Hey everybody, it’s great to be back and ready for another week of Ye Olde School Café! Last week’s hiatus was due to a crazy weekend of soccer, but rest assured, I had lots of time to ponder this installment and came to the realization that I’ve never done a book on Marvel’s first family – The Fantastic Four! I recently bought one of Marvel’s Premiere hard covers, and that book is the focus of the next few weeks. In Search of Galactus is the book, and Reed and Sue Richards, Johnny Storm, and Ben Grim are the team that must find a way to stop a new menace that will require help from an old foe. Story by Marv Wolfman, art by Keith Pollard, Sal Buscema, John Byrne, and Joe Sinnott. This story takes place in Fantastic Four vol. 1, #204-214 (1979-1980).
As our story begins, Reed and the gang are hanging out in the lab and trying to figure out why the power from their building is being drained. They suspect that a recent encounter with Quasimodo might be the answer, but Reed can’t understand how it’s happening. Meanwhile, Agatha Harkness takes little Franklin away for his daily lesson (she’s tutoring him on many things, including his powers). Thank God she did, because moments later, a woman is transported from one end of space to inside the home of the Fantastic Four! She tries to speak, but her language is foreign to them. Before you can even blink, we see the reason she’s come. The Super Skrull is right behind her, and he means business. Immediately, Reed tries to use his stretching powers to envelop the angered alien, but the Skrull simply ignites like the Human Torch and burns Reed. Then the Thing tries his might against him, but to no avail. Reed then uses a stasis ray that he’d been working on, and it immobilizes the Skrull.
In the next scene, the gang has taken the girl to sick bay, and then she explains why she is there. She tells them how her planet was one that housed a civilization that thrived on science. They had become so technologically advanced that they became complacent. They were then attacked by an unknown enemy, and the result was that their planet erupted and ended up in four pieces. Somehow, each piece maintained an atmosphere that allowed them to live. They eventually used their technology to attach all four pieces together to form a new world. Again, though, they were attacked, and this time it was revealed to be the Skrulls. And that’s how she ended up being beamed to Earth to try and get help against the Skrulls. Reed tells her that they’ll help as soon as they get Johnny to come back. Speaking of the Human Torch, we watch as Johnny is shot down by some random chick at an arcade, then Frankie Ray tells him that she can’t be bothered with someone that doesn’t have time for her. He leaves obviously dejected, but reports back to the group. He learns of the situation, but tells Reed that he wants to stay behind and sort things out.
Later, Johnny is saying his goodbyes to Reed, Sue, Ben, and the young woman from another world. He tells them that he’ll meet up with them as soon as he can. He then gets a letter in the mail inviting him to become a student at a special school. He doesn’t know what to do, so he attempts to talk with some other superheroes. First he tries to talk with one of the Avengers, but they’re in a meeting and can’t talk. Then he assumes his buddy Spidey will come and talk to him, but unbeknownst to him, Spider-Man is in the middle of a brawl with the Man-Wolf! All this adds up to Johnny throwing caution to the wind and going for it. He doesn’t do any research or even call the place first. He just shows up, and is greeted by some creepy old dude. This gentleman sweet talks him and shows him inside. As this is going on, an even creepier dude is watching from a room on the second floor. He exclaims that “by morning, Johnny Storm shall belong to the Monocle”!
Well, that’s it for now, but come back next week, and we’ll see Reed, Sue, and Ben travel to the far reaches of space to battle the Skrulls. Then, will Johnny become a victim of this new diabolical villain? All this, plus the Nova Corps! See you next week!