Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The New, Improved... Porcupine!?


Alex Gentry, the infamous Porcupine, hasn't had an easy time of it here at the PPoC--mostly because try as he might, he can't seem to establish his cred as a formidable foe, even though he's one of Marvel's classic super-villains. In one instance, he was even dropped while trying to rob patrons at a fashion show--and if his custom-made weapons suit strikes out in a venue full of models, the word around town in criminal circles isn't likely to be charitable to him.

Gentry, however, is convinced his costume is a state-of-the-art suit that makes him unbeatable, even given the evidence to the contrary--and so he persists. And while he started out wanting to make a reputation for himself, what he's really after now is to make enough money selling his battle suit design to call it quits and live a lush life in early retirement; and so he decides to streamline his costume a bit, readapting his deadly quills into razor-tipped weapons and concussion bombs, while also including a high-voltage pack in his arsenal. The next step is to engage a high-profile super-hero, to prove the effectiveness of his suit as well as to settle a few scores; and to that end, he's sought out another classic Marvel organization to make a deal with, a group that has its own history with the Porcupine's designated target.



This time, Gentry is leaving nothing to chance, deploying a series of spy cameras to track the movements of Captain America in order to ambush him when the time is right. But Cap's new informal partner, the Nomad (a/k/a Bucky, the former partner of the Captain America of the 1950s), has been doing his own tailing of Cap, and has spotted the Porcupine's spy cam.




Apparently the Porcupine isn't as original as he claims to be with his inventions--though in this case, it's artist Sal Buscema who's reached back 17 years to borrow a little technology we've seen before, in an issue of Fantastic Four:


(Man, it must have been so easy to write Sue's dialog in those days!)


Taking the initiative, the Nomad trails the device back to its source--but the Porcupine proves to be his match and captures him, later using him to catch Cap off-guard. And while Cap easily dealt with the Porcupine in a prior encounter, it looks like the Porcupine's new suit may just turn the tables on his star-spangled foe this time.





Nomad, as you might have realized, has been having difficulty with his self-confidence, trying to measure up to Cap's standards but finding himself out of sorts in his attempt to turn his life around (since being cured of the mind damage that afflicted both himself and the 1950s Cap) and establish himself as a hero in the 1980s. His capture by the Porcupine has likely given him further cause to doubt himself; but seeing Cap on the ropes has spurred him into action, and he's able to fall back on the drive and determination that likely had him seeking out a life of adventure in the first place. Though he doesn't yet realize that his behavior is precisely what his mentor was hoping for.





It looks like things have turned around for the Nomad--though not so much for the Porcupine, whose new suit seems to be on its way to establishing the history of its predecessor.

NEXT:
Because you (maybe) demanded it!  The Porcupine's last stand!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

A Goddess Is Born!


Readers may not have known it at the time, but with issue #136 of The Mighty Thor the comic would be parting with one of its major characters who went back to nearly its inception--Jane Foster, who had been the nurse and eventual girlfriend of Thor's human form, Dr. Donald Blake, but whose feelings grew even deeper when Blake's secret identity was revealed to her. Standing in the couple's way has always been Thor's father, Odin, who had forbidden Thor to love a mortal and who had more than one row with his son on the subject while he continued his relationship with her. Now, at last, Odin has relented, and granted his permission for the two to be wed--but if that's so, why does Jane look scared out of her mind on the issue's dramatic cover?



Side-by-side with its reprint in Marvel Spectacular, the cover by artist Jack Kirby is no doubt well-known to any Thor reader, as its story brings to a climax the long struggle that Thor has waged to join with the woman who holds his heart--a journey that's taken almost 4½ years. The MS cover makes two noticeable changes to the design of the original, the most obvious being to let the story's title banner stand on its own while its accompanying caption is moved to the bottom corner--still enticing, but less crowding of the cover's focus. There's also some needed rewording regarding the issue's threat, "the Unknown," which now reads less awkwardly on the revised cover.

As long as it took Thor and Jane to reach this point, the issue's story was likely highly anticipated by the book's readers, as it would mark a new chapter in the Thunder God's immortal life, and surely in Jane's. And indeed it does--though in a way neither of them could suspect.

