Fantastic Four #313-317
Issue(s): Fantastic Four #313, Fantastic Four #314, Fantastic Four #315, Fantastic Four #316, Fantastic Four #317
...but they still look pretty goofy.
These are imaginaut issues, by which i mean they are an example of how the Fantastic Four distinguish themselves from other super-heroes by exploring the weird corners of the Marvel universe instead of just fighting super-villains. These issues are a romp through the swiss cheese insides of Marvel Earth.
There's no crisis that precipitates their adventure. On the surface, the Thing just says it'll be a good experience for the new team. But he's not-so-secretly hoping that the Mole Man might be able to find a cure for Sharon, the way he helped him with his own mutation after the end of his solo series. It's not said why the Thing doesn't try to go to Mr. Fantastic for help.
Sharon is actually aware of Ben's secret intention, and she goes along with it, but Englehart has her true to her words from the end of last issue ("No more moaning!") and she's actually growing to like her new body. When (as we'll see) the Thing fails to get the Mole Man to cure her, she's not at all upset.
The Thing doesn't take the FF to Subterranea through Monster Island or the entrance underneath the house from Fantastic Four #88 (which was used again in Fantastic Four #126). Instead he takes them to Project Pegasus, which he knows from the Avengers has a pit leading down into Lava Men territory. Definitely seems like a deliberate taking of the scenic route, which is pretty cool. The FF are met by a Dr. DeVere.
DeVere tells them that Project Pegasus is going back to its original purpose of energy research now that the Vault is taking care of imprisoning super-villains. DeVere is a new hire in charge of thermal energy, but he's not particularly interested in the Lava Men. Crystal keeps getting bad vibes off of him, and he has a cryptically menacing thought as they drop into Lava Land, and a narration box promises us that the FF hasn't seen the last of him...
...but this is DeVere's only appearance, so whatever Englehart was building towards there seems to have been dropped.
The first creatures the FF encounters are actually the Mole Man's Moloids, who have been masterless since the Thing betrayed the Mole Man in their last encounter...
...and they are currently at war with the equally masterless Moloids that in the past have worked for Tyrannus (and which are referred to as Tyrannoids in these issues) despite clearly being variants of the same species. I should say it's really a one-sided war, with the Moloids seeming pretty weak and defenseless compared to the Tyrannoids.
But the FF are able to put a stop to it.
I like the contempt the Tyrannoids have for the Moloids.
The Moloids observe that the Mole Man has traveled further down from the surface, "down where it is hot", and, with some help from Cystal's ability to control the elements, the FF follow his path and eventually locate him. The first thing he says is "Benjamin? Oh no! Not now!". But the Thing is able to get him to stop and talk.
But they're interrupted by an attack from the Lava Men.
The Human Torch manages to drive them back, which may seem counter-intuitive, but Englehart and Buscema show how it works.
You can see Mole Man being surprised to see kindness from the Torch in the panel above, and he starts to think that maybe the Thing really liked him as well. But the Lava Men grab the Mole Man and drag him down into the magma.
It's said that his super-science outfit might protect him from the heat, but i mean it wasn't even covering his whole body! Crystal dives in in after them, again using her powers to protect her, but she barely escapes with her life. Johnny gets a funny feeling in his private area when helping to revive Crystal. The good ol' CPR kiss trope.
Having failed to save the Mole Man, the FF then seal up the hole the Lava Men came out of. So much for their sort-of friend. But hey, let's just keep exploring!
They go down another tunnel and there's a sudden flash of light, and then they find themselves in a different cavern.
Crystal recognizes the flash as indicating teleportation, saying that it's similar to when Lockjaw teleports. It's also said that this must be how the Mole Man moves such vast distances between the Earth even though you rarely see him with vehicles.
While they are exploring, Crystal disappears. The rest of the group teleports again, and find themselves outside a large gate...
..and when they get past that, they encounter Belasco, who has kidnapped Crystal.
