Friday, January 16, 2015

A View To Die For


OR: "We Didn't Want A Skyscraper Skyscraper..."

I don't know many thirty-five-story buildings that have been uprooted as often as the famous Baxter Building. In fact, I don't know of any skyscrapers that have been torn from their foundation, to say nothing of being sent into space. (Though perhaps Terrax the Tamer should get points for ripping out all of Manhattan and raising the entire island into orbit.) The Baxter Building has ended up in space twice--and yet this building continues to draw tenants. Unless you were looking into becoming an astronaut without having to fork over $20 million, wouldn't you give this piece of real estate a wide berth?

For its first hijacking into space at the hand of Dr. Doom, the Baxter Building was lucky enough to make it back in one piece, thanks to the Sub-Mariner:



But it would be Doom's young ward, Kristoff, who would make a second attempt--and this time, the building would reach its high altitude and never return.




Soon after, Reed would proceed with reconstruction of their headquarters, taking the opportunity to do a few upgrades (as well as a redesign of the building's crown, which we would discover later). You'd think that, after nearly 300 issues of Fantastic Four, this kind of change would be a historic one in a comic book sense--but preparations were very understated, with only minimal scenes that allowed us to "check in" on its progress:





And before you knew it, the building at "Four Freedoms Plaza" was just--there, without so much as even a ribbon-cutting ceremony:



Of course, with the FF in residence, this new building would be fraught with much the same dangers as its predecessor--and even more destructive incidents:



Following the events of Onslaught, the Thunderbolts took possession of the building (after all of Reed's scientific equipment had been sent to the Negative Zone by a cautious Nathaniel Richards, foiling an attempt by the military to seize it); and, once they returned, the FF would be forced to seek out alternate housing, at their "Pier 4" storage facility:



Which would meet its own destructive end during an attack by the villainous alchemist, Diablo:



Along with Zemo's detonation of the Four Freedoms Plaza building, Pier 4's demise would pave the way for the return of the Baxter Building, the construction of which was being supervised by an old colleague of Reed's, and taking place in a most unexpected location:



And when the building is ready to go "live," it settles into its old foundation like a glove--ready to make history once again.


But, let's not tell Doom for awhile, agreed?

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