February 14, 2010

Ye Olde School Cafe’: Fantastic Four vs. X-Men pt 1

Hello everyone and welcome back to another exciting week here at Ye Olde School Cafe’! Sorry for the lateness with this week’s edition but the weather here in the northeast has been nothing short of terrible this last week or so. This week I’ll be focusing on The Fantastic Four vs. The X-Men! This classic originally was released in four separate parts but we’ll be taking a look at issues #1 & #2 this week and #3 and #4 next week. These kind of stories always intrigue me because of multiple teams being in the same arc and on opposite sides of the fence. Get ready to see what happens when these two legendary teams go right at each other. This story was written by Chris Claremont and the art is by Jon Bogdanove.

Our story begins with young Franklin Richards having a nightmare in which his father has mudered  the Fantastic Four and the X-Men. The dream also shows Reed changing into Doctor Doom as well! After Franklin wakes up from said dream, he goes into his father’s lab to check on him and finds him hard at work on a new plan, as usual. Reed turns Franklin away though and Sue comes in to take him back to bed. Sue talks to Franklin about his dream and gets very upset when she pulls out Reed’s old journal. In Franklin’s dream, reading the journal is what turned Reed into Doom.

In the next scene, we see the X-Men going about their daily lives (note, this story takes place after Mutant Massacre but before Inferno). We see Rogue and Havok have a bit of a confrontation about Alex’s standing with the team and how the other members have proved themselves lately by their actions. These actions though have led to Colossus and Nightcrawler being hospitalized and Kitty in an observation chamber because her molecules are dissipating. Kitty’s condition is what leads Magneto to state that he has found out that Reed Richards has invented a new device that he believes will cure Kitty. We also see Longshot and Dazzler having some downtime out  on a boat, but they notice a man on a  piece of driftwood floating in the ocean. They rescue him of course and take him to Muir Island.

We switch back then to the headquarters of the FF to see Reed and Sue having a talk about Franklin getting upset from his dream and then Sue shoves Reed’s journal in his face and tells him she wishes it had been lost for good. All the while Franklin, in his astral form, is watching, terrified of his father reading his journal. We also catch up with Ben Grimm, who is at a coffee house with She-Hulk. The two talk but are quickly interrupted by an explosion and rush to the scene to see if they can help. Johnny Storm also shows up to help along with Magneto, who is on his way to see Richards about using his newest invention to save Kitty. The FF doesn’t believe him at first of course, given his history, but he convinces Reed that he is earnest and they all go to Muir Island to see if they can help. On the flight over, Reed and Ben talk about how Reed is sort of ruthless in his quest to find knowledge and make things right, even at the expense of his family sometimes. As they land, Reed starts to doubt himself and then we see little Franklin who is still in astral form, watching his father reconsider his own actions and moral compass. Upon seeing Kitty, Reed tells the X-Men he is sorry but he can’t use his new device on her because it hasn’t been properly tested yet. This infuriates the X-Men and they begin to fight with the FF. Magneto uses his powers to grab the metal machine but She-Hulk (who has tagged along instead of Sue), grabs him and then Wolverine punches Torch right in the stomach for trying to get involved. Wolverine grabs Richards and tells him to save Kitty or he’ll kill him! Franklin recalls his “special dream” where Wolverine wanted to kill his father and he starts to realize maybe it wasn’t just a dream.

Issue #2 starts out with the rest of the X-Men running in and trying to stop Wolverine, but The Thing saves them the time and uses a thunder-clap to stop them from getting involved. Next, Torch tries to fry Wolverine but hits Storm instead and burns her arm. We then see Rogue enter the room and grab Ben Grimm and whisk him away then use her powers to absorb his powers and essentially stop him. Psylocke then uses her mutant abilities to stop Torch right in his tracks too. She-Hulk grabs Wolverine and uses her brute strength to slow him down, but he still gets a few shots in on Reed before she gets him down. Psylocke even tries to help sedate Wolverine’s mind but it doesn’t seem to phase him and he tells her to stay out of there.