I am really surprised that Englehart jumped right to Belasco while skipping over the Children of Dis from Ka-Zar the Savage #11. Those guys look so much like Moloids that creating a connection with them would have been right up Englehart's alley. But it is cool that we've moved beyond the more "traditional" parts of Subterranea and we're now underneath the Savage Land. I also think it's funny how Belasco is just all about getting a bride. Someone find this guy a girlfriend.
Meanwhile, above ground, the sky gets covered with fire...
...and underground we see bursts of flames as well. But at first everyone thinks they are caused by the Human Torch, so the battle continues.
After knocking out Belasco, the FF press on, and next find themselves in what the Thing recognizes as the city of the Cat People.
Now, when i was reading these in realtime, first of all, we are a ways away from the John Byrne look and feel that to me was the only acceptable version of the Fantastic Four. Just in terms of scripting, it all felt very retro. Then there's the weird team composition and weird design for the Thing, which both attracted and repelled me. But i was going along with the story, especially with the encounters with the Moloids and Tyrannoids and even Belasco who i knew from a few stray issues of Ka-Zar. Then we got Cat People - seriously?! Cat People?! - and it was a line too far. I know now that these Cats have a respectable pedigree going all the way back to Morbius' solo series in Fear and also the origin of Tigra. But at the time it was just, pffft! Cat People! That pretty much cemented my opinion of this book. Today i still cringe at Cat People but i understand better where Englehart was coming from.
The Thing tries to tell the Cat People that he's actually friends with them, but the explanation is going nowhere, and then Belasco catches up with the FF and reveals that he's one of the wizards responsible for putting the Cat People here in the first place.
But before the fight can continue, the fiery explosions start again, and this time it becomes clear that it's due to the major battle that Dr. Strange is having with Shuma-Gorath over in Strange Tales.
While Belasco tries to protect the netherworlds from the battle, the FF flee, going up the same River of Oblivion that the West Coast Avengers used to escape Cat City...
...and the FF find what the Whackos left behind: Master Pandemonium.
Almost half of issue #315 is devoted to a retelling of Fear #20-23 (which is fair enough; i mean, how many people have read that?) because Master Pandemonium has wound up in the same place that Morbius was once trapped, planet Arcturus, and Morbius apparently left some records behind, carved in stone.
The recap continues with Master P's more recent encounters with the West Coast Avengers, and it's noted that he's recovered one of the five pieces of the soul that Mephisto stole from him. And then we jump into the fight with the Fantastic Four, with the Thing reprising Master P's old nick-name.
Crystal realizes that some of the demons are actually the genetically altered creatures of Planet Arcturus, who are actually trying to get killed because they hate their existence, and that ends the fight, with Master, er, Panda-Bear calling a truce and everyone agreeing to pit resources to get him.
Crystal has an affinity for the genetic creations on Arcturus, because the Inhumans were also created through genetic manipulation for the Kree. And Johnny has an affinity for heiny-butts, because he's a dude.
Master Pandemonium takes them to an ancient spaceship yard, and suddenly Comet Man lands there because why the hell not? We've already seen everything else in the Marvel universe!
Comet Man is with "Max", the alien from the Comet Man series that got too hepped up on Earth culture, and Comet Man doesn't want to bring him back to Earth for any further exposure. Comet Man also doesn't want to go back there himself, because he's not yet ready to seek vengeance on his brother. Ben tries to lay a guilt trip on him...
...and while that doesn't work, Max is more amenable, and he quickly teleports them all back just by kicking a rock.
What's the one word you never thought you'd see in a Marvel comic again?
We'll check your answers below. For now, that's Master Pandemonium flying away because now that he's back on Earth he has no reason to stick around. And that's Alicia flying to the South Pole, because that's where Max teleported everybody. Johnny is happy to get away from the temptation of Crystal.
The South Pole is where the Savage Land used to be, so Ka-Zar and Shanna the She-Devil are added to our cast.
And Morbius has been called down as well.