Friday, August 26, 2016

The World's Ultimate Comic Magazine


After experiencing two adventures of the "ultimate" Fantastic Four*--one where they met and battled the Sub-Mariner, and the other where they were instrumental in opening the comics door to the Marvel Zombies--it seems appropriate to backtrack a bit and take a brief look at the circumstances in which this alternate universe team came to be born. Created by Brian Bendis and Mark Millar, the Fantastic Four of (coincidentally?) 2004 had very different histories than their 1961 counterparts, and, by extension, a very different origin.

*There's also the account of the team's own Fantasti-Car--which doesn't look like a "flying bathtub," but was mocked just the same.

It's clear from reading the book's first several issues that a lot of thought was given to not just how these four characters would gain their powers, but how they would come together in the first place. The original Stan Lee story read rather rushed, as far as introducing the four principals, giving us their backstory, and presto, making them heroes in time for issue #2; Lee would then use succeeding issues to flesh out their personalities and begin to cement the bond between them. By contrast, we get to know the characters in the updated story over the course of two issues before the "accident" which created them ever takes place--a scientific experiment that has Victor Van Damme to blame for its failure. (And while "Doctor Damme" has a nice ring to it, rest assured that the good doctor eventually retains the nomenclature that made him a household name for comics readers everywhere.)

To break it down for you, the ultimate FF chronology roughly goes something like this:

We first meet Reed, who's remarkably brilliant even at a young age, as he's being harassed at school by bullies who are sent packing by Reed's friend, the older Ben Grimm, a student nobody messes with and who has become Reed's friend and looks out for him. And when Ben comes over to get some help with his trig homework, Reed confidentially lets him in on his latest brainstorm: a teleportation device.




It would be a few years before Reed actually builds a "working" device to the point where he's ready to present it--at his middle school science fair, that is. To the astonishment of everyone, the demonstration is successful--and it catches the attention of a "scout" who attends such events in order to spot potential candidates for a program that will further their education in an environment which encourages their natural intelligence and creative drive.




And so Reed is invited to live and work at the Baxter Building, a military-sponsored think tank headed by scientist Franklin Storm, where of course Reed meets (biotechnologist) Susan Storm and her brother, Johnny. Reed finds that the staff is very excited to meet him, since they've also stumbled onto the same dimensional-transport discovery that Reed has made but haven't been able to make any further progress.



With Reed aboard, in an environment in which he thrives, in a few years' time he's ready to test the prototype of the device that he first theorized about with his friend Ben when they were kids. Also part of the project is Victor, who Reed met when he arrived at the Baxter. In a turnabout of the history we know, it was Victor who was discovered in Reed's room, looking over Reed's figures for the device and pointing out a few errors--and it was Reed who blew his stack and kicked Victor out in anger. Yet looking over Victor's notes, Reed discovered that Victor had been correct, and later smoothed things over with him and invited him to join in on the project. Now, as the time approaches for the device's first test, Victor is adamant about making last-minute changes to the settings.



And speaking of Ben, he arrives just in time to reunite with his old friend and wish him well.



The test of the device involves sending an apple from Nevada to Guantanamo, a distance of over 2,700 miles. As you might guess, the results are unexpected and dramatic. The apple itself remains stationary; but the effect of the teleporter transports Ben, Sue, Reed, and Johnny while altering their physical bodies at the genetic level (which I probably don't need to go into detail on for you). Johnny ends up in France; Ben in Mexico; Sue in Subterranea, where the Mole Man greets her; and Reed just a short distance from the device. Also affected is Van Damme, who is transported to Copenhagen and now resembles the "Doctor Doom" we're familiar with--only his body is metal, and he has clawed hands and goat-hooved legs.

Reed later discovers that it was Victor who reprogrammed the teleporter; yet Victor believes that the accident occurred because Reed's programming was so bad that even Victor couldn't fix it. (Sanity, it appears, eludes this version of Doom as well as his counterpart.)

The UFF title would run for sixty issues over a period of five years before it concluded, with the book caught up in the events of the Ultimatum series that closed out the Ultimate line of books.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Sword And The Sorceress!


Taking place between an encounter with the so-called Lady Liberators and an adventure in the world of the Squadron Supreme is a single-issue Avengers story which, given its action quotient and the parties involved, you might think would necessitate being extended into at least two parts. But it looks like having their mansion displaced through dimensions, dealing with the savage Arkon, his legions of armed warriors, and a heavyweight like the Enchantress, plus battling an enthralled Black Knight is all in a day's work for the Avengers, who take a mere twenty pages to clean Arkon's clock, fight through his warriors, rescue the Knight, and send the Enchantress packing. And starting with the issue's cover and its compelling splash page, you'll be getting all that and more for your 15¢.



And while you may come away from this story feeling that an awful lot has been crammed into it, more is what you'll indeed find, as writer Roy Thomas handles and paces its story so adeptly (in tandem with artist John Buscema) that everything proceeds from beginning to end sensibly, if perhaps a bit breathlessly--much the same sort of hectic pace that was to be found in the story that wrapped up the Avengers' dealings with Zodiac's operations. Right away, there are many questions the cover and page one have us asking: Why has Arkon returned? Why would he turn against the Avengers, when it was they who saved his entire world? How did the Enchantress become involved with him? How and why is the Black Knight on another world? It would be a step-by-step process that assembles the pieces of this puzzle--and would, in turn, assemble the Avengers, as well.

The key to their involvement is one of their own--the Black Knight, who joined their ranks after a conflict with Kang the Conqueror but who hasn't been seen in the book since, his status perhaps best described as a reserve member. It's nice to see him in play again, though he doesn't appear to be himself--his mystic ebony sword having exerted a growing, violent influence on him. It turns out it's Arkon's world he's mysteriously arrived at, in an effort to destroy the sword and regain his own will. The sword, unfortunately, has taken him past the point of being able to accomplish his mission; but the interesting part of this introduction is how it connects to the rest of the Avengers, one of whom becomes aware of his plight through means that are equally mysterious.




Wednesday, August 24, 2016

If This Planet You Would Save...!


We humans have often been raked over the coals by super-beings who either see little of worth in our species, or have no doubt that we're slowly but surely extinguishing ourselves. Often it's hard to argue with their conclusions; after all, while we're given the impression that we're hearing an objective point of view, it's actually a human who's giving them their words, and that's about as first-hand as you can get when it comes to pointing out our failings and the prospects for our survival. But the notion of someone or something not of our world providing us with a frank assessment of us and where we're likely headed has always been a fascinating one, regardless. And if there is alien life out there capable of interstellar space travel, perhaps the fact that they've chosen to give our world a wide berth after looking us over speaks volumes.

Yet given our focus at the PPoC, it might be interesting to dip into the fictional world of comics and get a sampling of how Marvel's other-worldly characters see our prospects for continued survival. Most of these beings don't have our best interests at heart, of course, so their opinions on the subject can be rather pessimistic--yet you may find yourself feeling that the points they make are difficult to refute.


Jeez, Surfer, don't sugar-coat it--tell us how you really feel!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Deadly Thirst of... Baron Blood!


It's reasonable to wonder why the notorious Baron Blood never made an appearance in the Tomb Of Dracula book, as an antagonist or otherwise. Though it can be fun to imagine how such a confrontation might play out:

"Gaze into my eyes, fool..."
"Gaze into my eyes, fool..."
"No, fool, YOU gaze into MY..."

Yet there's no reason to believe that Blood wouldn't be subservient to Dracula, and willingly, since he's often prided himself at being "a scion of Dracula" and seems to have no qualms about doing his master's bidding.

We know of the original Baron Blood's exploits primarily through stories featured in The Invaders and the more contemporary Captain America, the latter book being where the Baron finally met his end.



From what I understand, Blood was a frequent and formidable adversary in The Invaders, as well as other mags that featured wartime exploits. Thanks to artist Frank Robbins, he certainly has one of the more interesting villain costumes out there, with his hood resembling the head and ears of a bat--and the rest of the outfit completing the look, clinging to a bony frame and accentuated by a large "winged" membrane. It's unclear how Blood can actually take to the air and fly without changing his shape to a bat; perhaps he weighs next to nothing and can simply glide for short distances. Regardless, he remains one of the most eye-catching and striking villains around.

To fast-track the character's origin, the creature who became known as "Baron Blood" is the result of family bitterness combined with leanings toward Nazi Germany. After their father passed away in the early 1900s, the elder of the two Falsworth sons, Montgomery, became Lord Falsworth, while the younger and embittered John struck out on his own and wandered Europe. It's during this time that he ended up in Transylvania--and his ambition led to a fatal underestimation of the being he sought to bring under his control.



