Fantastic Four #37-38
Issue(s): Fantastic Four #38
The Skrulls are looking a lot less... Skrully this issue.
Here's a quick shot of the 'tribbles' that will be re-used in a death trap for the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver during the Kree-Skrull War:
Issue #37 starts with this bizarre scene where Reed walks into the room with his power amplifier gun just sort of shooting off, forcing Johnny to flame on and destroy his wedding suit. This is set up for a few issues later when the FF will lose their powers and they use this device to restore them. It's nice to see some set-up going on, but having Reed walk around the Baxter Building accidentally shooting everyone with an experimental device doesn't make him look good. And it sure doesn't look like an accident in that picture.
The beginning of #38 has Reed examining some giant pictures he took of the Skrull homeworld.
We also have a panel of the Thing clearly giving Sue a spanking. The text of the word balloon looks like a last minute change from 'spank' to 'catch', but the art shows her bent over his knee with his hand about to smack her ass.
Meanwhile, the Frightful Four have regrouped.
Paste Pot Pete thinks he can just change his name to the "Trapster" but we'll have none of that on this site.
This is the second time Pete has tried to address the lack of respect he gets: in Strange Tales #124 he stopped dressing like a complete goofball but that didn't help either. On the other hand he seems to be dating Medusa (she calls him 'my handsome one')...
...so good deal for him.
In a nod to his new name, he seems to be using non-paste based gadgets as well.
The Frightful Four kidnap the Invisible Girl and use her to lure the rest of the Fantastic Four to an island where they've set up a Q-Bomb.
Amazingly, the Frightful Four actually win this fight. They win. They beat the Fantastic Four and the Q-Bomb goes off and the FF lose their powers and nearly die, and next issue the bad guys don't get the standard reversal of fortune. They just... win. Considering the Wizard doesn't care about loot or power or anything, he just likes humbling the FF, this is a huge win for him. Interesting.
The art is definitely getting better on this series.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: The Human Torch mentions the trip to the Skrull Homeworld in Strange Tales #132. Beginning with issue #38, there is a run of continuous stories in FF that ends with FF #43. That requires Strange Tales #132-134 and the Human Torch's appearance in X-Men #13, to take place after this issue but before FF #38. Unfortunately i have these two issues in a single reprint, so for now i'm placing those issues after this entry until it bothers me enough to cut up this issue. Journey Into Mystery #116 takes place after the Frightful Four have defeated the FF in issue #38.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel's Greatest Comics #30
Inbound References (9): show
"Monsters To Laugh With" was a b&w fumetti magazine where Stan would put funny captions on monster movie stills. I don't think it got published under the Marvel masthead.
The "tribbles" later got renamed "Druffs".
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 2, 2011 4:16 PM
The Thing previously mentioned spanking Marvel Girl in the 1964 issue with the X-Men, and of course he spanked Moondragon in Marvel Two-In-One...maybe since he couldn't have regular sex at all, this was the best he could do?
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 19, 2012 9:18 PM
All Frightful Four fans should love this issue, as they reach the pinnacle of their success here. Though they go on to temporarily defeat the FF in later issues, this time their victory comes very close to finishing the FF off permanently!
Posted by: Frightful Four fan | November 19, 2015 1:20 AM
#37 features another of Kirby's space photo backgrounds but with a note from Stan pretty much apologizing for the fuzzy picture quality. While I know many don't like these little notes and feel like they were 'shots' from Stan directed at Jack, I think in this case it was justified. I may have mentioned it on here before but I don't care much for Kirby's choices to use the photo backgrounds. Putting aside the debate about the artistic merits of it (whether it's creative experimentation or just laziness), the technology wasn't there yet for it to be effective. So you get fuzzy black & white photos that look unattractive and out of place in a color comic.
Posted by: Robert | February 14, 2016 3:54 PM
As far as been being unable to have sex, he did tumble Sharon Ventura on a couch in the Baxter Building when Englehart was writing the series.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | October 31, 2016 10:24 PM
So, were they on a time crunch to get the book colored or did they just have a lot of excess purple onhand?
Posted by: Dan H. | May 21, 2017 4:22 PM
They're all coloured purple on the cover of #36 too. My guess is the idea was they should have a team colour, like the FF.
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | May 21, 2017 7:02 PM
With that purple coloring, it's almost as if Kirby's lampooning his earlier DC Challengers of the Unknown.
Posted by: squirrel_defeater | January 16, 2018 12:35 AM
I like how Sue makes her butt invisible as if the Thing won't know where to spank her.
Posted by: kveto | May 27, 2018 2:11 PM
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