But before we get deep into the reason why, some hot touching action.
Then everybody's attacked by icemen.
Of course this group is particularly well suited to fighting ice creatures.
It turns out that they're being generated by a vehicle piloted by AIM goons.
One thing this group doesn't seem to be very good with is interrogations.
But by putting Ka-Zar and Max together, we get a revised origin of the Savage Land. Max's race are called the Fortisiquans who actually come from the same solar system as the Arcturus planet, and as we learned in the Comet Man series, they are Colonizers that were said to even have seeded our world. In that mini-series it was made to seem that we were descended from the similarly human looking Fortisiquans, but Englehart knows that can't be the case due to other Marvel origins, so he provides an explanation for that, saying that the Fortisiquans colonize by putting only a few people on each world.
The Fortisiquans come back and check on their "colonized" worlds every so often, and as we saw in the Comet Man series, that's what Haley's Comet really is. The Fortisiquans themselves are genetically bred by an unknown race, and we also know that the Savage Land was created by the Nuwali who were similarly hired by an unknown race.
The Nuwalians eventually left Earth for unknown reasons, and the maintenance of the Savage Land was taken over by the Atlanteans. The Atlanteans were later attacked by, well, it seems like there's a conflation going on here between the two sets of Lemurians. My understanding from the Tales of Atlantis back-ups has been that there was a race of humanoids basically identical to the Atlanteans that were responsible for the sinking of Atlantis; the Deviant city of Lemuria introduced in Kirby's Eternal run was something else entirely. But in this telling, it's the Deviants that attack Atlantis.
In fact, the Deviants are stupidly launching a two-pronged war, because this is also when they launch the attack on the Celestials that ends up with their city getting nuked. Meanwhile, the Atlanteans draw so much power from their heating devices while defending themselves that they wind up causing a world wide Cataclysm.
Then the Fortisiquans were contacted by their mysterious creators and told to go save the Savage Land from the world wide flooding. Which they did, but they crash landed and only four survived.
And after saving the Savage Land, they found a teleporter that took them back to their own world. The origin of the teleporter is a mystery. But when they returned, their world was in ruins, and so the Fortisiquans came back to Earth and became the Caretakers from the Morbius story in Fear.
This all seems moot since the Savage Land is destroyed at this point (although it will be restored soon; there's even an ad for the Evolutionary War in this issue). But it's continuity consolidation of the highest order, threading together so many different things. This story has the Savage Land and the Nuwalians, Comet Man and the Fortisiquans, Atlantis, the Deviants and the Celestials, and the Caretakers from Fear. And it's worth remembering that the Fear story is already threaded to Tigra's origin via the Cat People and also now Belasco, and the fact that teleporters go to Cat Land ties it in even more closely.
To figure out more about the teleporters, Ka-Zar shows the FF where to look for the now defunct Nuwalian heater that used to preserve the Savage Land and which is where the teleporter back to Arcturus should be. They locate the heater, slice it open, and find a word that makes the Thing (and probably a good portion of Marvel's readership) nervous.
That, by the way, is the correct answer to "What's the one word you never thought you'd see in a Marvel comic again?".
If you're hyperventilating into a paper bag, relax. Steve Englehart isn't bringing back that Beyonder (yet).
To understand the big English sign spelling out "Beyonder", the FF get back to interrogating the AIM scientists that they captured, and since we're doing a history of everything in the Marvel universe, might as well cover them, too.
But they continue to give nothing up, and it's actually Alicia who reminds the Thing that they know of another group that calls themselves the Beyonders that they heard about in Marvel Two-In-One #61-63. So having learned nothing new, the FF and the Comet Men say goodbye to Alicia and trigger the nearby teleporter.
Back on Earth, Morbius has all but disappeared, but Ka-Zar, Shanna, and Alicia get a visit from the Superior, Comet Man's brother.
Coincidentally, Comet Man mentions him while discussing who is going to take point on the expedition to the Nuwali.
