FANTASTIC FOUR #215-216 (1980)

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IMG_0781A two-parter featuring my favorite negative zone baddie: Blastaar The Living Bomb-Burst!

Historically, the story matters because Franklin again begins to manifest his powers.  The last time they handled this issue, Reed shot him with a coma-inducing blast and Reed and Sue broke up for a while.  This time, though, the seeds will be allowed to grow and blossom and we will get a truly decompressed, complete telling of the story.  This is Marv Wolfman’s swan song.

So long, Marv.  Most of your run wasn’t great, but you ended on a very high note.  He also left the series in better shape than it was when he arrived: Franklin Richards now has a little bit more of a personality, and his powers seem both menacing and awesome.  Torch has had his heart broken and is beginning to be interested in growing up–going to school, etc.  Reed is still Reed–distracted and emotionless, but Susan isn’t as much of a lame hostage.  And her powers are becoming strongers.

I don’t know why Marv left, but I’ve read it was somewhat acrimonious.  This house ad does seem to be tip-toeing around something….

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Anyway, most of all, Marv left with a cliffhanger that would be resolved in the very next issue…

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Creators: Marv Wolfman and John Byrne

Grade: B

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