It was never quite clear to me how the title "Baron" was attached to this vampire; perhaps the Germans gave it to him when Blood began working with them. My understanding of British titles is that "Baron" has the same meaning as the preferred "Lord," so perhaps Blood felt it was a way to deride his brother's status and claim a bit of his own.

With Montgomery becoming the British iconic hero known as Union Jack and fighting in World Wars I and II, John's resentment of his brother brought Blood into conflict with the Invaders, who met him in final battle at the Falsworth estate, where he kidnapped Montgomery's daughter, Jacqueline, and prepared to slay her. During the conflict, he also revealed how the Nazis helped to condition him to resist the harmful effects of the sun.



But the filthy fiend is prevented from claiming his prize as Union Jack confronts him in caverns beneath the estate and, in a heated battle, is severely injured when hit with a large boulder which crushes his legs. But when the Invaders converge on them, an accident ends the reign of terror of Baron Blood, at least for now.




Since Blood's remains aren't properly disposed of, he would rise again to battle the Invaders, with his menace finally ended by the Sub-Mariner's use of a wooden stake. At that point, his remains are sealed in the Tower of London, and there they stayed for over thirty years--or so it was thought. When a series of grisly murders take place in the area, Falsworth, now old and infirm, calls for Captain America's assistance in tracking down the one who Falsworth feels certain is responsible, against all evidence to the contrary. Consequently, Cap's first stop is to verify that Blood is indeed still present in his sealed coffin, a visit which leads to a horrifying discovery.



Not only is Blood free and at large--he's apparently been so for over a decade. The mystery is why he's kept such a low profile for so long. It's a question that Cap may not live long enough to answer, as Blood makes a preemptive strike by coming to Falsworth Manor in the dead of night and attempting to catch Cap by surprise. Cap, of course, expected this sort of reaction to his presence, and engages Blood in a hard-fought battle--but Blood has the full abilities of a vampire, and Cap is eventually undone, standing helpless as his foe prepares to take his life.




Unfortunately, Blood may well go down as the only vampire to come close to needing dentures, thanks to the unexpected resilience of Cap's uniform. And despite Blood's advantage of strength, Cap manages to drive him off with the approaching dawn.



After a thorough search for Blood the next day and some investigative work, Cap, with the help of "Union Jack," lays a trap for Blood that evening, as Blood again confronts his now bed-ridden brother who appears to have readopted his distinctive uniform from the war. And as the man lies helpless, we learn of how Blood was revived, and why he's stayed under the radar for so long.



But Falsworth isn't as helpless as Blood may think; in fact, it's not Falsworth in costume at all, but a friend of Falsworth's great-nephew who has suited up in order to help Cap spring a well-laid trap for Blood.



However, Blood is able to hold his ground, counting on the setting sun to see his full power restored; and when Union Jack is out of the fight and Captain America is on the ropes, Cap makes the only decision he can make, one which clearly costs him in mind and spirit.



It's the only part of writer Roger Stern's story that doesn't really add up; after all, a man such as Cap who battled through a bloody and relentless world war can be no stranger to death. How many lives was he forced to take on the battlefield? None? Really? Captain America, the country's super-soldier, battling to preserve the lives of the men he fought with yet drawing the line at killing enemy soldiers? It seems unlikely in the extreme, even if we swallow the notion that Bucky was given the dirty work in the partnership. So while it would make sense for a man like Cap to hesitate at the crucial moment, it makes little to no sense to see him balk at killing Blood, a creature whose mortal life was already ended decades past.



Lord Falsworth passed away peacefully while his brother's pyres did their work at last and assured the vampire's final death. But in one form or another, "Baron Blood" would return to seek out new victims and make sure the outline of that feared and ghastly costume would continue to fall across the silhouette of the moon on a still night.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Life eXpectancy


Thanks to an alien invader named Khan (no, not that Khan), Gambit of the X-Men has been captured and restrained and is being used as a power conduit for a beam that opens a portal between dimensions that allows Khan to bring his forces through. When Rogue arrives in an attempt to set him free, the portion of Gambit's power that she's absorbed makes her susceptible to the beam as well, holding her in place above him and making them both vulnerable to the approach of Vargas, a Spaniard who has already killed Psylocke and wants to see Rogue dead because of a vision of the precog mutant, Destiny, that reveals his death at Rogue's hand.





