38. Defeated by the Frightful Four

Fantastic Four Issue Thirty-Eight 38

Issue Thirty-Eight

This story is a poor effort with few redeeming qualities. What is inexcusable in that it falls into what has become the standard Fantastic Four formula, which is that Sue gets captured and the boys come after her.

What makes it even worse in this case is that it’s done without motivation or purpose. At least when Namor treated her like an object, it was for something approaching a reason. Here it’s just to lure the rest of the FF into a trap to destroy them. There must be a hundred other ways to lure the FF into a trap rather than to demean the only female member of the group in the same way she’d been demeaned so many more times before.

Fantastic Four Issue Thirty-Eight 38The reason for all this could be just that the format is really starting to wear on ol’ Stan and Jack. As seen before, with the Gideon and the Stranger stories, those creative frustrations can pay off when it makes the creative team work harder. With the Attuma story it can force a new story into an old environment, and with the Diablo story it can put a rather straightforward story in a new environment. Heck, in issue 31 we saw the same story with the same villain, but just told in a new and interesting way.

Fantastic Four Issue Thirty-Eight 38But that’s not what we have here. What we have is the same villains we saw two issues ago in the same story that we must have seen six or seven times before. It would only be a blip on the trajectory, but it really suffers in the context of the previous failed story. The only good thing to say about it is that it actually has a halfway compelling cliffhanger.

EVALUATION: 4/10

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One Response to 38. Defeated by the Frightful Four

  1. FF addict says:

    I cannot tell you how much I enjoy your reviews and hope that you continue them at least up to issue #200, if not even further. I have been a big Fantastic Four fan since 1964, so your reviews bring back many memories from my childhood. I especially love your description of the trials of poor Susan Storm, the Invisible Girl. She did have to endure a lot back in the Silver Age, but also had it tough at times during the Bronze Age, like in issues #106, #109, #110, #116, #124, #125, #134 and #182, to name just a few. I am a huge Frightful Four fan, so FF #38 is my favorite issue, due to their defeat of the FF.

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