Friday, January 2, 2015

Epic Beards of Review: Fantastic Four #287 (Comic-a-Day #2)

Fantastic Four #287, Feb86. Marvel Comics. (w&a) John Byrne

This is Peggy McArthur, average American house-wife. In ten seconds she will make a decision--
     --if it's the wrong one it will mean the end of the Fantastic Four!

Having barely read any Fantastic Four in my life, I can't imagine how having head-of-household Mr. Fantastic could make this "The world's greatest comic magazine!" Regardless of his stiff demeanor (even for someone as pliable as he) this issue's scribe brings us up to speed. The FF are living in the Avengers mansion while their pad is being rebuilt. On the cusp of events happening in the Secret Wars II, Doctor Doom has reared his ugly head (hey, there's a reason he wears the mask) only to be vaporized again. She-Hulk has taken the place of Thing on the team and Johnny Storm is dating Thing's ex. Clobberin' Time, indeed.

After the Wasp sits through Reed's tedious explanation of his new invention, a device to monitor the brainwaves of the maybe-not-dead Doctor Doom, she realizes it's almost time to get her hair done (seriously) with Sue and Jennifer. Reed Richards can't be bothered with putting his arms around the girls, but he'll walk them to the foyer. Just in time to not see the computer go wonky with a potential delta wave match. Only in funny books.

The girls are getting their hair did and someone attacks the Latverian Embassy. Certainly couldn't be Doctor Doom, could it? Of course not--it's the Invincible Man. Turns out he's attacking because his wife and son have been taken hostage. He mysteriously knows the ins and outs of the Embassy, but obviously can't do this alone. He acquisitions the help of the ladies and it turns out to be a set-up. But who could be pulling the strings?!

There's some good stuff here. Nice, solid plotting and it makes for a nice story even if we never see the end. My favorite scenes are the obvious demeaning of women because it's just so blatantly ridiculous. Though the girls kick a lot of tail, Sue's pratfalls would probably make her happy she's the Invisible Woman: instinctively throwing a force-field around herself when she hears Invincible Man's voice, but later lets a housewife sneak up and hit her on the head with a vase. Comedic gold.

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