Today, we check out Thunderbolts #132, Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #3, Agents of Atlas #5, Punisher #5, Skrull Kill Krew #2, and Blast to the Past with Fantastic Four #9. Enjoy and spread the word!
As always, you can easily check up on past articles of Super Reads. If you're reading this on The Outhouse, you'll see a link titled "Super Reads" under the "Features" button on the top of the page. Click on it and you can check out what happened in every issue dealing with Secret Invasion, Dark Reign, and War of Kings (because I obviously have an addiction). If my directions are confusing, click here to catch up or remember back on all 51 previous articles. It's perfect for all your reading needs.
Let's dive right into the deep end.
Writer: Andy Diggle
Artist: Roberto De La Torre
The Thunderbolts is Norman Osborn's black ops team and trust is not high on their list of things to be doing on any given day. For example, this day starts out with the T-Bolts' leader, Black Widow II, watching a live feed of her fellow teammates, Ant-Man, Paladin, and Headsman eating in the dining hall. Maybe they'll say something incriminating...
...but if they are it won't be Ant-Man saying it. He's more interested in watching Black Widow eat and is disappointed he won't be able to do that today. Conversation quickly turns to the one member of their little team with the most paranoia of all: Ghost. He's not in the dining hall eating because he just doesn't trust anyone. He has his food delivered to his room. It's military issue MRE's only on his menu. To up that paranoia level, Ghost has sealed his room shut so that only he can enter and even then he has to use his suit to phase through the wall. He never takes off that suit not even to shower and possibly not to eat.
The question comes up about why the hell Ghost is even on the team. The guy isn't here for the money. In Iron Man's book, the villain was shown to hate corporations and all they stand for. Sure, he'll take money to take down a company but he'll more than likely be going after the guy paying him next. What's he doing on the Thunderbolts? Why is Norman allowing him to stay? Lots of questions, but do we get any answers?
Headsman's looking for a few of those so he decides to run down to Ghost's room to try his hand at getting some. He even brings some food which Ghost refuses to eat. He only eats food he's made himself. Probably why he likes those MRE's. Anyway, Headsman brings up that Ghost saved his life during the whole Magnum Opus battle with Deadpool and remembers that Ghost told him that it was the second time Ghost saved his life. He's wondering when the first time was. Ghost draws him inside the sealed off room to give him the inside skinny on the first time Ghost saved Headsman's life.
Spider-philes will recognize Headsman from his appearances in Untold Tales of Spider-Man. Headsman tested out a prototype of the Goblin Glider and did other dirty deeds (done dirt cheap, as I hear it) for the Oz-man. Osborn capitalized on Headsman's knowledge of the Glider when he needed someone to fill the role of Green Goblin in President Barack Obama's presence a while back and Headsman suddenly found himself gainfully employed once again.
During the battle aboard Air Force One, Headsman, dressed up as Green Goblin, was thrown from the jet and to his apparent death... except he had a gravity grip that slowed his descent and allowed him to be picked up. The thing of it is that the gravity grip was faulty. Ghost did his triple check (just slightly more paranoid than a double check) prior to mission go and found that the gravity grip didn't work. He fixed it and, thus, saved Headsman's life. Now, the question that gets asks is this: was the gravity grip faulty on purpose or was this just some innocent malfunction? If Green Goblin had just died then and there would Osborn have been better off? With Headsman dead, even? Things to ponder and you know Headsman's going to do just that.
Black Widow is still doing her spy thing but is finding that Headsman disappeared into Ghost's room and never reappeared inside. Ghost slips into Yelena's surveillance room to inform the Black Widow that the reason for this is that the feed from his room has been looped to keep his actions private. Headsman is still inside but all she's ever going to see is a looped feed of the Ghost in his room. Ghost leaves her with a warning to stay out of his business.
OK, that's enough of that. Let's get on with the mission of the issue! The T-Bolts' jet thunders to it's destination as Black Widow gives her team the details of the mission.
Their target is Mister X. He's a prize fighter in Madripoor's no holds barred battle royals and is nigh on unbeatable. He's got some low-level psychic abilities that allow him to be one step ahead of his opponents. He's gone up against Wolverine and won. That's a pretty hefty feat for someone in the Marvel Universe. Anyway, he's bad news and incredibly wanted. He gets off on killing people. The T-Bolts have only one chance to get Mister X and it involves wearing tights.