While they are traveling there (by more conventional means than teleportation), we get some hot granite on granite action.
Johnny and Cystal, meanwhile, continue to be tormented by their secret feelings for each other.
It also turns out there's at least one AIM agent on the ship.
When they get to the Nuwalis, they confirm that it was the Beyonders that hired them to create the Savage Land.
They also show them the device that they used to use to communicate with the Beyonders before they cut off contact and stopped payment.
The Thing says the device looks familiar to him. He eventually figures out that it's a portal to the Negative Zone. Mr. Fantastic used to have a device that looked just like it, back in Fantastic Four #51, but his was much bigger.
The FF, and Ms. Marvel especially, is wary around the Nuwalians, since Ka-Zar told them that the Nuwalians used to try to extract adrenaline from humans, because it's a poison to the Beyonders (how they know that, when it's said here that they've never met the Beyonders in person, i don't know). But Crystal wanders off...
...and is joined by Johnny, who tells her that no matter how attracted to her he is, he's going to remain true to Alicia.
When the Thing figures out how to operate the Negative Zone portal, the Nuwali attack, because it turns out they've been hired by AIM.
Finally, some action!
The FF and the Comet Men defeat the Nuwalis and AIM, and vow to go into the Negative Zone to find the Beyonders. But that actually won't happen right away. The FF go home first and get wrapped up in the Evolutionary War event.
Whew. I am exhausted, you guys!
The first few issues of this definitely comprise a fun adventure and it's the highlight of Englehart's FF for me. When you think about it, some of the appearances are a little self-serving, since this picks up on threads from Englehart's West Coast Avengers run and the Shuma-Gorath appearance feels a little bit like, "Hey, don't forget who created this guy, people!". But honestly a lot of the inter-connectivity in the Marvel universe comes from self-serving things like that and it really just amounts to writers using characters that they like and having fun with them, and that's definitely the case here. By the final two issues we are done with the fun romp and into a more traditional Englehart explaining session. And (outside of the unusually fun Subterranea romp) that's what i like best about Englehart. Granted it's much less a story than a Marvel Handbook entry narrated by the Thing (of all people), but i'm ok with that, especially since Englehart's character development, as seen with the Thing/Ms. Marvel and Crystal/Human Torch/Alicia relationships can be very clunky, so i'd rather see him focusing on continuity consolidation anyway.
Actually, as i've said before, if i were an editor at Marvel (god help you), this is exactly what i would do with the Fantastic Four title today. For whatever reason, Marvel hasn't really been able to get the FF title to work as a straightforward super-hero book in a long while, and what used to be The World's Greatest Comic Magazine is now a book that Marvel seems to just keep around for the sake of tradition. In the Lee/Kirby days, the FF would discover all sorts of wonders: the Negative Zone, Attilan, Wakanda, Kree Sentries, etc., but by now all of those things have been discovered and new discoveries just won't stick the way they did in Marvel's formative days. So i'd love to see them exploring the weird neglected corners of the Marvel universe just as Englehart did here. Finding out about things that have already been established in the MU would have more legitimacy than newly invented stuff, and it's an opportunity to find connections, tie up loose ends, or correct continuity errors. Definitely the sort of book that won't have top of the charts appeal but there's certainly a contingent of fans that would go for that and i think it's a good place for Marvel's first family to settle into, and Englehart's arc here is a good model for it.
A few issues back, in a letter discussing the line-up change in the FF, someone suggesting killing off the Invisible Woman. In the next issue, someone else agreed, and so the editors solicited opinions on this, and in issue #316 the lettercol is divided between Pro and Anti Sue letters. Here is the first Anti letter:
I posted letters like this on the entries for Fantastic Four #191 and Fantastic Four #228 and each time i hope that the letter writers were being sarcastic, but obviously the editors didn't think so if they put this in the Anti column.
