Fantastic Four #193
Plotted by Len Wein & Keith Pollard
Written by Bill Mantlo
Pencils by Keith Pollard
Inks by Joe Sinnott
Colors by Mouly & Cohen
It’s a tale of the Death Demon. Hey, it’s really the only demon there is. Am I right? Only Doom knows for sure. And trust us, he ain’t saying. So this issue continues with the whole Fantastic Four broke up but we are going to bring them back as a team at some point but can take this time to do off beat stories to keep it fresh. You’d think Marvel would do that now, seeing as how Fox holds the film rights. But they’d rather be petty and just cancel the book outright. Good thing the goobers in charge now weren’t in control back in the Bronze Age. Marvel’s books would cost $0.99 instead of $0.35 and they’d all be written by a new born Bendis.
So in issue #194, we checked up on the Human Torch and his time spent in the American Mid-West and racing cars. How the hell does that even pay the bills? Only Wingfoot Wyatt truly knows. This time we get down with The Thing. He’s no longer a big time hero in a big time diaper.
Well, now he’s a guy in a diaper working for NASA. I get a kick out of how nobody at NASA is forcing The Thing to put on pants. I’m going to try this next time I go to work. By Marvel logic I should be running the place by noon.
So The Thing gets a phone call from someone from his past saying to quit NASA and not to pilot the new Solar Shuttle that’s being sent into space. The voice sounds like his old friend Desmond. But wha??? He’s been dead for ten years. What a turn of events!!!! So the General in charge of the mission talks about how Ben’s friend Desmond was a traitor to his country and became the Death Demon by Dr. Doom and did the old Marvel bad guy team up a few years ago. But the Demon isn’t without heart. Everyone thinks that Desmond is really a turn coat but he was tricked by Doom. Boy, isn’t that the way it always goes. I’d just hate to see Doom take someone on a date.
Desmond is now the Death Demon and he’s stuck in this new monster form, with no way to go back to being human. Not only that but he’s being force to work for the evil Diablo. Now that I think about it, Jack Kirby had to be on some goof balls to dream up the outfit that Diablo wears. That or he was just afraid of Court Jesters. Or both. Or not. But Diablo now has taken control of the Solar Shuttle and starts stealing the energy of the sun. He’s also using it to turn up the heat inside the Shuttle and tries to cook The Thing’s rocky, orange ass alive.
The great twist is that no matter how much Diablo tries, he just can’t help him kill a good friend. Ben owes Desmond a Thank You card in the future. It’s just good manners. Diablo steals more solar power (He could just get Solar Panels on his home, silly.) and then laughs and laughs that the Solar Shuttle is falling to Earth. He also lets it slip that stealing the Solar Power wasn’t even his plan. He stole it from Dr. Doom (Doom’s was “killed” a few years ago.) The Shuttle comes violently to earth and everyone screams that the Thing must be a goner. I bet he is. No one has seen him since. Oh, I take that back.
Fun story and Keith Pollard pretty much an unsung hero to Marvel Comics and comics in general. He was a great storyteller who was also on time. That type of thing would cause current artists' heads to explode. (Bryan Hitch.) Lots of action and just a little bit of the Kirby Krackle thrown in to make it seem like a nostalgia trip. My thumbs are…..up and so am I. But it’s mainly the coffee. Until the next rant, Make Mine Marvel. Until they get the itch and cancel the damn book. FTW.