In Madripoor, Mister X is attending the ballet with Madripoor's undisputed leader, Tyger Tiger. He tells Lady Tiger that there's an assassination attempt that'll be made at the festivities and is kind of looking forward to it. Tiger can't believe that to be true. The ballet house is shielded against teleporting in weapons and everyone is screened before entering. X is quick to point out that he got in and he is a living weapon. It should be an interesting evening.
The ballet gets underway. As the evening drags on, Mister X points out that, while the prima ballerina is brilliant, the male lead isn't very good at all. That's interesting, right? X prepares for the fight.
Because, by this point, it's pretty obvious that the ballerina is Black Widow. The male lead is Paladin. They're setting things up for that fight Mister X is preparing for. Above center stage, Ant-Man has set up a teleporter. Headsman's ready with the weapons they'll need. Yelena leaps into the air as four pistols teleport into place. She grabs two of them and commences firing, taking out two of the guards. The remaining guards move to secure Lady Tiger as Paladin grabs the other two pistols and blasts away himself. As Tyger Tiger is led away, Mister X lets us in on the fact that the T-Bolt's weapons are only stun guns. That must be how they got into the facility.
By this point, Mister X is ripping off his shirt so that he can get in on this action. While Paladin and Black Widow read X his rights (which basically comes down to him having the right to die), X goes to work on the two. The two hold their own for a whole page before Mister X has them both dead to rights. Everyone has flad the theater so Mister X can stop roughing up his rescuers. Rescuers? What could a prize winning bloodsport champ need rescuing from?
Looks like his life. Ghost ports in a body double of Mister X which they quickly set on fire with the rest of the ballet house and make their escape. Mister X is now officially dead. He can do whatever he wants and what he wants is to join the Thunderbolts.
X claims he's looking for his next challenge in life. If he can't find it, he'll just kill the Thunderbolts.
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #3
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Penciler: Sean Chen
It's the high seas... er... air. Airs? There's airships and they're fighting in the sky. One's manned by Skrulls while the other one is captained by a version of Johnny Storm. There are now two Things running around. One of them is a pirate and the other's the chamberlain from the last timeline we watched before Reed changed the channel. Things are getting confusing, aren't they?
One of the pirates, Susan Storm, is a secret agent working for this world's version of the Illuminati while playing serving wench to Johnny Storm. She reports in to tell the group that the Skrulls are being beat back and everything's going swimmingly. She's only lost one tooth to scurvy and everything. It's awesome and... y'know, it really doesn't matter. Let's move on.
Reed is still searching other timelines to figure out what he needs to do in order to fix everything. In one world, he lets villains onto the Illuminati to solidify it's strength. You see Magneto and Dr. Doom alongside everyone else. That apparently made things better. In another timeline, Reed unleashes the Phoenix on the Skrull homeworld and then kills her to stop the Shi'ar from messing with earth. It's a little messed up and Reed isn't really thinking of these as proper solutions. To solidify that, he views a timeline where Reed simply kills every other member of the Illuminati at their formation. These aren't options that our Reed would ever take. Not even Superhuman Registration Act Justifying Civil War era Reed Richards would do this kind of crap.
While Reed's playing with the timeline remote control, his teammates continue to fight in a Final Fantasy world against the Skrull Invasion. After Johnny's crew has defeated the final Skrull, they all settle into a celebratory mood only to watch as an armada of Skrull airships heads their way. This war hasn't stopped at all.
In the real world, Franklin and Valeria Richards are having a cookout on the highest floor they could get to without interfering with the energy field that Reed has running. They've found some beans and franks and Valeria's cooking them up. Val is worried about the fact that the next day will see Norman Osborn coming to the Baxter Building to decide on whether the FF gets to continue being the FF. What if their parents aren't back by the time Osborn visits? Franklin isn't concerned. He's still dressed up in his cowboy suit and is convinced that nothing is going to stop his parents from being the best super heroes out there.
Timelines have shifted yet again for the FF. Pirate Johnny and Chamberlain Ben find themselves hanging out in the wild west with cowboy versions of themselves. At least they found themselves more beer to drink. Pirate Johnny does his best pirate impression making sure to mention how much he likes wenching only to have Cowboy Johnny tell him to behave. They don't talk about womenfolk like that around here. All on account of Black Susan. She's cleaned up the town and made everything good for the folks around these parts. Today, she's being challenged by the Man in White. He's the Beyonder and that means he has to die. Hopefully at high noon. We'll see.
