Fantastic Four #186
Written By Len Wein
Pencils By George Perez
Inks By Joe Sinnott
Colors By Glynis Wein
You know how much of a master that George Perez is? This stuff he’s doing on the Fantastic Four was done in the 1970’s. The guy's like a fine wine, I tell you. Hell he was the writer/artist for the Superman reboot over at DC when they launched the New (now Old and worn out it’s fucking welcome) 52. No arguments that George is master at what he does. His crisp line and strong storytelling is what keeps him earning the big bucks. It should come as no surprise that this issue of Fantastic Four was knocked right out of the ballpark. So let’s move along with the rant, eh?
This issue has Agatha Harkness on trial by Nicolas Scratch. Why you might ask? Why, she’s a witch and she dared ventured into the world of man. You know, just your everyday problem. Why my original cat, Spunky, had to leave in 1991 for the very same reason. Okay, maybe he just ran away. Buy hey, my version makes me feel better, so deal with it. Anyhoo, the reason why little Frankin Richards is also being held is so the Fantastic Four don’t stick their nose into Scratch’s business. Holy shit, Scratch is like a Bond Villain. Totally clueless.
If he didn’t want the FF to get involved then he should have just left the kid out of it. Would have saved the guy a ton of grief.
So with Agatha out on trial and could very well be sentenced to being hanged, Reed and the crew decided that, you know, they really can’t let Agatha be killed by the other Witches. Oh, that’s just like us Americans. We can’t understand other’s laws and customs, so we just say screw it. We’ll put a stop this uncivilized nonsense. They proceed to go to war with said nation but can never get it back in order and then pull out and leave an even worse mess then when we got there. Huh? I think Reed Richards might be a distant cousin to George W. Bush.
So the Fantastic Four break out of the cell that was holding them. If you want to know how they got out, it’s because they are the freaking Fantastic Four. It’s been 186 issues and these guys are still kicking. You think you’d learn not to bet against them. But guess what? The FF need bad guys to punch. (Hey, this is still a bronze age Marvel comic after all.) So they fight a bunch of goobers named the Salem Seven! But the plot twist here is that the FF don’t really beat these guys to a bloody pulp and then just walk over them, no. When one of the Salem Seven finds out that Reed’s powers are fake by way of using his electronic extend-arm, the Salem Seven lose their powers. (They got them from a Witch's spell, you see.)
So the Fantastic Four stop the murder of Agatha Harkness just in time. She and Reed make a plea to spare her life. Then all the other witches are all like “Okay.” Then they turn on Scratch for his crappy leadership skills or because he was really a bad guy or something. I don’t remember. So yeah, they kill Scratch and they let the Fantastic Four take Franklin and Agatha. Then the whole issue ends with Agatha saying that Scratch was her own son!!! Wait what? You know what, screw that noise. I’m siding with Scratch here. His mom messed him up, then left him so that she could raise the son of a dude named Mr. Fantastic and a chick who didn’t start calling herself “Invisible Woman” until the damn 1980’s. (Women Lib FTW) That would screw anyone up. Poor Scratch. Well, at least he had a cool beard/ mustache combo going for him.