Thursday, April 06, 2017

So, the other day there was some internet scuffling over some comments made by some at Marvel that diversity had hurt sales. (To that effect, or the remarks were interpreted as such.) Which may not be strictly true: if a title like Red Wolf was a non-starter; well, so were Black Knight, Drax, and a bunch of others. And I actually read Drax: it wasn't bad. Maybe not four bucks an issue good, but not bad. Some like Tegan over at the Hurting think the perpetual crossover mill of Civil War II and X-Men vs. Inhumans are what killed sales; along with eroding sales of the Avengers and X-titles; but I think Marvel did something it did before in the 90's: flooded the market with so many titles, none of them could cut through the noise. But then, I'm just as eager to blame the Inhumans as anyone. I wish John Byrne had saved us from them when he had the chance, back in 1982's Fantastic Four #248, "Nightmare!" Story and art by John Byrne.(Good luck finding it in the GCD by title...)

I kid the Inhumans, a little; but I remember reading Fantastic Four #240 as a kid, and that was the issue where Black Bolt and the Inhumans moved their entire city, Attilan, from the Himalayas to the Blue Area of the Moon. The Majesty of Moving, in the Mighty Marvel Manner! It might've been the first comic I ever read without a villain getting punched in the face. This issue, while Triton explores the watery caverns deep within the moon, and finds a mysterious crystal; it's a celebration in Attilan. The FF had come, their first visit to the Inhumans' new home, for the naming ceremony of Crystal and Quicksilver's daughter, Luna. This would mercifully be interrupted by the moon getting yanked out of orbit, in fact, out of the solar system!

While Ben drops a Space: 1999 reference, Reed is already furrow-browed over the science of this. When a colossal spaceship then takes the moon, that's even harder for him to process: the ship would've taken "all the raw materials of a dozen stellar systems." Johnny recons, and finds the moon is starting to crumble like sand in the gravity of the ship, while Black Bolt leads the rest of the FF to a mothballed Kree spaceship, which they take to explore the mammoth vessel. Reed's initial analysis is that it must be an automated ship, since the surfaces were too smooth: giants would presumably require giant-sized buttons and knobs and such. Or maybe touchscreens, Reed.

The giant alien, estimated at five thousand miles tall, incidentally destroys Attilan in his examination of the moon. As the Torch arrives, the scientific inaccuracy continues to eat at Reed: not only could the Torch have never flown a hundred thousand miles himself, but the alien should be too heavy for his legs to support him, according to the square/cube law. The surviving Inhumans attack the giant in Kree ships, which Reed notes they shouldn't be able to see at this distance; and Black Bolt calls them off, even though his voice should've caused mass destruction. The alien gasses his tiny pests, and the Torch attacks but is quickly swatted to his death. As the Thing is dropped to a five-thousand-mile fall, the gas eats through the Invisible Woman's force field--and her, dissolving her before her husband's eyes! That last one may be scientifically accurate, but still gets a mighty "NO!" from Reed; momentarily breaking the effect and giving Triton the opportunity to smash the crystal that caused all their nightmares.

If the nightmare had been more accurate, it may have been more convincing for Reed. Now I'm wondering if most regular comics are accurate enough for him to believe it. This would've been Byrne's second visit to the Inhumans within a year, offhand I'm not sure he went back again.


Dale Bagwell said...

Hmmm, doesn't sound too unlike a story Lee and Kirby might've come up with themselves. Not bad, but then there's very, very little if it all, that's bad about Byrne's FF run.

SallyP said...

This whole scheme to convince us that the Inhumans are the next popular thing is just so... so tedious.

CalvinPitt said...

Good point about Marvel flooding the market. I think they need to cut back the number of books they release significantly, although if they do it'll probably be all the comics I like that get axed.