77. Shall Earth Endure?

Fantastic Four Issue Seventy-Seven 77

Issue Seventy-Seven

The storylines from the previous three issue are all continued here, but instead of them all connecting and resolving together — as would be expected since that is the usual convention in any multi-thread story — they are each resolved separately. It’s not a bad way to go, and at this point, closure for these stories is what we’re crying out for. One the one hand, it’s a shame that all these different aspects we’ve been shown have been leading up to a single point, on the other hand, the stories are so disparate that any comprehensive resolution would have been to contrived to pallet or too long to invest in.

And good lord, how long are we going to tolerate this treatment of Susan Richards? She is now completely bed-ridden, able to do no more than swoon. It would have made sense to give her some sort of mysterious illness or mundane complication to warrant her complete debilitation after what can only be a couple of months worth of pregnancy. It’s as if not only had Stan or Jack not witnessed a pregnancy before, but they had only heard strange, disturbing, second-hand tales told to them by dark travellers from distant lands. The effects of Sue’s pregnancy to her own body and mind are as otherworldly — not to say less believable — as a journey into a mysterious pocket dimension.Fantastic Four Issue Seventy-Seven 77

Speaking of which, Reed and the boys are still wandering around sub-atomica. The Silver Surfer, the person they went there to find, has flown off without them. Swept away from their reducta-craft by the Psycho-Man, who wants to harvest their minds for information that will help him invade earth, they fight increasingly more powerful incarnations of their foe. These fights are not so interesting, unfortunately. The banter between the three boys is pretty canned and the Psycho-Man is so detached from the actual conflict through the use of his robot proxies (although we are told the last one is really him) that there’s nothing really of note here. The FF convince Psycho-Man to let them go back home because they’re the only ones how can fight Galactus, who is a threat to both universes. This is a lie, however, since the problem is already resolved by the time that they get there.

Fantastic Four Issue Seventy-Seven 77

The Silver Surfer sails off into his solo series.

The last word of this issue goes to the Silver Surfer, however. Partly, it’s that he resolves Galactus’ hunger plight so maddeningly easily (he watched a comet hit a planet! He found enough energy practically in the first place he looked! What use are Galactus’ machines and powers if he can’t even smash a planet with a big rock when he needs to? *Head slap*). But also, this issue sends him off into his own spin-off series, part of Marvel’s first great expansion. All that this storyline really served to do was to polish him up in order to give him a good send out into his solo-series, it seems. Which would have been fine if it was a story worth the Fantastic Four being involved in, but their instrumentation in affairs was negligible.

Kirby’s art is the only thing that pulls this one out of the doldrums.

EVALUATION: 4/10

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