“There’s too much at stake to be hampered by you three as I usually am — this time Mr Fantastic fights alone!“
The Watcher relates to the Fantastic Four the origin of the Over-Mind which involves the history of the Eternals and the planet Gigantus. He departs, warning them once more about the Over-Mind, who they can’t remember fighting. The Fantastic Four start to think about how they can find out where he is and Reed decides that he doesn’t need the rest of the FF to fight him. Starting to behave more erratically, they deduce that Reed has been possessed by the Over-Mind, which he has. They chase him and he escapes.
This issue falls into two parts. One of them is the dramatic tale of the Eternals and their aggressive fights with the worlds near them. It’s fairly well done, nonetheless being an audacious rip-off of Jack Kirby’s Fourth World epic which was running at this time. Buscema begins aping Kirby’s style initially, but then relaxes into his own. There is not a lot of pathos in the tale, however, and as it stands it’s just a long footnote.
The second part of the issue suffers from very slight characterization and not much development. The one interesting and original moment is when the Fantastic Four is standing around and trying very hard to remember what happened during the fight with the Over-Mind that they can’t remember. It would have been fun to see this moment developed, and maybe make it the central problem of the issue, but it passes very quickly.
The fight with Reed does have some fun moments — Ben Grimm gamely plowing through the intricate and tangled path that the possessed Reed takes — but it also has moments of silliness which defuse this tension, such as when the same ‘evil Reed’ incapacitates The Thing by tickling him in his ticklish spot (that only Reed knows how to find. Hmmmm…).
Having Reed running amok is a fairly good cliffhanger. We haven’t seen that before and it’s genuinely suspenseful.