Friday, February 26, 2010

Fantastic Four #282

Fantastic Four #282-"Inwards to Infinity!"
Cover Date: Sept. 1985 Price $.65 (Reaganomics are kicking in!)
Cover Tagline: "Inwards to Infinity!"
Writer/ Artist: John Byrne

We begin the issue with a splash page of Franklin running through a pile of rubble and yelling for his daddy. There's also a quote from Moby Dick included, but I didn't read it, because I hate when media uses literary quotes to try and "class up" whatever form of junk entertainment they're really presenting (see the TV show "Criminal Minds" for a weekly example). As Franklin runs through the rubble of what appears to be New York City, a bunch of planets appear in the sky and then some spaceships blow each other up. A giant Lizard/alien/dinosaur (Lizaliosaur- I made that up) thing appears and scares the youngest Richards.

The Lizaliosaur follows Frankie for a few more pages, and his cries for help go seemingly unaided. As Lizaliosaur closes in, some beams off energy hit its (gender neutral because it reproduces Asexually- copyright Kello) face, and steam envelopes it and Franklin is whisked away to safety by what appears to be a piece of rainbow. Franklin lands in a forest, and meets an ailing creature that can only be described as a mix of DC's Firestorm and a My Little Pony (a 15/85 ratio, respectively). This all sounds really masculine, doesn't it?

Franklin asks Ponystorm if it's okay, and it can't speak. All of a sudden, Franklin sees some shadowy figures standing on a ledge above them, and it turns out that it's Marvel's wascaly band of pint sized heroes known as the Power Pack. The Power Pack, for those of you who don't know, are a group of kids who decided to wear matching jammies and form a superteam. Franklin tells the PP that he's in trouble, and their leader tells them to grab his hand. But just as Franklin reaches out, the scene fades out in a blur of white.

We turn the page and find out it was all an elaborate dream. Frankie gets up to tell his parents, Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman, about the craziness. At this point the FF's headquarters were being repaired after getting blown up by Doctor Doom, so they were staying with the Avengers. Aww, "like a good neighbor", the Avengers are there. Franklin rides the elevator down to the lab, where he sees his dad feverishly working with the She-Hulk (those two spent a lot of time together in the lab. I wonder...NO! Put the thought of your head, Kello...). He's rebuilding something called a Reducto-Craft, which will allow the FF to chase down the Psycho Man.

Reed, She-hulk, and Johnny Storm discuss whether they should be chasing after the Psycho at all, given that the Beyonder has come to Earth. Did I mention this issue is a tie-in to Secret Wars II, the most unnecessary sequel since Speed 2? Sue Richards interjects that the FF better be going after the Psycho Man, because he has committed such heinous crimes against her. In an issue I didn't read, the Psycho Man went in and violated Sue's soul somehow, and she wants revenge.

Franklin busts in to tell his dad about the nightmare, and Sue yells at him to go back to bed. Obviously, she's acting in a manner which some people from the 1950's would call "hysterical." Reed defends Franklin, but then sends him with the Avenger's butler Jarvis to appease his angry wife (he really is smart, isn't he?). Even Johnny thinks Sue is acting weird, and he's as daft as they come...

Anyway, the Reducto-Craft is finally ready, and Reed tells Sue that following the Psycho Man will take top priority over the Beyonder, because other heroes like Alpha Flight are on the case. The team gets in the Reducto-Craft, which looks like a Landspeeder from Star Wars with a transparent bubble top. The FF get set, and the craft begins to stop Micro-verse! Reed begins to navigate through the sub-atomic particles, but the craft is inexplicably out of control, as if it's being pulled by some force. He lands the craft, the team gets out, and Johnny notices that the Microverse looks different from the last time they were all there. He flames on, and goes to investigate, and is captured by a giant pair of tongs. It turns out that the Psycho Man set up a trap for the team, and he captures them all and puts them in test tubes. The team thought he wouldn't be able to change shapes in the Microverse, but they were wrong....perhaps dead wrong.

Well, the series goes on for about 25 more years and 300 issues, so "dead wrong" is probably a little overdramatic.

What I thought- To be honest, I really liked this issue when I first read it. but upon further review, I realized that way too many pages are devoted to Franklin's nightmare. Seriously, there are 9 pages of him having this surreal dream, and then there is absolutely no resolution to it save for his mom yelling at him. Obviously, there is a lot of foreshadowing, and it's meant to set up a future storyline involving the Power Pack, but Byrne could have done in 5 pages or less.

