February 20, 2010

Ye Olde School Cafe’: Fantastic Four vs. X-Men pt 2

Come one, come all, to the extravaganza known as Ye Olde School Cafe’. Well, OK, it’s just a column about pre-1990 comic book stories but it’s exciting nonetheless right? So let us go forward with part 2 of The Fantastic Four vs. The X-Men!

So to recap, we have The FF, who have been through many universes and alternate realities fighting against all odds. On the other, you have the X-Men, a group of misunderstood mutants who just want peace but can seemingly never 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 from an old journal. We then got a glimpse into the lives of the X-Men and their recent troubles with the health of some of their numbers, specifically, Kitty Pryde. She is in a constant state of phasing and seems to be ready to give up and die. Magneto finds out that Reed Richards has created a device that he believes will cure Kitty. After a squabble between the two teams, the X-Men decide to take their problem to Dr. Doom, who has offered up his services. And this is where we left off last week, so here we go with the conclusion!

We begin part 2 with Doom gloating over his victory of sorts against Reed and using his advanced technology to heal Storm. She was burned very badly by the Human Torch when the two teams fought last issue. The rest of the team is looking out from Doom’s castle at the beautiful countryside that is under the control of this madman. Some of Doom’s robots attack Rogue and the others but Storm and Doom appear from inside the castle and quell the disturbance. Kitty is then seen contemplating suicide instead of letting her friends make a deal with a tyrant. She is out on a ledge when she is visited by Franklin Richards’ astral form. He tells her not to worry because his daddy is going to save her. After the team hears Lockheed scream, they run upstairs and Kitty is hugging onto Franklin. Doom shows up to tell everyone he will be ready to begin tonight.

Next, we see Reed trying to figure out why he wrote all those things in his diary. He also is wondering if he is ever going to regain his confidence back and be able to help Kitty and the X-Men, or anybody else again for that matter. He ends up walking by Franklin’s room and he hears him crying out from a nightmare. Reed goes inside and consoles his son, and then tells him a story that his father used to tell him when he was a boy. Sue sees this and turns invisible so she can watch without them knowing. It’s at this point that she starts to wonder about the journal and its author. A quick look back at Castle Doom, where Storm is having a training exercise with Longshot to test her recently healed arm, and his fighting skills.

The story then shifts back to NYC and Ben Grimm walking around, ending up in his old neighborhood of Yancy Street. He stops in at an old friend’s bar to get drunk, but booze doesn’t affect him or not at least like it would a normal person so he leaves. On his way home, he runs into a fire where a little girl is caught and going to die. Ben leaps into the fire to save the girl and then realizes that if he was still the “old” Ben, he couldn’t have done that. Next, we see Johnny trying to sharpen his powers because he is still guilt ridden about accidentally burning Storm. He ends up at Alicia’s house and the two drown their sorrows in some meaningless sex. Reed and Sue on the other hand, like a true couple, are mending their relationship by talking things out. It’s at this point that Reed realizes he needs to go to Latveria and stop Doom from enacting his devious but yet unknown plan. He understands that something is wrong with this whole deal but can only hope his confidence in himself will return in time to save Kitty.

In the final issue, we see Franklin visiting Kitty to tell her that his daddy is coming to save her. In this scene little Franklin attempts to tell Kitty the same story that Reed told him to calm her down and make her feel better about the impending event. On the plane ride over to Latveria, She-Hulk, who has come along for the trip, asks Johnny why Doom has such a bone-on for Reed. Johnny tells her of their personal history, while Red is still left wondering why his journal said some of the things it did because he can’t remember writing them. Franklin then interrupts his thoughts to tell him he has told Kitty he’s coming to help her but Reed cries out to stop because he doesn’t know if he can do it. We then see the X-Men getting some training in while waiting for Doom to do his thing.

In the next part, we see the X-Men confront the FF as they try to land and help. Magneto grabs the plane right out of the sky and prevents their landing, but that doesn’t stop the FF from jumping out of the plane and starting a brawl with the X-Men again. This time when the fight seems to be at a stalemate, it takes a little boy’s voice to stop the fracas and get everybody on the same page. While this is going on though, Kitty is losing her battle and it is taking all of Psylocke’s mental power to keep her in one place. Doom is furious that the X-Men have let the FF in and starts to argue with Reed about the procedure. Again,  Franklin intervenes and even seems to calm Doom down to the point of working with Richards. Doom though has an ace up his sleeve. He realizes that Reed is not on top of his game and he tries to exploit it and get him to make a bad decision. In the end though, Reed makes the right computation and saves Kitty’s life.

After everyone is done worrying, they all start to have a good time, except for Sue and Doom. It’s Sue’s theory that Doom wrote the diary or at least changed it to say that Reed knew the team’s trip into space was doomed but didn’t tell them anyway. Doom scoffs at Sue’s theory and tells her she has no proof. After the two almost get into an altercation, Sue walks away because she knows that Doom’s plan didn’t work. The FF and the X-Men are still friends and Kitty is going to be OK.

I really loved this book for several reasons. The cover to issue number 4 is a great reason alone. Doom cowering in fear from a little kid is just awesome. I like these types of action packed stories but with the moral or heart-wrenching subplot. If you’ve never read this story, I’d strongly suggest picking it up in TPB and I think it may have been released in HC (hardcover) as well. See you next week for another old school gem!

Billy Dunleavy



  1. I’ve seen this but never checked it out… I think I just assumed it would be one of those “meh” crossover stories, but you make it sound pretty cool here Billy. Especially the meaningless sex part.

  2. Oh, and yes it is available in HC format!

  3. billy

    You should definitely check this out Andy. It will surprise you on how good it actually is. The whole dynamic of Doom and Sue and not knowing who is responsible for the diary is very interesting.

  4. This series actually made the FF interesting to me back then

  5. billy

    @Speech-I’m not a huge FF fan either. Their stories are either great or stink IMO. lol

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *