Fantastic Four 204-214

Another Incredible Galactus Tale!

Fantastic Four panel : galactus

If you're reading this and are not familiar with Marvel's cosmic-level tales, then you're about to get the same introduction as I did so many years ago - through the pages of Fantastic Four 210.

This tale was written by Marv Wolfman before his celebrated run in Teen Titans and Crisis on Infinite Earths and illustrated by John Byrne and Joe Sinnott. Byrne will be returning to the FF as both writer and artist for an extended and excellent run. But all that is in the future.

That colorful character in the cover is no less than Galactus the World Eater. He's only one of Marvel's many cosmic entities but he is, in my opinion, the best.

We are thrown immediately to the action in this issue, so a brief backgrounder is in order. A super-powered immortal called the Sphinx has tired of his existence and is looking for death. In order to find out how he can perish, the Sphinx has absorbed the knowledge of one of the most advanced computers in existence - the living computers of Xandar. Once the knowledge was his, the Sphinx didn't want to die anymore - he wanted to destroy the Earth itself. Overwhelmed by the power of the Sphinx, the Fantastic Four came in search of someone who can defeat him : Galactus. To complicate the situation, three of the four - Reed Richards, Sue Richards and Ben Grimm- have been subjected to the Skrull Aging Ray and their increasingly accelerated aging gives them only days of survival and weakens them for this mission.

As I said we jump right into the action. The splash page of the comicbook presents us with a meteor storm hitting the hull of the foursome's ship. They borrowed this mile-long ship from the Xandarian hero Nova and his friends (Diamond Head, Powerhouse etc.). The Thing and the Invisible Woman are doing their best to destroy as many meteors as they can right before the ship goes into hyper-space.

Fantastic Four panel : baseball Thing style

The art is exquisite. Just look at this two panels.

Fantastic Four panel : exquisite art

Reed Richards has made calculations on the coordinates of Galactus' ship. According to Reed if he makes a mistake, they could be off course by a thousand parsecs. One parsec is equivalent to 19.2 million miles - amazing! Reed, as expected, does NOT make a mistake and they are suddenly in front of their destination.

Fantastic Four panel : galactus hq

It's ingenious how Byrne and Sinnott use the Human Torch's flying pattern to give us an idea of the vastness of Galactus' ship. Check out the panels below.

Fantastic Four panel : big ship

It is a measure of Reed Richards' obsession with science that given the danger to the Earth, and their rapidly aging bodies, he seriously bemoans the fact that he doesn't have the time to study the wonders inside the ship. After a while they happen upon Galactus himself - and the most striking panel in the whole comic. This really took my breath away when I first saw it.

Fantastic Four panel : galactus

But the Fantastic Four can't simply talk to Galactus; apparently, even super-powered humans are less than gnats to him. Nothing gets his attention. Not Johnny's nova blast or Ben's strength. It is Reed who figures things out yet again as he instructs the others to let go of every creature in Galactus' menagerie. They have his attention now, but the awesome Galactus cares not for Earth until Reed does something that seems very foolish

Fantastic Four panel : danger earth

Years ago, during Galactus' first attack on Earth, the Fantastic Four managed to prevent him from consuming our world with the help of Galactus' then-herald the Silver Surfer. Reed used a devastating weapon called the Ultimate Nullifier to extract an oath of protection from Galactus - an oath that would prevent the World Eater from ever victimizing the Earth. An oath that he is rescinding in exchange for Galactus taking a hand on stopping the Sphinx. The question on my mind, and apparently on Sue's, is how will they withstand Galactus a second time?

But Galactus has the upper hand in these negotiations and he knows it. So aside from getting the oath rescinded he also manages to send the four on a mission - a mission which will give him an new herald: the terrible Terrax the Tamer!

Posted by  Pete Albano - August 29,  2011

Did you like this post?

fantastic four 210 cover

Amazon Prices

Fantastic Four : In Search Of Galactus

My Comic Shop Prices

Fantastic Four : In Search Of Galactus HC (2010)

Fantastic Four (1961) comic books

Considering collecting the Fantastic Four? Check this out . . .

HTML Comment Box is loading comments...