail that Sue has gotten over the years (and she has gotten a LOT of hate mail) has come from women. Not only from women, not mostly from women, but hardly exclusively from men, either. The "Kill Sue" mail that came in around 310 (and eventually led to the ridiculous Sue v. Crystal "cat-fight" issue, certainly a low point in both the book and Steve Englehart's history) had some female contributors, IIRC.
I can't say why, as I'm neither female nor the specific letter-writers in question. I'm just noting that it happened. You'd have to find Sharon McCall herself and ask what she was thinking...
Posted by: Dan Spector | March 18, 2015 4:45 AM
Perez drew Sue like Debbie Harry.
Posted by: Jack | April 16, 2015 9:33 PM
LOL Mark Drummond's right about the cabbie. You've found me out! was Kraft's reply. Thanks for the observation. Kraft picked Perez for his Creatures On The Loose stint, as I understand (Perez also drew E. Hoffman Price, sci-fi novelist, into their first collaboration, Creatures #33.) Perez also gave Comics Interview his previously-unpublished JLA/Avengers pages to print, broken up, so they shared a fairly warm regard, reflected by the funny cameo.
Posted by: Cecil | August 20, 2016 4:58 PM
RE that last panel: "Thank you for your interest in renting the Baxter Building penthouse suite, accessible via a private elevator that will only admit persons wearing proprietary belt buckle technology. Please contact Reed Richards about leasing one of these buckles for each and every person who will live or work in the penthouse. Don't lose them. You will also need super-villain insurance, in case news of the FF's disbandment hasn't reached Latveria or, you know, outer space. The penthouse suite comes equipped with a portal to the Negative Zone. If you open that portal... well... just don't open it."
Posted by: Andrew | January 6, 2017 8:00 AM
"However, please don't forget that Sue is still most effective when she plays the role of a helpless victim or hostage."
Susan Storm Richards: The Bettie Page of Marvel Comics.
Posted by: Holt | December 23, 2017 3:33 PM
Comments are now closed.
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