FANTASTIC FOUR #305-312: Does Anybody Remember the First Miss Thing?

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Yeah, I’m zipping through these to get to the punchline.  There’s some awful Saudi villain named Fasaud, who literally looks like a paper doll, but that really isn’t what these issues are about.

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IMG_1218Steve Englehart was always nothing if not experimental, and here he brings in Sharon Ventura, who took up the Ms. Marvel mantle during Mike Carlin and Ron Wilson’s run on The Thing’s solo book.  She was a professional wrestler (remember, this came out in 1987) who got her powers to improve her athletic performance.  Yeah, like Lance Armstrong.  She was overall kinda dumb, but Steve figured out a way to make her worthwhile.

Thing brings her to the group he’s now in charge of, after Sue and Reed took Franklin away (lookin’ dapper!).

Now, you’d think he’d have learned already from watching Johnny Storm that dating on the superteam is generally a bad idea.  I mean, Human Torch already took and married the love of Thing’s life.

Even Reed and Sue nearly got divorced over team stuff.  But Ben isn’t the type to learn vicariously.

But, speaking of Torch, Crystal is back and helping out the group and Alicia is getting worried.

Somehow, she can hear through a closed window and a rain storm, but you can’t beat John Buscema’s atmospheric panel, can you?

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Anyway, there’s a big adventure in space and there’s cosmic rays and Thing and Sharon mutate into new Things.

She doesn’t react well at first, but by the end of these issues….

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And now we’re ready for a new team and new adventures.

I have to say, the tone of the book is changed completely by Englehart: It’s no longer a science fiction book about a team trying to make discoveries and advance knowledge.  Now, they’re just another supergroup.  But they’re weird, at least.  Even weirder than The Defenders.

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