Marvel Fanfare #46
Issue(s): Marvel Fanfare #46
And later, after the Mad Thinker attacks, Johnny and Sue are able to escape by hiding in Sue's bedroom (if you want some incestuous subtext seeing Johnny and Sue falling into bed together, there it is).
(You also have to love that second panel. Mike Barr: Uh, what the hell am i supposed to do with this? I guess i'll have them say they need to catch their breath?)
The Thinker initially arrives in a new Awesome Android, which he claims to have gotten his consciousness stuck in, and he begs Reed for help.
Reed agrees but instead the Thinker gets inside the FF's security system, allowing him to attack them with their own building.
The Thing has some doubts about Reed's leadership during the battle, and Reed offers to resign and let the Thing lead the group if his own gambit fails.
But Reed does manage to save the day by threatening to trap the Thinker permanently in the FF's computers and then blow up the generator. However, Reed doesn't think they have any legal basis to prosecute the Thinker for this invasion.
The issue ends with Reed saying that the events here confirm that the team is still effective as a unit.
Considering this was published in 1989 and seems deliberately designed to take place soon after the FF moved into their new building and after Johnny's wedding in issue #300...
...it's really weird that the script wasn't adjusted at all. Mr. Fantastic's offer to resign, under a completely different context than what he actually resigned for, is a strange note in the context. And so is the "best super team in the world" thing; Mike Barr or at least editor Al Milgrom had to know that Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman were about to leave the team at this point.
Louis Williams' art is highly stylized and typically not very good, although he does well with the Thing.
I did appreciate Barr scripting this sequence, which was obviously drawn as an "Oh Reed! Save me!" scene, to make it a little better, although it's still kind of weird.
Mr. Fantastic has apparently been building Spaceknights as part of his security system.
The back-up story, narrated by the Thing in the present, tells us that Ben Grimm used to have a scientist girlfriend named Linda McGill. They once went to a state fair where Grimm declared how terrible it might be to be a freak, but Linda said that it's what's on the inside that matters.
After the Grimm's transformation into the Thing, Linda initially ran away from him...
...but she later composed herself and went after him. However, he let her believe that he turned into a violent monster so that she wouldn't stay with him out of pity.
I don't really like Tod Smith's art either, and we really didn't need anything more added to the Thing's backstory (we already have Alynn Chambers from Thing #2), but at least Fanfare is being used to spotlight unusual artists with this issue.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: The FF describe their headquarters as "new" and Johnny is married to Alicia, placing this after Fantastic Four #300 (there's actually a specific reference to that issue). Mr. Fantastic is still the leader of the team, but Johnny is obviously not on his honeymoon. That presents a challenge, since the Thing accepts the leadership position in FF #304, which is the same issue that Johnny returns. I've decided to place this directly after #300, with Johnny and Alicia perhaps not leaving for their honeymoon right away (which isn't that unusual). This does mean that the Mad Thinker's appearance here takes place between FF #300-301, but i don't see a major problem with that either, and his defeat here might be a further reason for his break-up with the Wizard in #301. The Awesome Android that appears here is a new one and (i believe) this is its only appearance, so i'm not tracking it and it's not relevant to the chronology of the real/first Awesome Android that will soon be appearing in Avengers based on my placement. The back-up story has the Thing narrating (about the period prior to and concurrent with Fantastic Four #1) from an unknown point, so i'm placing it along with the main story.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
As usual, continuity implants create more problems. It's clear the real Awesome android hasn't left the barn in the midwest between the cap story and the "Heavy Metal" story. We really don't need a second awesome android.
Posted by: kveto from prague | May 20, 2014 3:41 PM
We may not need one, but I think we do have one. Haven't we seen at least one addition Awesome Android created to replace the original who evolved into Awesome Andy in SHE-HULK?
Posted by: Dermie | May 20, 2014 6:04 PM
Yeah, I agree about LW's art. I'm not a fan but I think his..er, Thing looks good. Ha ha
Posted by: JSfan | May 21, 2014 3:15 AM
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