149. To Love, Honor, and Destroy

Fantastic Four 149

Issue One Hundred and Forty-Nine, Aug. 1974

All men are cruel — vicious — but you, who would come between two lovers — are the cruelest man of all!

Namor begins his land invasion of New York. Medusa thinks that something is up with the situation and departs, leaving the rest of the FF to confront Namor and Sue. It is finally Ben who gets close enough to speak to Susan and appeal to her better feelings for Reed. She realizes that she is able to forgive him after all and they reconcile. Namor leaves in apparently good humor, flying back to one of his lackeys who reveals himself to be Triton, of the Inhumans. Between them they reveal that the whole invasion was a front and just a ploy to get Reed and Sue back together.

There’s a good heart to this issue, but it is unfortunately being fumbled, especially in the context of the last issue. A reconciliation between Reed and Sue is very welcome, and in this issue it is very touching, however there are missed opportunities framed in a pretty unrealistic overall plot.

Again, this issue lacks originality. We have seen Namor invading New York several times already, and there is nothing inspired here to set it apart from those other incidents. And for Reed and Sue to get together with a contrived trick makes the drama of the last year rather frivolous. And while Sue realizes that she needs to forgive Reed, she doesn’t technically do it.

At one point Namor is criticized for coming between two lovers, but really, the way he treats Sue is very condescending, even though he wants to reunite a husband and wife. But to do this he has fooled Sue into thinking that he has feelings for her. What was she doing all that time under the ocean? How has Namor persuaded her to invade the United States? Why has Sue not confronted ANY of her former teammates? Even her brother? Apart from causing the Fantasticar to crash, Sue has done nothing proactive, all she has done in the last three issues is stand behind Namor and look shocked. This has been her tendency in the early run, just to be shifted around as an object when she wasn’t just written out of the story entirely. And now that is what has happened here. In all the time since their separation, she has apparently not examined her feelings to the extent that she would consider forgiving Reed.

Fantastic Four 149Not only this, it completely undermines the other female characters in the book. Medusa, who is only seen on the first and last pages, and Thundra who has a refreshing voice and attitude, but is only relegated to fighting what turns out to be a pointless fight.

Moreover, he pushed a visibly distressed Reed past an emotional breakdown into literal physical collapse. He is not acting in a very altruistic way, for all of what he says to Triton afterwards.


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One Response to 149. To Love, Honor, and Destroy

  1. Pingback: 151. Thundra and Lightning, Part 1 | Fantastic Four 1 by 1

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