Reed's checking in on yet another timeline to find a world where the Beyonder destroyed everything and restarted the world with one man and woman because everything has to revert to Genesis eventually I guess. It's a good thing that another Beyonder is facing off against Black Susan in another timeline.
I never get tired of hating Secret Wars II. It's a gift.
In another timeline, Reed finds a world where the Skrulls win. Total surrender is also a sort of peace. What Reed is figuring out is that the Illuminati isn't the way to save the world. There's nothing inherent in the Illuminati that leads to a better world and their being created the situations that led to the Secret Invasion. He hasn't figured out the answer yet but he's working on it.
Our other heroes have wound up one a World War II world with Pirate Johnny and Chamberlain Ben being joined by Black Susan. Unfortunately, Chamberlain Ben is flying the plain with no idea how to actually do that. They fly out of formation pretty quickly. Nearly everyone has already parachuted out when Pirate Johnny and Chamberlain Ben tell the army captain that the plane is going down. With one parachute left, Pirate Johnny bails, leaving Chamberlain Ben to jump ship with no chute.
It turns out that they're not fighting Nazis, either. These WWII planes are headed right into an alien invasion.
In the real world, Franklin and Valeria are waking up to find Norman Osborn and the Sinister Spider-Man (and a bunch of HAMMER dudes) heading straight for the Baxter Building. There's gonna be a reckoning!
Agents of Atlas #5
Writer: Jeff Parker
Penciler: Carlo Pagulayan
So let's review. The Agents of Atlas are good guys pretending to be bad guys in order to get the goods on Norman Osborn and his new world order. As such, they've signed deals to get him weapons but they really, really don't want to actually give him any of their technology. How do they make up for that?
By siccing the New Avengers on themselves! They've been sending the word out that they're having a deal go down with Norman Osborn and, last issue, Captain America called them on it and attacked Jimmy Woo and some other Agents only to have a specific memory planted in his head of this particular arms deal going down. Cap went off to fetch his Avengers and now we're up to date.
We catch up on the New Avengers (Captain America, Wolverine, Luke Cage, Ronin, Spider-Man, and Ms. Marvel) as they're raiding New York Harbor to stop Atlas from delivering. They pick up a weapons cache and web up the Atlas flunkies that were unloading them. This is, of course, all according to Jimmy's plan. He specifically set up those Atlas flunkies because they were nothing more than criminals and couldn't be reformed into something better. To jail they go.
Temugin, Jimmy's second in the Atlas Foundation and constant annoyance, is upset at this plan to make the Atlas Foundation look bad and certainly won't be purposely throwing a fight with the New Avengers. That's fine by Jimmy. They have to fight at full strength to pull this off and, with Bob Grayson out of this fight, they're going to need the extra muscle. Just as long as Temy knows which way this fight has to end and follows orders, he's good to go. Kent Hale, Gorilla-Man, is more concerned with their Human Robot, M-11, throwing the game by killing someone with his death ray and he's given no assurances by his metal teammate.
Anyway, the New Avengers have just boarded their ship so it's time to get to business. The New Avengers are trying to figure out what to do with the weapons when the Agents of Atlas confront them. It's big time fight time!
Except it isn't. Spidey puts a web wall between the two teams and tries reasoning things out instead.
It seems Spider-Man's not getting that tell tale buzz on his spider-sense which means these guys aren't a threat. Not even Temugin. Further, he's inspected the guns and found them all to be fakes. They don't work. Plus, it's just too easy. They were able to find out far too much info on Atlas. They weren't even trying to hide their actions. Let's face it, these aren't the actions of a bunch of super criminals. They're the actions of a group that wants to get caught.
Finally, Jimmy decides to tell the New Avengers the truth but, by then, it's too late. M-11 has figured out that Wolverine is Operative Logan from the 1958 mission in Cuba in issue one. M-11's got a score to settle for being blown up by Logan way back in the day and fires his death beam at Wolverine.