Statement of Ownership Total Paid Circulation: Average of Past 12 months = 216,108. Single issue closest to filing date = 199,251.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: A flashback in #313 shows the Black Panther still with the team, helping locate all the bugs left in the building by Dr. Doom. This flashback presumably took place soon after the end of last issue. These issues take place concurrently with Dr. Strange's battle with Shuma-Gorath in Strange Tales #12-14. A footnote in #316 says that the WCA are currently in Kristoff's Latveria (circa West Coast Avengers #35), so the FF alerted the East Coast Avengers that Master Pandemonium is on the loose. The MCP give a behind-the-scenes appearance to the Black Knight, Dr. Druid, She-Hulk, and Thor. The FF return home in Fantastic Four annual #21 and shouldn't appear anywhere else between this arc and that annual.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (10): show
Hi, fnord12, you've scanned in Johnny shutting down the Tyrannoids, twice. And again after this comment: "The Human Torch manages to drive them back, which may seem counter-intuitive,but Englehart and Buscema show how it works."
I like the direction you'd take with the FF. I mean I'm sure they started out as adventurers so why not do some exploring?
Posted by: JSfan | May 28, 2014 1:57 PM
Thanks, JSFan. Fixed the scans.
Posted by: fnord12 | May 28, 2014 2:00 PM
When I got to "Almost half of #315..." I burst out laughing. I couldn't believe there were two more whole issues to go in the review. Englehart really packed this one full. Like you, it's the highlight of the run for me. I also agree with you that the FF work best as the "challengers of the unknown," not just another dysfunctional super-team.
Posted by: Robert | May 28, 2014 2:16 PM
FNORD, when you show the Human Torch rescuing the moloids as well as when he battles the Lava Men, you have the same scan twice.
Posted by: clyde | May 28, 2014 2:43 PM
Whoops, I didn't realize it was already reported.
Posted by: clyde | May 28, 2014 2:48 PM
I think this is going to sound snarkier than I would like, but here goes: so if you were a Marvel editor, you would be cranking out a bunch of C+ material? :)
I think you've expressed some displeasure with Hickman's run in the past, but I think his run really touched on some of the approach you would want, especially when looking at the Four Cities, the Council of Reeds, Nu-Earth and the Maestro, the Wakandan City of the Dead and the relationship between Galactus and Franklin Richards. It happens to be my personal favorite FF run, and I've definitely read what I think most of what people would consider to be the best stuff (Lee/Kirby, Byrne, Simonson, Waid/Wieringo) so I can only recommend you try it again now that you don't have to wait for each issue.
Posted by: Uncanny Michael | May 28, 2014 4:41 PM
Well, i did say "god help you". ;-)
But this gets to the problems some people have had with my Quality Rating criteria and the pull between a well-written, plausible story with readable dialogue and an awesome super-hero adventure with tons of respect for past history. Ideally you'd have both but that doesn't always happen, and i'd put Englehart's writing largely in the latter category. And i do think this story, which features really bad romance development and just pages and pages of historical retellings and consolidations, would be almost unreadable to a casual modern reader. To put it another way this is a "story about stories", something that Tom Brevoort has repeatedly said he doesn't allow anymore because it doesn't make for good reading. As for my personal preference, especially when it comes to Marvel, i've said before that i'll take a C+ story that plays nice with continuity over an A story that doesn't (i can go to indie books for much better stories if that's what i'm looking for).
I almost mentioned that i think Hickman and also Waid's run did something similar to what i had in mind but i wanted to hold my tongue until i eventually get to those issues more fully. Hickman's writing is often criticized as being boring and like reading a textbook and my initial reaction to that is "hey, that sounds like it would be perfect for me!". But my initial impression based on several failed attempts to get into Hickman's run is that yes, he did use pieces of the Marvel universe, but not in a way that was consistent with the way those things had been used in the past, and what he was really doing (like the things you cite) was use them as a launching point for new stories, which is fine but not what i'm trying to say here and in the Quasar post i link to. The example in my mind is the various new brides of Black Bolt or whatever it was. Yes, they were all building on cool alien races that had been established, but they were used in a way that was adding baggage to Black Bolt, not to explore/explain/fix stories that had been done in the past. I'm actually looking for something more reductive and nerdier.
