Saturday, October 5, 2013

No Scruples For A Skrull

In a 1980 interview, artist John Byrne wrote the following about working with writer Marv Wolfman:

"I disagree mostly with Marv in terms of what came out of the writing end. There were several scenes in his plots that were really nice--and they were all Marv's because it was full plot, there was nothing of me in there--and then, he wrote them so differently! I don't know why he did. The really nice scenes went away because of the way he wrote them.

"... [T]he Torch vs. Skrull-X fight in Fantastic Four #214 is a perfect example. In the plot, the Human Torch is battling this Skrull. The Skrull knocks him to the ground, opens a hatch in his chest, and pulls out a raygun. Johnny thinks, 'My God! He's a robot!,' hits the guy with everything he's got, knocks him into the next room, melts him to slag, and then grabs him by the collar and says, 'Okay, you son of a bitch, tell me how to save the Fantastic Four!' Skrull-X laughs at him and conks out. That's what I drew.

"What Marv wrote was: the guy knocks Johnny down, and takes out the raygun from his chest. Johnny thinks, "My God! He's going to hit me with that raygun!,' hits him with the full blast, melts him to slag, picks him up by the collar and goes, 'My God! It's a robot!' So in other words, Johnny Storm, without knowing that this was a robot, cut loose on a living being! That violated that scene entirely. I don't know why Marv did that. Makes no sense at all."

Here's the scene which Byrne is referring to:

Byrne is correct in spotting one part of this scene that doesn't make sense and that Wolfman fails to account for. But as for Johnny cutting loose on a living being, Wolfman has somewhat fixed that in the dialog.

Can you spot both the discrepancy, as well as how Wolfman covered his bases on Johnny's apparent lack of scruples?


Gecho said...

Hmm, Johnny says that the skrull's powers can survive the inferno he put him through (which is wrong, unless he's the SuperSkrull,) but having just said that, he flames off to question the skrull. A bit risky - if the skrull can survive the blast, then surely he can hit back while Johnny's non-flamey?

Comicsfan said...

"Skrull-X" indeed had flame powers, and used them in battle with the Torch just prior to this scene, so Johnny would have been correct in his assumption. As to why Johnny flamed off, the effort seemed to take a lot out of him, judging by a prior panel I omitted--though he also may have been satisfied that he'd sufficiently incapacitated the Skrull for questioning. He certainly did enough chest-beating during the attack to make us come to that conclusion. :)