The beam fries the skin off of Wolverine's arm but, as we all know, that's just a matter of healing for a few minutes, tops. It's enough to break the truce, though. The battle is joined. While everyone pairs off, M-11 tries to press his advantage on Wolverine. It's a good thing dude's got teammates. Cap uses his shield to make sure M-11's next beam misses it's target and instead shoots a hole through the ship.
Jimmy is fighting Ronin and is nearly taken out of the fight before a timely rescue on the part of Temugin. Looks like the guy is actually good for something. Temy's quickly distracted by Cap and, let me tell ya, Pagulayan really makes James Barnes' version of the Captain America costume work. That thing has a tendency to look bad depending on who's drawing it. Here, it looks great.
Ms. Marvel and Namora's fight is all over the place. Ms. Marvel has a good advantage with her energy blasts before she makes the mistake of letting Narmora get doused by sea water (the ship has sprung a few leaks at this point). That clearly puts the advantage in Namora's court and our Sea Queen sends Carol Danvers soaring off the ship.
Spidey has been tracking Venus around but ends up making his move too late. He webs her up but she's still able to sing and that puts Spider-man under her powers. She quickly gets the rest of the New Avengers trapped with her song. They sit around in a daze as the Agents of Atlas teleport off the sinking ship.
The teleportal? It's the same one they discovered in their last 1950's adventure that utilizes Mr. Lao's scales. As they head away from the battle, the New Avengers leave the sinking ship certain that they've landed one in the win column. They really have. They just don't know that the win is as much the Agents' as it is theirs. Also, Spidey is taking some photos of the team for Frontline, landing some relevance to the fact that his revealing his ID to the team isn't just a passing deal.
Jimmy has a conference with Norman Osborn where Ozzy isn't a little ticked that the New Avengers ruined his chances of getting some killer weapons but, at the same time, he's happy not to pay for them and isn't too quick to make another deal. That's OK, Jimmy isn't ready to make another deal with Norman, either. He's still working to remove the guy from power though, so it's time to put the info Bob Grayson got off Norman to good use.
A few issues ago, Bob was able to look into Osborn's head and got an image on the Cabal even though several of the members were still unclear. There was one member that was right out there, though. Namor the Sub-Mariner. Namora's cousin. Road trip!
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Jerome Opeña
It all begins with free pizza. Never trust free pizza. The pizza gets delivered to some thug (though, just as an aside, the pizza delivery boy has good taste in music-- RunDMC's It's Tricky). That thug hands it off to one of the building's girls who brings it up to the the security team.
Again, never trust free pizza because you'll never know what's actually in there. One of the security guys starts choking. Another one goes in to deliver mouth to mouth (just in case you're using this to decide how to deal with a choking victim: you don't give mouth to mouth to someone that's choking-- you deliver blows to the back and follow it up with abdominal thrusts-- the more you know). That guy gets shot in the head by whatever was clogging the first guy's breathing. We follow that up with the Punisher exploding out of the first security guy's throat wearing an Ant-Man helmet and ready for war. Never, ever trust free pizza.
Anyway, that's how Frank Castle infiltrated the Hood's Costco of Evil.
At this point there's a huge firefight where Punisher goes through some of the rest of the arsenal he's put together and Microchip, the Hood, and his little devil flunkie, watch the shenanigans from monitors in an undisclosed area. Most criminals aren't going to stick around and wait for the Punisher to plug them. Heck, most honest people wouldn't either. They'd be too worried that he's know about all those illegal MP3s. The criminals bail out of the K-Mart of Doom as the police officers keeping watch on the facility look on. They call in to see what they should be doing.
Meanwhile, Frank is taking the elevator all the way down... and ignoring a whole lot of innuendo being thrown his way by the lady manning the lift. At the bottom, he doesn't find the Hood but he does find an old friend.
Microchip was brought back to life by the Hood to help him deal with the Punisher and, right now, that means Micro is giving Frank an offer. Let's see if he refuses. Now, Microchip is working for the Hood so that the Hood brings his son back to life. If Frank stops going after the Hood, the Castle family could be brought back to life as well. All he's gotta do is stop.
Well, unlike a certain wall-crawler, Frank's not doing deals with the devil. Again. That was a one time thing and he's certainly not making deals for his family. Before Punisher is able to shoot Microchip with his laser gun, it's stolen away by a crow. It looks like Microchip is going to have to try and kill Frank Castle. Oh, look. Grizzly didn't die from that blast he took last issue. Looks like he can still stay alive and show up in Agents of Atlas, then.
