Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Seems To Have An Affinity For Doctors


Name This Marvel Villain??

You have to hand it to the Skrulls--their "divide and conquer" stratagem seems to work well for them, which is probably why they stick with it. Sure, it could use some fine-tuning to iron out the rough edges, but they've got the execution down pat. Nobody knows that better than the Fantastic Four, who more than once have been taken in by Skrull attempts to discredit them in the eyes of the public.

Which is how the Invincible Man came into being. No earthly villain, but a Skrull in disguise--specifically, the Super Skrull, who after his last defeat by the FF has been recalled to service in order to implement a plan which would not only make the public turn against the FF, but turn the FF against each other. And that involved taking the appearance of Sue and Johnny's father, Dr. Franklin Storm, currently serving a jail sentence:

To the police, as well as witnesses who were present at his jail break, it appeared that Storm utilized super-powers once he was free, later taking on a costume and assuming the identity of the so-called "Invincible Man." When the FF finally tracked down "Dr. Storm" and attempted to reason with him, they were unable to prevent his escape--mostly because Sue and Johnny refused to aggressively use their powers against the man they believed to be their father. Consequently, the public accused the FF of favoritism, while Reed was visibly upset with both Johnny and Sue and told them in no uncertain terms that they needed to follow his lead no matter what the circumstances.

While Sue and her brother were moping about how they failed the FF, Reed was busy with a secret plan designed to expose the Invincible Man and defeat the Skrulls' operation. And the Invincible Man's brief but fruitful career came to an abrupt end:

But the Skrulls' return of Franklin Storm was to have tragic consequences:

Mortally wounded, Dr. Storm redeemed himself in the eyes of not only the law but also his children:

By all rights, the existence of the Invincible Man should have ended then and there. But the villain reappears when the "son" of Dr. Doom uses Reed to capture his teammates as part of an elaborate scheme to secure Reed's cooperation.

Later, in another scheme, it seems that Doom has grown quite fond of this pseudo-identity:

Doom, trapped in another man's body and unable to gain entrance to the Latverian embassy, has taken on a costumed identity to hide his own in order to trick She-Hulk, the Wasp, and the Invisible Woman into breaking into his embassy as a ruse to rescue his wife and daughter from "Dr. Doom," who had wanted the secrets of his "invincible war-suit." The thing I don't understand is, why would Doom take the identity of the Invincible Man? Given all the buttons that identity is bound to push with Sue, why raise questions in her mind as to why this guy would create his suit design in the form of the Invincible Man, of all people? Yet outside of his initial appearance, Sue doesn't pursue the matter at all--she just accepts the guy's story at face value and storms the embassy with Jennifer and Jan.

At any rate, Doom's deception does him little good, as his plan inadvertently summons the Beyonder, who isn't too pleased at Doom's arrogant efforts to take control of the situation. Yet, when the Beyonder is made aware of a loop in time resulting from their last encounter, Doom still obtains what he was initially after--the Beyonder returns Doom's mind to his original body, and the time loop is sealed.  As was, finally, the fate of the "Invincible Man."

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