90. The Skrull Take a Slave

Issue Ninety, September 1969

“Now, it is time for you to leave this planet… for the great games are soon about to start! And we must not keep your masters waiting!”

The Fantastic Four collect themselves after defeating the Mole Man. Taking pity on him, they free him of his bonds, enabling him to use secret mechanisms in the house to escape. At this point Ben leaves to see Alicia, and Reed sees what he can do to disable the machinery of the house and then creates a video phone to talk to his son. Ben is stalked and intercepted by a Skrull who looks like Reed and the Mole Man retracts the machine that the FF were using as a house, leaving them just enough time to escape. Ben is captured by the Skrull hunter who takes him off the planet.

As is clear from the plot summary, it’s a slow plot with an unrealistic flow. Beyond that, there isn’t much to say except point out the weak plot points. The Mole Man should have been locked up — Reed says that there’s no law against trying to take over the world, but there is against assault, of which the Mole Man is guilty of at least five counts. It doesn’t make sense for Ben to immediately cut out after the Mole Man vanishes, and it is done transparently to allow him to be captured by the Skrull. Neither does it make sense for Reed and the others to just hang around the death trap of a house when the recently at large Mole Man has shown himself to be in complete manipulation of it. If you’re not going to try to find him, at least start packing.

The only nice element here is that the new plot-line showing Ben being captured is an interesting one, and the Skrull hunter is fairly well-realized, if a bit over-explanatory. It’s been a while since we’ve seen them, and this is a new direction for one of them to take.



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