83. Shall Mankind Survive?

Fantastic Four Issue Eighty-Three 83

Issue Eighty-Three, Feb 1969

The second half of this two parter is how the first half should have been approached. The space was available to use, and the new elements introduced could have been even further developed in this second half of the tale.

Most interesting is the introduction of an entire rogue Inhuman faction which supports, and has presumably aided, Maximus’ rise to the throne. We are introduced to just a few of them by name, but they will reappear many times, and right up to the current day. This develops Maximus’ character by showing that he’s more nuanced than just a mad inventor — he’s also an adept political manipulator (no indication is given to his having hypnotized the polity), and also develops the Inhuman society by showing that they are not just a people group with an homogeneous ideology.Fantastic Four Issue Eighty-Three 83Also interesting to note: the three traditional members of the Fantastic Four are not directly involved in the resolution of this issue’s central conflict. Had Reed, Ben, and Johnny not pursued Crystal to the Inhuman’s city, then the same outcome would have been effected. The trapped Inhumans find their own way out of their glass box, and Crystal herself destroys Maximus’ hypno-gun. Fantastic Four Issue Eighty-Three 83And if she does it in a less than satisfying way (she simply points her arm and blows it up — why Maximus didn’t consider her a threat, being unhypnotised?) then the fact that it is her, the newest and youngest female member,is rather satisfying. Really, the male members of the FF serve just to round out the page count and add a bit of fighting. It would have been interesting to see what could have been possible with those characters or those pages had they been involved in a plot thread that was actually meaningful to the main plot. However, as it stands, more power is given to the actions of the characters who are not the core members of the title, and that is fun to see.

But for all that, it is a solid issue nonetheless. It’s also the first time we see a post-pregnancy Sue Richards in the core title, pondering what she shall call her yet-unnamed son.

EVALUATION: 7/10

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