Also on the scene are the Brothers Grimm, Mr. Hyde, and Razorfist. Henry, Frank's back up man, has already informed Pun that these lieutenants would be there and now it's time to deal with them. Frank pulls out a very special gun and uses it to trap Mr. Hyde in green ice. He nabs the rest of the crew with the same gun and then tries to chase down Microchip. Unfortunately, the green ice gun isn't enough to stop Mr. Hyde for long. Hyde breaks out and begins to pummel Castle.
Punisher wasn't planning on that and is slow to retake the initiative. He tries for his fallen laser gun but it's blast hardly even slows Hyde down. Castle continues to get thrown across the room but not just killing Punisher when he had the chance is gonna come back and bite Hyde hard. Henry is able to use the external speakers on Frank's Ant-Man helmet to pump out a feedback looped Dungeon Metal deal. The defeat Mr. Hyde with crappy music. It's true!
Punisher is in a bad way but that doesn't mean he can rest. He makes his way up to the upper levels, takes a few shots at the Hood that are destined to do nothing because of some unbreakable glass, and then plants to C-4 to take this Sam's Club of Infinite Darkness to Eych-EE-double-hockey-sticks. The Hood and his devil midget escape before everything goes sky high. Frank rides off in his trademarked motorbike.
This event and the discovery of a Super Evil mart lurking in New York City really hurts Norman Osborn's credibility. Ozzy's out there saying that crime is at an all time low and stuff like this keeps showing up. Norman is quick to get word to the Hood to step up his game because stuff like this can't keep happening.
The Hood is doing just that but sends word back that he doesn't work for Osborn. They're allies. Still, this is hurting Parker's business just as much as it's hurting Ozzy's rep. The Hood gets down to assembling a larger crew. He heads to a very deep chamber to use the power of Dormammu to resurrect a whole lot of old villains. Looks like there's a new super villain army ready to go after the Punisher and they've already died.
Skrull Kill Krew #2
Writer: Adam Felber
Artists: Mark Robinson & Rob DiSalvo
In a move that can only be described as "not caring about the continuity established in Avengers: The Initiative," 3-D Man shows up on the first page of this comic and, even though he and Ryder fought well together in the Secret Invasion and left Camp Hammond together to continue the fight against the Skrulls, Ryder just disses 3-D Man and sends him on his way. Apparently Ryder doesn't actually like 3-D Man. It's probably because Delroy is actually useful when it comes to taking down Skrulls but he still wears a costume and is all a former Avenger and stuff. Ryder's so anti-hero and cool.
Anyway, this is the wierdest bit that 3-D Man will probably ever appear in. He even has some sort of newsletter about himself. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not exactly Delroy's biggest fan or anything but he was pretty awesome during the Secret Invasion. You've gotta give him his props for that.
Anyway, it doesn't matter because no one will actually care about THIS comic next year and it'll find it's way into the dollar bins soon enough because, well, it's not really that good. Much like 3-D Man on page one, this thing tries way too hard. But let's get on with it. This comic isn't going to walk through itself.
The next little forced laugh for this comic deals with Riot trying to go out on a date. She's listed herself online and finds a very pretty girl to go out with. They're to meet at the Santa Monica Pier. The only problem is Riot isn't able to shapeshift back to her human form and, of course, ends up freaking the girl out off panel. Riot plays this pretty close to the vest, but the humor is supposed to be something about how she isn't really grasping that she's not completely beautiful. That would be great except she's posting pictures online of herself BEFORE all this went down. In the end, it's not really funny, more sad and, if you read the rest of the comic, you learn that Riot desperately wants to look human again.
With that, Riot's back in the Krew even though she claims to be anything but. Ryder's killed himself another cowboy Skrull and they find a card that leads them to a Reverse Rodeo event. They actually discuss Riot's condition on the way to the event.
So, yeah. "Reverse Rodeo." It's as wierd as it sounds. People riding people dressed up as cows.
Now, half of these "people" are actually Skrulls so this is going to end badly. OK. It began badly. It's gonna end worse. Ryder tries to rescue the people cows but they aren't budging. They're all into this kind of sick thing and even paid money for the honor. It's creeping Ryder out a lot but he keeps trying to get them to leave. They seriously won't go. Get ready for the creepy fun.