All that said, my analysis of Hickman isn't based on much and i could be way off base and i am looking forward to eventually getting to his run and being able to read it in chunks since doing so on a monthly basis was killing me. But i'm a ways off from that.
Posted by: fnord12 | May 28, 2014 6:15 PM
I do think it's pretty cool that Englehart tied all of these disparate elements of the Marvel Universe. That said, pretty much all of these elements (porucpine Thing, blond pirate Dr. Strange, Comet Man and the Foursquarians, the non-Secret-War Beyonders) are things I'd like to shove in a bag, and then set that bag on fire. I would keep heiny-looking Johnny because that panel is just, well, fantastic.
If I were a Marvel editor (God equally help you) then I would have a running subplot where a whole bunch of Scourges just massacre things like the Cat People every issue, and when the superheroes find out at the end of my run, they would throw an Endor-like celebration for ridding the Marvel Universe of such terrible IP.
I think that Hickman is actually the most direct descendant of Englehart you could get in terms of Marvel Universe play. Englehart would also write textbook-like tombs about back history (although I totally disagree with this criticism regarding Hickman's work) and also tried to take pieces of the Marvel Universe and use them in a way that was inconsistent with previous portrayals, such as the Vision-1st Human Torch relationship.
Posted by: Uncanny Michael | May 28, 2014 6:55 PM
"The FF return home in Fantastic Four annual #21 and shouldn't appear anywhere else between this arc and that annual."
Posted by: Michael | May 28, 2014 8:58 PM
Michael, thanks for reminding me of the Kill Sue lettercol. I've updated the entry at the end with a little bit about that.
Posted by: fnord12 | May 28, 2014 10:07 PM
Michael Morbius should be listed as a character appearing.
Posted by: Michael | May 28, 2014 11:16 PM
That "anti-Sue" letter is pretty sickening. Especially difficult to read in light of recent events. The conjoinment of nerd culture and misogyny is quite troubling!
Posted by: Cullen | May 29, 2014 1:05 AM
Thought i had tagged Morbius but guess not. Added him. Thanks.
Posted by: fnord12 | May 29, 2014 9:08 AM
Man, now that is one heck of a run! Steve Englehart must've been trippin' fierce when he wrote these issues! Aside from the hideous Pineapple Ben, I kinda dig them. I'd like to see them in an Epic Collection trade paperback soon.
The FF really work best as scientific adventurers on a Trek-ish voyage while finding all sorts of weird worlds along the way.
And forget about "Beyonder" being the word that nobody would ever mention again: The sight of Johnny checking out Crystal's nether regions while noting how hot she looks in her FF suit is worth the price of admission right there! Oh, how the times would be changing as we entered the 90's...
Posted by: Clutch | May 29, 2014 11:14 AM
That's for sure. That outfit would be considered positively prudish in the 90's.
Posted by: clyde | May 29, 2014 2:10 PM
"Imaginauts" Ugh. "We don't think the FF are cool enough by themselves anymore, so let's spin them with a goofy sounding word we just made up!"
Posted by: Mark Drummond | May 31, 2014 5:26 PM
What's with Crystal's costume changing from the old style black on blue to the new style white on dark blue? Did I miss something?
Posted by: Jeff | June 2, 2014 11:15 AM
Crystal's "thigh-rings" aren't the only costuming that changes. Sharon is in a more traditional FF costume at the beginning of the arc, and is back in her own distinct version with the white arches on her torso in the later issues.
Posted by: Erik Robbins | June 8, 2014 12:00 PM
That "TELEPORTATION" panel might be the worst usage of sound effects in comics I've ever seen.