The whole time the brawl on Muir Island is happening, Sue is back at headquarters where Franklin tells his mother about what he is seeing. Sue tells Franklin that she’ll call the plane and see if everything is OK. After Franklin falls asleep in his mothers arms, she thinks to herself about how Reed told her not to open his journal because it could destroy the team. She then throws the book violently against the wall and then shouts out that she hates her husband.

As all these events are transpiring, we see into the infirmary where Dazzler, Longshot, and Havok have been keeping an eye on that fisherman who was brought inland. They see all the fighting going on though and leave him alone for a few moments. At this point, it is revealed that this “fisherman” is actually a robot in disguise and it starts to act hostile towards one of the medical staff. Back in the lab, we see that Wolverine has finally stopped his assault on Reed and cooler heads have prevailed. The two teams are still at odds over the device and helping Kitty but just at this moment, the robot reveals itself to be a minion of Doctor Doom! The robot delivers a message to everyone there that he is offering his services to the X-Men in saving Kitty’s life. Of course the FF begs the X-Men to not take his offer because he always has an ulterior motive. The X-Men tell the FF to kindly leave and whatever decision they make is none of their business.

Immediately following Doom’s message, Storm collapses and is rushed to the infirmary. They don’t know if she is going to be OK yet, but Kitty is watching all this transpire and thinks about taking the decision out of everybody else’s hands… Meanwhile back at FF headquarters, Reed is still trying to figure out a way to use his machine safely when all of a sudden he’s grabbed by Ben and thrown into a wall. Ben chastises Reed for not being up front with the rest of the team about what he wrote in his journal. The team demands he tells them what he wrote in there about a certain subject, and Reed agrees, telling them about how he and Charles Xavier had come to the conclusion that mutants are the next step in evolution. Reed goes on to say that at some point he rationalizes that humans will need to defend themselves against a hostile alien state.

We switch back to see the X-Men arguing over taking up Doom on his offer or the consequences of not doing so. Back at FF HQ, we see the team confront Reed and tell him to keep reading from his journal. He reads about how he created the rocket that the FF took into space and specifically rigged it to attract cosmic rays to give them special powers so they could use those powers to set an example of how to be “good guys”. Of course the team is distraught when they hear this but especially Ben who was not only given special powers, but also turned into a beast made of rock. The team walks out on Reed and leaves him standing in the room asking Sue if she’ll leave him to. We then see the X-Men, led by Storm who has recovered from her injuries, make the decision to let Doom help them because they feel Kitty’s life is worth whatever price Doom would ask.

That’s where issue #2 ends so I’ll leave you with that to ponder until next week’s exciting conclusion! Don’t you dare miss the final two issues to this exciting story! We will see Doom’s master plan, more X-Men vs. Fantastic Four and how sometimes the smallest voice is the one that needs to be heard the most.

Billy Dunleavy



  1. Billy you are the man! I actually just finished reading these issues again a few weeks back. I remember way back when I first got these books just thinking that the ties between the X-Men and FF were more than they seemed since I had also just got my hands on the two Days of Future Past books at the time as well. For some reason that cover to the 2nd issue was my fav, just because of the nonchalant attitude Wolverine had with that comment.

  2. “What’s that Reed? You can’t save Kitty? Then dang nabbit, we’re going to kick your ass!”

    I think this was recently re-printed in HC… I missed out on it though.

    …and why not just burn the book if it was going to cause that much trouble?

  3. “What’s that Reed? You can’t save Kitty? Then dang nabbit, we’re going to kick your ass!”

    I think this was recently re-printed in HC… I missed out on it though.

  4. billy

    @Speech-That cover is my favorite (#2) because of Doom in the background.
    @Andy-I think the book had too much sentimental value to get rid of. lol

  5. […] find it. Both of these groups are very tight knit, especially the FF who are family. We saw in part 1 of this column, that little Franklin Richards had a nightmare about his father turning into Dr. Doom when he read […]

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