OK, actually, this bit is sort of funny. They still try too hard but there are some good lines in here. And, seriously, gross.
Those dudes and dudettes that refused to move are about to have their minds changed. The current "cow" on the field gets his head chopped off by the Skrull riding him. That scares the lot of them but they're fenced in and the Skrulls are everywhere. It's a slaughter. Fortunately, there are some Skrull Kill Krew members on hand to try and save a few peeps from themselves (and evil Skrulls).
In the course of the fight, Riot is able to shapeshift again. Looks like she'll be less tragic next issue. For now, they're surrounded by Skrulls and still fighting for lives... possibly their own. Luckily, they have help. It looks like Wolverine was in the area. He spouts his traditional lines and I really wasn't certain if he was actually Wolverine or a Skrull in disguise but he killed lots of Skrulls in the course of this issue so I'm gonna go with "real".
Well, as real as you're gonna get in this issue. The point is, Wolverine is all about the Reverse Rodeo.
On the way back home, Riot shows Ryder that she can shapeshift a bit again and tries reverting back to her human form. She doesn't quite get there just yet but practice makes perfect. Riot wonders why she's able to shapeshift at all and gets a funny look from Riot when she brings up that it might be because she's back from the dead. Speaking of, wasn't she buried back at Camp Hammond? Is she REALLY back? There's a story here that we're missing.
Ryder is about to bring another Kill Krew member back from the dead. He's holding their heads in his garage and they do not look good. He picks out Moonstomp and heads inside. The process to bring him back to life? Dump him on the ground. Yeah, really.
I'm pretty sure something else is going on here. Hopefully some of this is actually explained before the mini is over because I'm actually curious about this more that the comic's attempts at humor.
Riot goes home to continue working on her shapeshifting as Ryder gives Moonstomp a big and terrible speach about what LA is like and stuff about houses. While Ryder does that, we get a montage of scenes where Riot is able to change back into her human form and Wolverine returns home with his saddle. In the end, Moonstomp's head is back to being non-decomposed and alive. It's still just his head, though. Ryder's pretty sure the rest of his body will reform given time.
While they wait, Ryder tells Moonstomp, the racist, all about the new President of the United States.
Let's get to Namor, now.
The Fantastic Four #9
Writer: Stan Lee
Penciler: Jack Kirby
Namor is hanging out under the sea watching television when he learns that the Fantastic Four are broke as a joke. It makes him ponder how he can turn such an event to his advantage. After all, he's pretty infatuated with Sue Storm and he hates the rest of them. How to work that out...
At the Baxter Building, Reed is confronted by lots of people that he owes money. Rent, electrical work, loans, there are a lot of things that Reed needs to pay for and he hasn't got the cash to go around. He begs the group to give him some time to sell his equipment and they acquiesce. It's not like the Fantastic Four can hide, right?
Reed blames himself because it's totally his fault. He played the stock market and lost big time. He's also responsible for our current economic collapse but you didn't hear that from me. The rest of the team volunteer to help out but Reed won't have any of it. The only way for that to work would be for them to join a freak show or, worst, resort to crime. He won't have his family do such a thing.
Ben sees that the Pogo Plane is already being taken apart after being sold and he goes all Hulk on the team doing the dismantling. The rest of the FF stop him from causing too much of a scene but early Thing is an angry, angry man. He yells at Reed for losing all their money on the stock market and then takes off. On the way to Alicia Masters' place, Ben ends up destroying a taxi cab and calling in Johnny for a lift in the Fantasticar. Still, he's totally quit the team for a few pages. Yessir.
Alicia is just here to make sure that Ben realizes just what a jerk he's being. She sees him as a white knight (complete with a doll image she's made for him) and knows he'd never desert his family when they need him. Not like he just did. Ashamed, Ben runs back to the FF. Family has to stick together.
While Thing was gone, a letter came in from S.M. Studios offering them one million dollars to appear in a movie. Back in the sixties, a million dollars what a lot of money. Nowadays... I still wouldn't turn it down. Ben arrives to bear hug the entire team and tell them that he'll help them through everything. They'll stay together, make a movie, and get the money they need to continue being the Fantastic Four. Now, they just need to hitchhike to California. That's right; hitchhike.
