Monday, March 12, 2018


Sometimes, I wonder what Marvel was like in the 90's, because I'll pick up a cover like this issue's, and all I can think is "cocaine. So much cocaine." This is even the second printing! (EDIT: And I had to reload the cover, since I posted it upside down, but it was tough to see!) From 1992, Fantastic Four #371, "This Flame, This Fury" Written by Tom DeFalco, pencils by Paul Ryan, inks by Dan Bulanadi.

I've mentioned before, that I never took to DeFalco's run here, or on Thor, because he made the cardinal sin of following Walt Simonson: a tough act to follow, to be sure. He also brought a more old-school serial soap opera style, which meant a lot of plates were spinning at any given time; but it might be a while before they paid off. In fact, I'm not sure if any of these plotlines were wrapped up in the next three months! This month, Reed and Ben are searching for Alicia Masters, kidnapped by the rogue Watcher Aron. Former Ms. Marvel/She-Thing Sharon Ventura is seemingly human again, and working on getting back together with Ben; while also reporting to a Dr. Doom-shaped shadow. Sue and Reed are having a rough patch, as Sue thinks Reed isn't paying her enough attention, even with her more provocative costume. Franklin is becoming more agitated over his parents' fighting, which may be exacerbating his latent powers. And at Empire State University, Johnny plans on quitting the team, since "they just aren't keeping pace with the changing times!" Tough talk, since he's then attacked by Paibok, Devos, and his estranged Skrull wife Lyja!

The trio zaps Johnny around for a while, until on the verge of losing, he goes nova: the bad guys disappear, and Johnny is dismayed at the substantial amount of property damage he's done the university. Which I'm pretty sure would lead to Johnny being on the run for a bit; that plotline wasn't wrapped up right away either.

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

Eh, DeFalco's run was ok. Not great, but ok. Of course he stayed too long, and like you pointed out, was too old-school for the book and used the past way they were written to write them. Jury's still out on whether that Alica Skrull retcon worked. I guess not, but if you were a fan of Steve Englehart's FF run, then this was a direct slap in the face to him and his run.
Simonson and Englehart were better. Which is also a big reason why DeFalco, and other writers of that era, helped tank former chart-topping books.