Fantastic Friday: Picnic blanket bingo

Reading the Fantastic Four comics from the start. Here’s vol. 2 #11, and how much was Marvel done with the Heroes Reborn event by this point? Skip to the end of the issue where there are three pages of ads promoting the upcoming Heroes Return retcon, going so far as to spoil the twist about Franklin in the ads. Before that, though, our heroes fight Terrax.

We begin with the Silver Surfer in orbit around Earth. He knows he must summon his master Galactus, but he also remembers a few issues ago, where he met some kindred spirits on the planet’s surface. Against his better judgment, the Surfer decides to contact his new friends. Flying down to New York, he senses the presence of the Power Cosmic, and hopes he is not too late.

Cut to Central Park, where Alicia is crafting a sculpture based on Ben as part of public event for charity. Reed and Sue are picnicking nearby, as Reed ponders how most of their previous adventures have all had something to do with the mysterious space anomaly that gave the FF their powers. Sue changes the subject in a big way by announcing that she’s pregnant. They were previously told Sue couldn’t get pregnant, making this something of a miracle baby.

Sue gives Johnny a quick call, revealing that Johnny has been spending all his time in the FF’s danger room, working out his frustration over being separated from Crystal. He pushes himself harder and harder, ultimately using his super-powerful nova flame to wreck the room. He admits to himself that he’s in love with Crystal and there’s no getting around it.


The fun at Central Park is interrupted by Terrax the Tamer, another herald of Galactus. Terrax says the FF possess a threat to the Galactus’ Power Cosmic, so he’s sought them out personally. Terrax attacks Ben, using his axe open Ben’s rocky hide. Ben admits that Terrax actually hurt him. Reed and Sue join the fight, and are easily subdued by Terrax’s earth-bending powers. Sue tries to contact Johnny, but he left his communicator in the Danger Room, and is in another room still pining for Crystal.


In space, we see Galactus wake from slumber on board his ship. Checking the info received from his heralds, Galactus decides that Earth is ripe for harvesting, and that if he must live, Earth must die. Back on Earth, Johnny sees the Central Park fight on the news, and flies to the scene just in time to save Sue from Terrax. With Johnny’s help, Ben is able to recover and punch Terrax away from the scene.

Sue was injured in the fight, and Reed carries her off to help her, with Ben learning that Sue is now pregnant. Before Ben can react, two more of Galactus’ heralds show up, Firelord and Plasma. Johnny asks for a moment to catch their breath before the next fight, but Ben says he doesn’t think it would make much difference.

To be continued!

Unstable molecule: Terrax refers to Reed as “Elastic Man.” Poking fun at DC characters again, are we?

Fade out: Sue’s pregnancy raises a lot of questions when we remember that Heroes Reborn takes place in an alternate universe created by Franklin. Maybe the creators knew this, because the pregnancy will be more or less written out after this issue.

Clobberin’ time: This issue confirms Ben’s powers work similarly in the Heroes Reborn Universe as they do in the Marvel Universe, in that his rocky exterior surrounds a vulnerable interior. (Also a metaphor.)

Flame on: Johnny’s nova flame power appears to be less powerful in Heroes Reborn than it does in the regular Marvel Universe, since it only destroys the FF’s Danger Room. In the past, we’ve seen it level entire buildings.

Fantastic fifth wheel: Johnny has a photo of Crystal that he says he took while they were together in the Himalayas. I’ll buy that, but why is it a photo of her with that weird helmet on?

Commercial break: Do the Time Warp again.

Trivia time: The reporter who captures the FF/Terrax fight on live TV is Jack Johnson of Channel 9. This guy has no entry in the Marvel Wiki, so I’m going to assume he doesn’t go on to become a regular supporting character.

Fantastic or frightful? After ten issues of building up to Galactus, we get a wheel-spinning fight against Terrax taking up most of this issue. Terrax overpowers the FF abruptly, and then is defeated just as abruptly. This lacks the cinematic quality of the multi-issue Terrax fight from the John Byrne days.

Next: A touch of silver.


Want more? Check out my book, CINE HIGH, now available for the Kindle and the free Kindle app.

About Mac McEntire

Author of CINE HIGH.
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