Ah, the 1970s – a decade of people trying to ‘find each other’. If there was ever one ironic stance for the invisible girl, it would be this. Sue’s exact status in this story isn’t entirely clear. Does she use the call sign Invisible Girl? Does she call herself the Invisible Woman (which she covered in real FF stories in 1984)? We do not know. She’s not even called Sue Richards. In the “real” Fantastic Four stories, Sue took her husband’s last name when she married him, but even that has fallen out these days with people constantly calling her Sue Storm. (I attribute this to the influence of the films.) By the 1970s, women around the world intended to find out “who they were,” a condition reflected in Sue’s experience in this story.
In the real FF stories, Sue worrying about her place on the team was a recurring theme, with the fact that she didn’t have her force field and her powers of invisibility of projection until the number. 22, then becoming pregnant with Franklin, and later Reed’s overprotection of “the mother of her child” and her condescending attitude towards her. These latter conditions actually caused her to take Franklin and leave him (FF # 130), just like she did in this story. It’s a recurring story for Sue to be afraid of being left out, of finding herself as “invisible” as her powers make her, until John Byrne’s work in the 1980s. Today, people who work with FF like to keep her front and center, both because she’s the most advanced member of the team and, let’s be honest, because she is wife and most of the people who work in comics are straight men. But it was a long journey for her to get to where she is today, a fact that this story reminds us of.
Yet, as radically different from the true story of the Fantastic Four and the Marvel Universe, we find that some things are still held constant. Reed Richards is always motivated by the need to use science on behalf of the rest of humanity and make the world a better place, even though in this story he got caught up in Victor Von Doom. And Doom, even without the backstory as we know it, is still Doom, insatiably greedy for power and blindly convinced that humanity will be better off under his rule. The Sub always has a (Davy) Jones for Sue, no matter what her name is and no matter what world we find her in. And Sue, whatever her name is, still has a knack for wresting victory from the clutches of certain defeat, as she has done many times in real FF stories – and more than one. times, against the real Dr. Doom!
Meanwhile, I also remember that in the actual FF stories, Reed and Sue’s estrangement also caused her to go to the sub – but that was just a ruse on the part of Namor and the Inhumans to manipulate the Richards into reconciling! (The Fantastic Four # 147-149.) As we appear to have zero Inhumans in this version of the saga (as evidenced by Crystal’s apparent absence in Torch’s life), we have to assume that things are going to turn out very differently this time around. .
Regarding the artwork: what should they pay Sean Izaakse to get him on board as a regular artist for each issue of the regular review The Fantastic Four book for at least a few years? He and Aaron Kuder are recent top artists from “The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine!” and the presence of one or the other on a regular basis on the current monthly title would be very, very Welcome. Let them share the work, if they have to (drawing all problems), but I really wish they could be introduced as officials FF artists.
On a personal note, I just have to stress once again that I loved Dr. Carl Sagan’s participation in this issue. Dr. Sagan’s star, both in science and the popularization of science, was on the rise throughout the 1970s and peaked with the publication of the book Cosmos and the production of the PBS miniseries in 1980. I have always loved science and believed in the things that science can do to enrich our minds, expand the reach of our knowledge, and make our world worth living and living. ‘to be saved. Heck, I always thought science was fun! This is one of the things that attracted me The fantastic four as a fan. Reed Richards, if written correctly (it hasn’t always been), represents all of these values expressed as a person. Cosmos is a book that taught me my place – and everyone’s – in the universe, and helped me see more clearly than I had ever seen the importance and necessity of science. I had always understood these things, but Dr Sagan and his journey through the Cosmos clarified them so well. It is a book which has the strongest natural appeal for a The Fantastic Four fan. I only hope that if we see Reed and Dr Sagan together again in a flashback or period story, it will be in more sympathetic circumstances. In the meantime, if you listen, Dan Slott, a contemporary appearance by Dr Sagan’s successor Dr Neil DeGrasse Tyson, and a meeting between him and Reed in the real The Fantastic Four the book would not be down!