Fantastic Four #306
Issue(s): Fantastic Four #306
They also bring along an Inhuman named Maya, who will be serving as Luna's nanny. She has the power to control the environment, which means Luna won't have to take the potion that the other Inhumans need to breath Earth's polluted atmosphere. But she says she won't use those powers to help the FF fight.
Quicksilver temporarily escapes during the handoff, but he's recaptured again.
After all that, we see Cap pulling up on his motorcycle with Sharon Ventura on the back. She recoils from Cap's touch...
...and Cap notes that she's been sitting as far away from him while as possible they were on the bike, too. And she refuses to let him escort her up to the Fantastic Four's building. After Cap leaves, she doesn't go up to the FF but instead wanders the streets, and, similar to what was implied in Cap #331, we learn that while she was held prisoner, some of Karl Malus' henchmen became "interested" in her.
The Thing notices Sharon walking away, and leaves to go find her. Instead, Crystal catches up with him...
...and discusses the fact that Johnny is uncomfortable with her being around, and how that makes her uncomfortable too. She considers leaving the team, but the Thing says that "the whole situation" is Johnny's fault, and she should tough it out.
That's when Diablo shows up with some elementals.
The full current team shows up to help with the fight, but Diablo's elementals are improved and he has the upper hand.
At least until Sharon Ventura shows up and pounds the crap out of him.
She continues to beat him long after it's necessary, and she says it's because she hates him...
...and in fact hates all men...
...with their mustaches and brutal hands and baseball caps and golf shoes.
Not to fear, though, because Ben Grimm is no man, so he's ok.
Despite that unintended insult, he invites her to join the team.
I like the fact that Sharon is used here. It's nice to see that the events of the Thing's solo series aren't being ignored, and Sharon had potential to be a decent character. But there was no need to have her gang raped and turn her into an overt man-hater. We had enough of the man hating from Man-Killer and Thundra in the 70s. And she was already a stand-offish character that wasn't able to commit to a relationship due to childhood problems with her father. The way she had already been depicted seems to be enough for what Englehart wanted to do with her here. This is also the second character Englehart has had raped, after Mockingbird in West Coast Avengers (yes, Ventura's rape was also implied in the Captain America issue but i'm assuming that was done in coordination with Englehart, and the implication is stronger here).
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Franklin, Quicksilver, and the Inhumans (except Crystal), next appear in X-Factor annual #2. That annual has to occur after this issue because Quicksilver is released from the FF's prison here. He must then have immediately escaped as Maximus started exerting more control over them all. The weird thing is Luna's appearance in that annual, since here the Inhumans arrive with her and the nanny Maya. I guess after the Diablo attack, the Inhumans take Luna back to the moon to be safe, and then return her some time before Fantastic Four #307. Captain America and Sharon Ventura appear here after Captain America #331, and Cap says that he's just dropping Sharon off here on his way to Washington, so i have him appearing in Captain America #332 next.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (5): show
With her handbag, umbrella, and prim posture, I wonder it Maya wasn't a sly reference to Mary Poppins?
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | April 5, 2014 4:12 PM
Couldn't Sue just surround the fire elemental in a force field until its flame goes out? She's done that to Johnny before.
Posted by: Michael | April 5, 2014 4:13 PM
On one level, I admire the courage Englehart is showing here blowing up the FF and creating a new time while Reed and Sue raise Franklin. However, I just don't like this team.
Ben and Johnny are OK of course. Crystal's elemental powers slightly duplicate Johnny's flame, but her other powers make her versatile. However, I really don't like Sharon's involvement as her powers add nothing new to the team. She's a lot less stronger Thing basically, and duplicate powers in a small team is rarely interesting. Part of the interest in a good superhero team is seeing fun and creative uses of varied powers. She adds nothing to the team in that regard.
If they could somehow given her different powers, I'd feel differently. We've lost Reed's elastic powers and Sue's invisibility/force field and been given two replacement characters whose powers are too close to the remaining two members.
Posted by: Chris | April 6, 2014 1:37 AM
Its true that Shary's power-set is somewhat redundant (especially once she becomes a Thing--right now she still has her enhanced agility and speed, which makes for at least a different fighting style from Ben), but she does bring something important to the mix...and that is her sharp mind. Although Shary is not a scientific genius like Reed, she will ultimately end up filling his role as the 'brains' of the group...once she gets past her emotional baggage.
That is something I always rather liked about Shary--she wasn't a scientist or traditional comic book 'genius', but she was still noteworthy for a sharp intellect, making connections that other's couldn't, devising solutions, etc. That isn't a role that traditionally went to female characters or two 'muscle' characters--and Shary is both.
When people think of Shary (and especially Englehart's work with Shary), they tend to focus largely on her basketcase period...but that was just the starting point for his work with her, and I think he developed her into a really interesting character who I enjoyed having as part of the FF family.
Posted by: Dermie | April 6, 2014 8:30 PM
I like Shary, but Ben if I didn't think she was a good character, I'd be grateful to Engelhart for adding her because we get an exceptionally funny Hulk issue when the grey Hulk finally meets her.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | April 6, 2014 8:38 PM
Hum, *even*, not "Ben." Autocorrect causes more mutations than cosmic rays...
Posted by: Walter Lawson | April 6, 2014 8:39 PM
Glad to finally see this issue. I was collecting Cap at the time, and at the end of 331, he's traveling east with Sharon, then in 332 she's not mentioned at all. There was nothing in either of those that mentioned this issue.
And what a strange way for her to go east - on the back of a motorcycle driven by a male when she's now averse to the touch of all men. Cap couldn't have gone over to Clint and borrowed a Quinjet? They had to bike 3000 miles together?
Posted by: Erik Beck | July 20, 2015 11:56 AM
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