150. Ultron-7: He’ll Rule The World/The Wedding of Crystal and Quicksilver

Avengers 127
In The Avengers(1963) 127 (w:Steve Englehart, a:Sal Buscema & Joe Staton): Gorgon and Lockjaw materialize in the Avengers Mansion, telling them that he is ready to take them to The Great Refuge, where Quicksilver and Crystal’s wedding is to take place — a fact that none of the Avengers, including Quicksilver’s sister, the Scarlet Witch, were aware of. They travel to the Inhuman’s city where the Fantastic Four are already present. Meanwhile, a shadowy figure is roaming the city, attacking Maximus the Mad, and communing with the Alpha Primitives, the Inhuman slave caste. Wedding celebrations begin, but Iron Man and Medusa break away and attack the Alpha Primitives, apparently being controlled somehow. The giant statue of Omega (NB: FF issues 131 and 132) comes to life and captures the bride-to-be, Crystal before either the FF, the Avengers, or the Inhumans can go after him. They decide to check on Maximus the Mad, but find him unconscious. The Alpha Primitives then attack. Gradually, the heroes start to be defeated, then those who are unbeaten are suddenly frozen in place. The giant statue of Omega removes his face, showing it to be a mask, underneath which is the murderous robot, Ultron-7.

Fantastic Four 150 cover

Issue One Hundred and Fifty, Sept 1974

“Now that I have reawakened you all — I shall punish you for what you have done to me in the past — by dissolving your puny brains from within!

The Fantastic Four, the Avengers, and the Inhumans’ minds are being controlled by Ultron, and he toys with them, first allowing them to move, and then not. He states his plan to destroy all of their brains, and the moment he begins to do so, Franklin Richards’ mind lashes back to defend itself, overloading Ultron and defeating him. Franklin is now out of his comatose state, but he apparently has no more powers. In the second story, Crystal and Quicksilver get married, affording some members of the FF and the Avengers to take stock of their own relationships.

This issue manages to be less entertaining than the sum of its parts. Read together with Avengers 127, it’s definitely anti-climactic. Englehart managed to write a story with so many characters and events that it almost barely holds together — at times the storyline is practically abstract. However, when the story lands in Fantastic Four, it basically stalls, taking the first ten pages to essentially show one event — an unconscious Franklin defeating Ultron. This is a genuine surprise, however, and rather an exciting spin — the youngest and most physically vulnerable member of any of the heroes gathered saves everyone from certain defeat literally in his sleep. The strange revelation that this means he no longer has his powers (how would they be able to tell?) is a little bit of a comedown, but that’s only if we believe that information to be true.

The second half of the story has a little more meat to it, but not a lot. It is wonderfully illustrated, though. And even if you get the feeling that the writers were not engaged fully in the telling of the wedding (perhaps receiving an edict from on high), at least it obvious that Rich Buckler is still enjoying himself. He portrays the scene with such beauty and grace, he really does display a full range of talents in this issue.150nothing

The wedding is only seven pages long, and oddly enough, neither the bride nor the groom have any dialogue. There is a little bit of a to-do with Johnny’s feelings to Crystal, but nothing like what we’ve seen in the exceptional issue 132. There’s barely even a glimmer here of that brilliance.150amen

So although significant events have taken place, the reader is left a little less than satisfied.


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