Fantastic Four #202
Issue(s): Fantastic Four #202
No one comments on the fact that he's not talking, which, considering the average Marvel character speaks about 700 words a second, should have seemed pretty unusual.
Sue's invisibility power proves useless again.
The FF are unable to stop Iron Man, and he's able to activate a device that launches the FF's portion of the Baxter Building into the air. Reed says he installed that capability to appease the landlord.
Regular letter writer Ed Via really didn't like this launching of the Baxter Building, thanks to the implausibility of the physics involved. I guess it was too soon for him to know that launching the Baxter Building is tradition at Marvel. The fact that this time it was only a portion of the building, and not even into space, only makes it more plausible. Relatively speaking, of course.
The FF fall out of the building and instead of pursuing it, decide to visit Tony Stark.
This leads to some secret identity hijinks. Stark attests that Iron Man has been with him all day. When the Thing demands to see Iron Man, Stark walks out of the room and comes back in his armor.
This makes the Thing and the Torch look as dumb as a bag of hammers, but i'm curious about Reed's motives. If he's telling the truth that he suspected all along that the silent Iron Man was a robot, there's really no reason for him to have come here. The time would have been better spent tracking down the Baxter Building. He seems to be using this as an opportunity to conscript Iron Man. Tired of his teammates? Needed transportation and too proud to ask?
It's worth noting that per New Avengers: Illuminati #1, Mr. Fantastic (retroactively) knows Stark's secret ID, so it's worth looking at it from that lens, too.
If he knows Iron Man's secret ID, he's sure giving Stark a hard time.
In any event, Iron Man does give them a ride in a Quinjet, and they track their HQ to an island in the Atlantic. They find that Quasimodo was responsible for the fake Iron Man's attack (and it'll also be confirmed that he was behind last issue's attack as well).
Since he was last seemingly killed, Quasimodo's electronic mind had been floating through the cosmos, where he saw advanced civilizations, and his goal now is to travel to the stars to access something he found there.
It's not clear to me how or why he got his body back or why, as he reveals, he needs the FF's equipment to reach the stars if he was already there mentally. Couldn't he just enter the extra-terrestial computer network directly? I'm going to assume there's a highly technical reason that wasn't worth explaining.
You'd almost think Mr. Fantastic would be ok with letting Quasimodo fly off into space, if Quasimodo would explain exactly what he was up to and maybe promise not to be evil if all he really wants is a body and to be accepted. But Quasimodo attacks before any kind of negotiations can happen.
Mr. Fantastic realizes that Quasimodo is drawing power from the Baxter Building, so once he shuts that off, Quasimodo has to flee. He makes it to the FF's rocket. The Thing actually tries to grab it and prevent it from taking off.
No one asked you to try that, buddy.
I've noted that Stark International has been building all sorts of space exploration equipment lately, so you'd think they could follow him if they wanted to, but everyone just seems content to let Quasimodo fly off.
We find that whatever Quasimodo had found, he now detects the same signature in our solar system.
We'll learn more about that in Nova (and then Nova's story will be concluded back in this series starting in a few issues). The truth is that Quasimodo's part of the story is dealt with in a quick flashback though, so some of the open questions from here are left unanswered. That makes this story a bit unsatisfying, but John Buscema plus Iron Man plus Quasimodo (who i have a weird attachment to) make up for it.
In response to Ed Via's letter (which had other complaints as well) it's said that this entire issue was re-written after it was discovered that the original plot was the same as something that was happening in Iron Man's book.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: An opening blurb says that the FF have "just reclaimed" the Baxter Building but we don't have to take that literally, and the MCP place a number of other appearances in between and i'm following them, but this should still take place relatively soon afterwards. Quasimodo next appears in flashback in Nova #25 so this has to take place prior to that. For Iron Man i have this between Iron Man #116-117 but any break after Stark Industries is rebuilt in #113 should do.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (6): show
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