27. The Search for Sub-Mariner

Fantastic Four Issue Twenty-Seven 27

Issue Twenty-Seven

Reed and Sue’s relationship takes another step in this issue, but not that Sue would know it. It’s revealed that Reed is planning to propose to Sue, and in the course of the issue actually buys a ring, only to return and find that Sue has been captured by Namor (again) in a last-ditch 24 hour hail-mary attempt to woo her.

It doesn’t work. And Reed doesn’t propose. And although there’s not a lot of plot going on in this issue, there is some refreshing character movement. We see a very different Reed in this issue than almost any other issue. Here he’s almost beside himself with anger as he goes off to confront and battle Namor one-on-one. For perhaps the first time we see The Thing holding Reed back, and not the other way around.It’s a good and welcome reversal to see Reed Richards as the hot-headed man of action and Ben and Johnny having to be resourceful and tactful, using to Doctor Strange to find and follow Reed.

Fantastic Four Issue Twenty-Seven 27The weakest link here is Namor who is becoming something of a broken record. His quest for revenge might be more interesting if he handled it in a less bullish fashion, or with a measure of creativity. He’s gone very quickly from an ambiguous character in his FF re-debut, but now he feels very shallow, with only one string to his fiddle. It’s a sad progression, and it’s because although he is in an incredible setting with many dramatic possibilities, he only cares about Sue Storm, and he only does the same thing to try to ‘win’ her — capture her, and then beat up the boys.

The other half of the tragedy is that the only reason he’s being kept in this state is for the effect that he has on Sue. A love triangle is one of the few character cards dealt her and it’s not even being played to very good effect.


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