Posted by: MegaSpiderMan | December 13, 2014 1:34 PM
Has anyone wondered whether the Dr. DeVere in #313 is related to "deVoor" who was the enemy of Project PEGASUS in Marvel-Two-In-One and the Devore who purchased the Fantastic Four when it incorporated back in Fantastic Four #160? Englehart had obvious plans which were abandoned and still unresolved nearly 27 years later!
I'd forgotten the Nuwali contacting the Beyonders via tech identical to what Reed designed to access the Negative Zone. Odd that Reed had developed a larger device with identical design!? Was he not letting on that he had reverse engineered his from another I wonder?
And you know with the Caretakers of Arcturus revealed as Fortisquians, does this make anyone wonder if James Starling or Omega were perhaps Fortisquians? A shame Englehart's run was cut short/ hamstrung by Defalco:(
Posted by: Nathan Adler | December 13, 2014 7:41 PM
@MegaSpiderMan: If memory serves that's not actually a sound effect, it's something the Thing says. In the previous panel he says something like "That looks like a-", and in the next he goes "-warp".
Posted by: Berend | December 14, 2014 10:38 PM
"It's not said why the Thing doesn't try to go to Mr. Fantastic for help." Right, because Reed was so helpful to the Thing when he had his issues................NOT!
Posted by: clyde | June 19, 2015 2:50 PM
But it was determined that none of Reed's cures stuck because the Thing had a mental block. I mean, maybe that's true for Sharon, too, but it would be good to find out.
Posted by: fnord12 | June 19, 2015 2:54 PM
That opening panel has me wondering - do the Inhumans get old movies and sit around and watch Dracula? Or did Crystal come across it during one of her times among humans?
As for the rest of this, well, that's a hell of a lot in five issues.
Posted by: Erik Beck | August 3, 2015 12:21 PM
All I remember from these issues is the Ben-Sharon heavy petting and the Human Torch getting turned into a pig.
Posted by: Oliver_C | December 17, 2015 2:22 PM
[This is] continuity consolidation of the highest order, threading together so many different things. This story has the Savage Land and the Nuwalians, Comet Man and the Fortisiquans, Atlantis, the Deviants and the Celestials, and the Caretakers from Fear.
And that's one reason why I love Englehart so. And to think I'd spent most of the decade suffering through five hellish years of Byrne's "If I didn't write it, it doesn't exist!" Solipsistic Shit, which I hate more than any of the (myriad) political issues I have with that hack. (There's also his cherry-picking science to act faux-smrt, but I digress…)
Cute reference to "the Simek system" as a tribute to Artie/apology to the current letterer for all the exposition…was that in the same issue as the silent "Johnny pines for Crystal" page? I forget.
Posted by: Dan Spector | August 30, 2016 12:22 AM
Yes, it was the same issue.
Posted by: Michael | August 30, 2016 11:19 PM
I wonder if that line "Hey! You didn't bring a tape of Robocop with you by any chance, did you?" is a nod to Comet Man co-creator Miguel Ferrer, who appeared in that movie.
Posted by: Ben Herman | January 21, 2017 1:35 PM
So i'd love to see them exploring the weird neglected corners of the Marvel universe just as Englehart did here. Finding out about things that have already been established in the MU would have more legitimacy than newly invented stuff, and it's an opportunity to find connections, tie up loose ends, or correct continuity errors.
Fwiw I agree with you completely, and I believe the surest step forward for Marvel Comics is to bring back FF and give the book to Tomas Giorello and Nathan Adler ;-)
Posted by: George Lochinski | July 3, 2017 3:04 AM
Some nice touches with the obvious and realistic IMO sexual tension between Johnny and Crystal. Just when I was painfully getting accustomed to Johnny and Alicia in a it happened/it's done sort of way I have to be subjected to yet another of their over-the-top reunions. I'm going to expect this mawkish behavior out of them every time they spend a day or two apart from here on in my "Great FF Re-Read".
Posted by: KevinA | June 17, 2018 10:57 AM
Comments are now closed.
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