As far as Sue's issues with the Psycho Man, it sounds like whatever went down was pretty intense. The best way I can describe what she describes is "soul rape." But Sue acting all vengeful and out of character is classic FF. I mean think about it, that's where we get like half the stories from, right? It's like "hey what's wrong with Johnny? He's acting like he's possessed by El Diablo", or "Reed's acting as weird as Doom...wait a minute, he IS Doom!" As I make my way through "the box", I'm trying to pick up on these trends in storylines. In the hands of less capable writers, they're quite obvious and forced. With Byrne it's at least passably entertaining.

Until Marvel apologizes for Secret Wars II, vive le fantastique!


  1. First off, 25 coolness points to you for working "Daft" into this review! Funny stuff as usual Kello. I'm honestly beginning to think that you should be writing for these funny books yourself. Ugh, why did you have to remind me that Power Pack ever existed... Even as a kid I thought they were the epitome of lame! You know, I've read this issue and the ones that follow it, and I honestly can't remember why Sue was acting the way she was... She's flipped out so many different times throughout the FF series, it's hard to keep straight who's responsible for her various crazy acts.

    Oh, and before I go, I have to say that some of the comments over at the HK blog have gotten... interesting I guess. After checking out the most recent couple of comments, I had to laugh...

  2. Well 25 points to you for the word "epitome", x-man. I guess the score is tied in our game of thesaurus warfare.

    I'm guessing Sue is acting crazy due to the Beyonder or the Psycho Man, given that they both seem to be looming in the background of this issue.

    I am so glad you mentioned those comments. I talked to the Reel Deal on the phone about that for about an hour yesterday. No joke. I had been calling him all week wanting to talk to him about the current trend of odd comments, and when he finally called me back, it was the first thing he mentioned! We were laughing so hard.

    The whole situation has been quite an ordeal, as I've tried to sleuth my way to the mystery identity of our mutual friend Iron Man. The results have been quite unexpected. Iron Man is listed as a member of a blog that originated from "stella niagara education park." Type that term into google and let the results speak for themselves....

  3. Thesaurus warfare, the newest game to sweep the blogging community! I guess...

    As for poor crazy Sue, it could be the Psycho Man, Malice, Doom, the Puppet Master or some other FF baddie. I'm sure there's a good joke to be made about Sue's constantly questionable mental state.

    Ha, even without me mentioning a name, you knew EXACTLY who I was talking about, Kello! I'm telling you, sometimes I'd check the comments over at your blog, and I'd wind up being quite perplexed/bemused by what I was reading. Oh, and I have to say, after googling the info you were able to discover about your buddy, my suspicions about his age were confirmed. You've sure made some intersting friends over at Kellotube!

  4. All I can say is that when I was younger and I liked comics, I always wanted someone else to talk to about them.

    But, in the interest of not appearing to be a creep, I'm going to limit who I subscribe to.

  5. By the way..."bemused." I bow to the master.

  6. "But, in the interest of not appearing to be a creep, I'm going to limit who I subscribe to." Ha!!! That line had me laughing out loud, Kello... I can't say I blame you, I can see IM's parents wondering exactly who this weird Kello guy is, and why he's corresponding with their son!

    I always knew reading the Thesaurus as a kid would serve me well as an adult!

  7. the lizard looking things in Franklin's dream were called "Snarks" if i remember correctly. and the funky white horse that couldn't talk was named "Koffi" that's just off the top of my head. But seriously, you gotta remember that a lot of what was happening during the whole secret wars cross overs was due to influence from Jim Shooter. what gets seen on the page is Byrne doing his best to write and draw a good story while dealing with demands from on high about what he will and will not use in the book. the 9 page Power Pack dream was a good example. What happens in FF285 is another good example.

  8. Supkem-

    Thanks for the info on those characters. I guess someone around here has to take this stuff seriously, and it's not going to be me.

    I totally agree that Byrne does deserve a lot of credit, because he was crafting a pretty epic set of storylines for the time that these comics came out. I look at a Book like "Batman and the Outsiders" from around the same period, and FF was just light years ahead.

    Also, thanks for reading the blog, and most of all thank you for serving our country!

  9. fantastic four jacket
    Keep up the good work.Thumbs up to you chris you have done tremendous work in f4