Vargas is hardly the honorable type--and the other X-Men are occupied with Khan. And so with both Rogue and Gambit helpless, you're likely correct in your guess of what happens to these two next--and given that this comic is called X-treme X-Men, and that it's written by Chris "the-more-graphic-the-death-the-better" Claremont, you're even probably prepared for the worst. The question is:


Can you think of any way both of these people lived through this attack?

What if we threw in the fact that Rogue has been impaled through the heart?
It has to be game over for this pair, right?? Come on!!

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Final Stake!


In 1979, the penultimate issue of Tomb Of Dracula contained an announcement by writer Marv Wolfman that the long-time artist for the book, Gene Colan, had several months earlier requested to leave the book and move on to other projects. At the time, there was no decision as yet whether to continue TOD; its sales were consistently solid, and there was a six-month window before a final decision had to be made as to whether to bring things to an end, or change the book's format and/or frequency of publication, as well as deciding on a new creative team. In the interim, Colan had been requested (and agreed) to continue on the book through issue #72, which would allow time to wrap up the storylines that had been put in motion.

If the book had continued past #72, TOD, according to Wolfman, "would have become a very different magazine. As we had done several years ago, new characters would have been introduced, locales would have changed, directions would have shifted." And one could only wonder who would follow in Colan's and Palmer's footsteps.

Unfortunately, John Steinbeck's paraphrased line from Of Mice And Men, "The best-laid plans... Often go awry," has hit its mark often in the eighty years it's been in circulation--and the window that would have allowed Wolfman, editor Jim Shooter, et al. to make plans for any further publication of Tomb Of Dracula in whatever format it would appear in was unexpectedly slammed shut by inadvertent human error which caused the next issue, #70, to be listed as the last of the series, rather than #72. Which prompted another announcement by Wolfman, appearing in what had now become the final issue of Tomb Of Dracula:

"Anyone who reads several Marvel mags each month (and who doesn't?) probably knows we've dropped about a half dozen titles recently and replaced them with some new books soon to be out. As this was being done, TOMB OF DRACULA was accidentally killed three issues early. Our last issue was going to be just that ... our last issue.

"When Jim (Trouble) Shooter noticed the error, he notified the upstairs circulation office, but it was already too late. Computer lists had been redrawn. The expense to bring back the title would be too enormous. At the same time TOD was dropped, a decision was made to convert TOD to a large-size non-Code format magazine. I was asked if the final three issues of TOD could be put into our first new magazine. I felt it would be a mistake, and when I informed Jim of the contents of issues 70-72, which had been drawn for several months at that time, he agreed.

"Jim got on the phone once again and somehow convinced them upstairs to create a Dracula annual. It would be a double-size book, and as an annual it could get around the computer list problem. During the following week, it was discovered that we could simply number the annual #70, which would have been the next TOD issue, and so, here it is, a bit late [three months] because Titanic Tom Palmer was doing a masterful job over Gentleman Gene Colan's pencils for another magazine project--Starlord, but it's here nonetheless.

"Before you ask, yes, pages were dropped from our three issues to make this issue, but none of the dropped pages should hurt the story flow. Most of them were either subplots in #70 which would have spun off into future stories (sub-plots written before we knew TOD was being cancelled), or some action pages which would have come just before Dracula and Torgo began their grudge match. ... Furthermore, because of the Marvel style of scripting (plot followed by art followed by script), I was able to drop those pages and write the story as if they never existed. If this had been done script first as done at other companies, the missing material would be obvious. Now it is doubtful if anyone will know exactly what came from which issue as the three books are interwoven into one.
"

Which helps to explain why reading Tomb Of Dracula #70 gives the impression of several different things at once being hurriedly resolved and concluded without a chance to catch our collective breath--i.e., not really expecting The End to appear in print for a few more issues, only to discover that we're actually reading the very last story in the issue we're holding. Wolfman is correct: All the bases are covered, all the plots are tied up satisfactorily, and the "many situations that had been set up over the past several years ... to culminate" in the final issue indeed did so. But, given its long and distinctive run and its reputation as a top-notch series of (yes) consistently fine and compelling stories, perhaps we were all looking forward to a final issue that was exclusively reserved for bringing down the curtain, rather than its closing scenes being appended to the issue that resolved several storylines at once.