Finally, the Fantastic Four make it to Hollywood and to S.M. Studios.
I know, easy joke.
I recognize quite a few stars in these scenes but there are even more that escape me. The FF make their way through the celebrities and head for the head office to meet... Sub-Mariner! I know! Surprising. Namor explains that, with all the treasure that's found it's way into Atlantean hands, buying a movie studio was incredibly easy. Now, he's in a position to make a movie about his former arch-foes. He even gives them a down payment to let them know that he's serious about this movie thing. The FF waste no time spending the cash as frivolously as possible.
Johnny buys a sports car and drives around town picking up women. Thing causes trouble on Muscle Beach. Sue Storm goes out on a date with Namor. She's wondering why Namor is helping them out but the Sub-Mariner doesn't give her an answer. He just says she'll learn after they're finished with the movie.
Namor's film probably has a plot somewhere but, then again, so do Michael Bay movies. It doesn't mean it has to stick to it. At all. For example, Reed Richards' part in the movie is to fight a mechanical cyclops on Hidden Isle. There's also no script. This is gonna be an action movie to the extreme. Little does Mr. Fantastic know that the mechanical cyclops is real and that it's also been ordered to take him prisoner. Namor isn't even filming. It's all a trap.
The cyclops isn't that good at orders, either. It doesn't need a prisoner that'll need feeding. He goes straight for the kill. Fortunately, it's hard to crush a man with pliable skin. It's a short battle that ends when the cyclops falls into a deep pit. Reed escapes Hidden Isle to get his revenge on Namor.
Johnny is up next. He's sent to Africa to battle a local tribe. This tribe is immune to fire. Johnny's got a fight ahead of him. Again, Namor leaves without taking any footage of the upcoming battle. Johnny flames on below only to find that this tribe isn't at all scared of him. They capture him once his flame runs out and then show him just how much they love fire by dancing around in it and eating it up. By this time, Johnny flame has recharged and it's time for round two.
Johnny creates multiple fire images of himself to confuse the tribesmen while he flies to the nearest volcano he can find. Igniting it, he watches as the molten lava burns the tribe's village to the ground, destroying the potion that makes them immune to fire in the process. Fortunately, everyone escapes with their lives.
Namor decides to make Thing's scenes more personal by fighting him on his own. He chooses a beach location for this so that he can take advantage of his proximity to the water. While his feet are in the water, Namor has the advantage. Ben realizes this and drags the Sub-Mariner out of the water and onto the sand. Unfortunately, it's starting to rain and Thing is struck by a bolt of lightning. The bolt reverts him to human form (all too common at this point in the FF's adventures). Namor deals Ben a blow to the head, knocking him out. The Prince of Atlantis is then free to return to his Hollywood studio to claim his prize: Sue Storm.
Namor tells Sue all about how he defeated the rest of the FF in order to claim her hand in marriage. Sue doesn't take that well at all. She may have said yes if the Sub-Mariner wouldn't have come at it from such a horrible direction. As it stands, she goes invisible and tries to escape but Namor is having none of that. He blocks the exit to the room and charges the air with electricity. Sue quickly blocks the attack by wrapping Namor up in a rug.
The battle continues like this until Namor uses radar vision to locate the Invisible Girl. He's quick to press his advantage and take a hold of Sue just as the rest of the Fantastic Four arrive.
Reed, Johnny, and Ben rush Namor and try to take some revenge for his ill treatment only to be blocked by Sue Storm. The girl's got issues. She mentions how unfair it is to triple team the villain and also that the dude owes them some money. They signed contracts for a movie and they fulfilled their contracts. It's time for Namor to fulfill his end of the bargain. The Sub-Mariner agrees to do so and proclaims that the Fantastic Four movie WILL be made. With that, he returns to the sea.
So maybe Namor actually left camera crews behind to film those action scenes and had someone much smarter than me string it together into a workable movie plot. Maybe he did it all in CGI after the fact. All I know is that the last scene in the book features the FF at the world premiere of their brand new movie. It's probably a blockbuster film in the Marvel Universe. Someday, someone should do a story on the actual movie. I'd buy it!
And that's it for now. We'll be back again soon for even more Marvel goodness!
Until then: Who Do YOU Trust?
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