The first Inhuman saga builds even further in this issue as even more plot is unraveled before us. Black Bolt’s brother, Maximus the Mad is introduced in this issue as a usurper king, who it is believed, but not proven, that he orchestrated an accident to deprive his brother of his voice, and therealso his crown. In an impulsive power play, Black Bolt takes back his crown, physically, and sensing his weak footing, Maximus allows him to do so, conceding his power and biding his time until he can claim his next victory.
Which he does at the end of the issue, flipping the switch on the Atmo-Gun, which will send vibrations up into the atmosphere that will destroy all human life on the planet. These are the events that lead directly into next month’s story… The Coming of Galactus.
And what have the Fantastic Four been doing all this time? They’ve been caught behind events, quickly playing catch-up to the chain of crises that the Inhumans have left behind them. First off, they must rescue Triton, left gasping on the ground by the events of the last issue. At the same time they have to contain the Dragon Man who has woken up mad. This handled, they depart for the Hidden Land in order to confront the Inhumans, just in time to see Maximus flip the switch of his “doomsday device”.
The romantic relationships in the FF gain some discussion in this issue. There is friction between Reed and Sue because Reed is a sexist, emotionally stunted repressive, and the only way that Sue can express her frustration with him is to restyle her hair. It’s embarrassing just to read, and I had no intention of bringing it up, but seriously.
Ben moons a little half-heartedly over his self-sabotaging relationship with Alicia, but the real action is happening between Johnny and Crystal who are madly in love, after only having seen each other a few times. It’s sweet since the only other girls he’s been after have been characterless, interchangeable high school girls (did we ever actually, see ‘Dorrie’?).
All of this aside, it’s a good issue that doesn’t disappoint from the ones previous.