So rather than a full-fledged review, which doesn't seem appropriate (or perhaps even possible) under the circumstances, we can instead touch on a few of the issue's stronger points that help to bring its title character and some of its cast full circle, as the end finally comes for Tomb Of Dracula--as well as for Dracula himself, a centuries-old monster and nobleman who can cheat death no longer.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

When Wakes The Sub-Mariner!


Aside from the tales we've seen in the What If titles, there are a number of alternate versions of stories involving the Fantastic Four and their adventures as we've come to know them, with many involving a different take on their origin as well as the characters they've met and fought. One extended example which quickly comes to mind is Ultimate Fantastic Four, part of the Ultimate "universe" which spawned a series of titles from 2002-09 and sought to give more of an edge to their stories while burdening their characters with far fewer scruples as far as ethical dilemmas or the use of deadly force. Several of these titles lost steam as the first decade of the 21st century drew to its close--perhaps due to the body count that accumulated across the board growing tiresome, or its characters leaving behind the interesting aspects they'd started out with (the exception to both probably being Ultimate Spider-Man, which had a long successful run and distinguished itself among the others). The Ultimates books didn't hold the monopoly on such failings, with X-Force, Cable, and other trigger-happy titles in "our" universe also blending together as far as their modus operandi.

For awhile, though, Ultimate Fantastic Four was at least noteworthy, and fairly interesting--its team much younger than their counterparts and part of a think tank organization headed by the Storms' father which operated out of the Baxter Building. Naturally, their classic foes had a considerable twist to their own origins and history--with one such antagonist, the Sub-Mariner, literally unearthed after being entombed in the depths of the Atlantic for nine thousand years.


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

My Betrothed--My Killer!


It took just a little over three years after her death for Uncanny X-Men to start the ball rolling with bringing the character of Phoenix back in one form or another--that is, if you don't count earlier issues that teased readers with the possibility. Unfortunately, the book's twentieth anniversary issue takes that sort of bait-and-switch treatment and this time applies it to its story's main plot.



Here, the team firmly believes that Jean Grey has returned, and obviously as Dark Phoenix, the character's ruthless, take-no-prisoners manifestation--reincarnated through the form of Madelyne Pryor, Scott Summers' fiancée, a woman whose own resemblance to Jean is uncanny and whose life offers disturbing parallels and coincidences in regard to the woman whose likeness she bears. Not only was Madelyne the sole survivor of a plane crash that occurred at the instant of Jean's death on the moon--but Scott has also found no evidence of her existence prior to the crash, while Madelyne avoids the subject in conversation. Conveniently, Madelyne also seems to be one of those rare humans whose thoughts are closed to Prof. Xavier. All more than enough to raise the suspicions of the X-Men (and certainly Scott) to an alarming agree; but in a Chris Claremont story, people tend to talk a lot about things which should be looked into, and then look the other way until it's too late and the crisis is upon them.

That point comes when Scott can no longer bear the thought of not knowing the truth about Madelyne, and bluntly broaches the subject during an intimate celebration of their engagement in Anchorage.


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

War With The Frightful Four!


This looks like a climactic issue that's got a lot of backstory to it, doesn't it?



But because this story takes place in the middle of a tense situation involving the marital difficulties of Reed and Sue Richards, the attack of the Frightful Four is given short shrift--by its own admission, "an interlude in a much greater war--a brief respite, of sorts, between one tempest of emotion and the next." The evil FF haven't been seen in the mag since their all-out attack on the FF which introduced their powerful new member, Thundra--so they were due for a return appearance, no question. Their timing was just off, unfortunately; after all, how do you compete with the added complication of the Sub-Mariner in Reed's and Sue's troubles, and a cliffhanger like this?


(Jeez, talk about the "Red Sea"!)


So, forced to leave Sue with Namor, the team isn't in the best of shape, emotionally or otherwise--particularly Reed, who's just lost his wife not only to pending divorce proceedings, but also to his greatest rival. In two issues, that would all change, when the couple reunite; but what to do until then? If you're the Frightful Four, you're too busy lying in wait in the Baxter Building to care--and if the FF don't get ahold of themselves, instead of going to pieces while coming in for a landing, a fatal crash will do the evil FF's work for them!


Whoa! Did anyone catch the mega-goof on this page?

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