Fantastic Four annual #19
Issue(s): Fantastic Four annual #19
Actually, a good portion of this annual isn't directly related to the Avengers issue. There's a Skrull plot, but it's not related to the Skrulls the Avengers are dealing with. They fake a return of the Infant Terrible from the Lee/Kirby days.
The Skrulls must have had spies on Earth at that time, because they've really got the details of the encounter nailed, right down to the duplicating robots.
Through "memory projection", the Elan tells Mr. Fantastic a story about how Skrulls have invaded its peaceful planet. But the whole thing turns out to be a concoction to lure the FF into a trap by a Skrull Governess.
But Mr. Fantastic is too smart for the Skrulls. It's a surprise to the readers, but off panel, Reed hypnotizes the Skrull posing as the Infant into pretending to be Reed instead. It's said that the FF has learned that Skrulls are "fairly easy to hypnotize" due to the fact that Reed was once able to convince some of them that they were cows. I think that's hilarious; a great way to "explain" how Reed, with no hypnotic powers of his own, was able to do that, and also establishing a weakness for Skrulls that should be exploited more often.
Anyway, the FF manage to handle the Skrulls just fine.
Defeated, the Governess makes a vague comment about the death-knell of the universe, and the FF is off again, heading deeper into Skrull territory, towards the same satellite that the Avengers have already arrived at in their annual (in the Avengers annual we hear about it when the FF docks, and it takes place after the Avengers have arrived).
Mr. Fantastic says that the construct was originally built to beam energy to the Super-Skrull. They enter, to find Myrn...
...who is dying from the blow he took from Zabyk in the Avengers, but with enough life left in him to fill the Fantastic Four in on the plot already in progress.
Here are four scans from the duplicated scenes for your comparison.
I'm going to avoid taking a stand and say i like Sinnott and Baker's inks equally. Sinnott gives us a respectful representation of Byrne's style, which i love, but Baker gives us his own interpretation and it's definitely more stylized but i like it too.
Each annual ends with a one page epilogue after the duplicated scenes where each team flies off on their own.
Speaking of Skrulls, Johnny tells "Alicia" that unlike Dorrie Evans, Crystal, Frankie Raye, and Julie Angel, he considers Alicia "the real thing". Of course, she's really a Skrull too...
Both annuals are a lot of fun separately and a really neat idea taken together. I do feel like the FF's side of the adventure on the satellite is a bit tacked on; the Avengers arrive at the satellite a lot more naturally and not enough was done to establish that the Skrull Governess' plot was related to stopping the hyperwave (it's said that she wants to defeat the FF, which would cause all Skrulls to flock to her side, and then i guess she thought she'd be able to lead an attack on the satellite herself, but i'm partially inferring and it's a very elaborate and seemingly unnecessary scheme; if she knew about Zabyk's plot, you'd think just telling other Skrulls about it would be enough to rally them). That said, the twists of the fake Elan plot were very enjoyable, so it all balances out.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: We saw She-Hulk and Wyatt heading off for their double date with Reed and Sue in Avengers #259, and the couples are still on their date at the beginning of this issue, although it's later in the evening. Most of this issue takes place concurrently with Avengers annual #14, and probably also with Avengers #259-260. There's a reference to Fantastic Four #285, but see Michael's comment below on that and more on the entry for FF #285. The FF are shown returning home from space in FF #286, but that's definitely impossible due to Mr. Fantastic's appearance in Secret Wars II #5-6, and i agree with the MCP's decision to rule that the return depicted in #286 is from another mission.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (9): show
Johnny is interrupted this issue trying to ask Alicia something. He tries to ask her again in issue 287, and gets interrupted again. It isn't until issue 297 that the poor man finally gets to propose to Alicia.
Posted by: Michael | June 25, 2012 10:55 PM
All i have to say about that right now is "ugh!".
Posted by: fnord12 | June 26, 2012 8:39 AM
I wonder if Skrull hypnotism could've been used to explain why Lyja was able to mimic Alicia so convincingly? (Maybe it was???)
Posted by: George Lochinski | November 11, 2016 4:03 AM
But why couldn't 285 occur both before this annual and after the appropriate SW issue? Couldn't the Avengers been at war since #260 for some time (during which SW 4/5 occurs) and after ff 285 then the ff go to andromeda to help them?
Posted by: will | September 14, 2017 2:50 PM
In the ST:TNG episode Cause and Effect, in which the Enterprise is caught in a time loop, so the same scene is shown repeatedly, the showrunners made a point of filming each iteration fresh, so viewers didn't think they were watching a "clip show". It's a shame John Byrne couldn't have been equally inventive, as I personally find the repeated panels distracting.
In addition to different inkers and colorists, these two annuals also have different writers. As a result, the two stories seem to have different perspectives on cultural violence. Stern spends more time on Prince Dezan, and the final word balloon is "...he wanted peace." Byrne, in comparison, has both Mr Fantastic and She-Hulk comment on the Skrulls' "war-loving" nature, with "no room... for the warmth of compassion, for the true feelings of love, of caring." His last word balloon is "...and their menace is finally ended." (Boldings in the originals.) I wonder if the diametric perspectives were deliberate, or just a natural result of each writer's personal attitudes.
Posted by: Andrew | March 15, 2018 4:45 PM
One supposes the latter - Stern is that good, but that's how Byrne approaches his bad guys; black hearts, when they're not Dr. Doom.
Posted by: BU | March 15, 2018 8:42 PM
Comments are now closed.
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