Fantastic Friday: Money to burn

Reading the Fantastic Four comics from the start. Volume 3 #62 legacy 491 kicks off a high-tech thriller, but does so with more sitcom antics.

We begin in Times Square, where Reed and Sue are on a date, sort of. Reed is multitasking working on a whole new way of understanding zeta functions while also sharing lunch with Sue. Sue had made him invisible for their date, so they don’t attract too much attention. It doesn’t work, so she turns him visible for some fans and passersby. Reed mentions wanting to improve the new Baxter Building’s defenses, because Franklin no longer has any powers. It’s not until this moment that they realize baby Valeria has still not been properly tested for any powers. Then contact Ben, who is taking the kids on some sort of undersea adventure, riding on the back of a giant sea monster.

Back at HQ, Johnny is attending a meeting at Fantastic Four Inc., in his new role as the company’s financial manager. He nearly falls asleep in a meeting, and admits that he has no experience in finances. Two of his coworkers, Christi and Ethan, fear for their own positions at the company now that they’re working alongside the boss’s brother-in-law. The plot to sabotage some contracts with Suarti International to make Johnny look bad. Johnny later admits to his assistant and confidant Jian that Reed has tons of high-tech gizmos upstairs, and any one of them can help him figure out a spreadsheet.

In that lab, Reed and Sue marvel over Reed’s new PDA, which connects to a neighboring dimension, making its storage capacity infinite.  Ben returns with the kids, and Reed immediately turns his attention to testing her for any possible mutant powers. Johnny helps out, while also noticing the unbelievable computing power of the PDA. Later that night, Reed says that Valeria is “perfectly normal.” As he drifts off to sleep that night, we see a ghostly hand emerge from the PDA, covered with the image of its green text.  

Ben and Sue go to the movies together, where they discuss Sue putting Johnny in charge of the company’s finances. Ben wonders if the decision has more to do with Sue having grown up as a de facto parent for Johnny, as the movie begins, the screen is filled with more of the green text from the PDA. It takes the shape of a human and attacks. It is able to dissolve the floor under Ben, dropping him into the subway, and then penetrating Sue’s force field, burning her hand with its touch.

Ben returns, and the creature analyzes his rocky hide, threatening to tear it apart. Sue seals up Ben inside a force field. The creature demands that Reed be brought to it. When asked why, it answers, “Because I love him.”

To be continued!

Unstable molecule: With all this talk about the FF’s business affairs, Reed admits that Sony paid him $3 million to not put his new infinite-computing PDA on the market.

Fade out: There’s quite a bit of discussion about Sue being able to see Reed after she turns him invisible. He explains that her eyes are picking up not reflected light, but reflected cosmic rays that are “always present” in the atmosphere. In previous episodes, Sue couldn’t exactly see invisible objects, but merely had a general sense of where they were.

Clobberin’ time: Ben has a special extra-large seat reserved just for him at the movie theater. This suggests he goes to the movies a lot, even after making a wisecrack about only liking Clint Eastwood movies.

Flame on: At the movie theater, Johnny appears in a “Only you can prevent forest fires” promo, which seems like a mixed message to me. Maybe the creature created this image in an attempt to reach out to Reed.  

Four and a half: Franklin is doing the classic older brother thing, resentful that the baby is getting all the attention. There’s a mention that he’s been watching Invader Zim, so Franklin has great taste in TV.

Our gal Val: Is Valeria a mutant or isn’t she? Citing this issue as a source, the Marvel Wiki states that despite everything Valeria has done since this, she is in fact a non-superpowered human.

Commercial break: When’s somebody going to make a Rumble Wars movie?

Trivia time: This issue states that Reed recently purchased large amounts of Vibranium and Adamantium for research purposes. The Vibranium came from Wakanda no doubt, but where’s Reed getting Adamantium from? The issue doesn’t say, but it’s likely from Adametco, a company that manufactures the stuff. Either that, or Reed is buying it from supervillains, because they’re the ones who more often deal with Adamantium.

The title of this story arc appears to be a series of random symbols. Look closely, though, and you see it spells out “Sentient.”

Fantastic or frightful? Another issue setting things up for bigger story beats to come, but all the little character moments make it worthwhile. It’s a return to the classic Marvel “heroes who have ordinary problems” style.

Next: Modular living.

* * * *

Want more? Check out my new book, MOM, I’M BULLETPROOF, now available for the Kindle and the free Kindle app. It’s a comedic/dramatic/romantic superhero epic!

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About Mac McEntire

Author of CINE HIGH.
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