Thursday, December 06, 2007

You've Been Warned: Fantastic Four #241

Now, I don’t think much of what emanates from John Byrne these days but I can’t deny the fact the he was producing some awesome stuff in the early 80s. I’ve been re-reading his Fantastic Four run recently and it is pure comic book goodness. Somehow, Byrne manage to lay a big egg in the middle of that run. Normally a meeting between the Fantastic Four and the Black Panther is a reason to celebrate, but this time out I am just left to scratch my head an ask what went wrong.

It’s an unbelievably high concept, grand scale story involving a 2,000-year old Roman civilization living deep within a Wakandan mountain. This is mini-series, possibly max-series stuff but Byrne rushes us through the proceedings (possible because he knew how ludicrous it all is) and wraps this up more than a little too nicely in the last 2 pages. Something to do with an alien helmet keeping the deceased alive, and simultaneously eating away at the self-proclaimed Emperior to the point that when Sue tries to unmask the Phantom of the Opera, she gets the Invisible Man. As an added bonus, we get plenty of Frankie Raye being annoying throughout. A serious bump in an otherwise smooth road.


Darkness U.S.A said...

i was turned off by this issue for another reason. i found the comments made by the roman a little insulting. he referred to the africans he made speak latin as "gibbering monkey voices" which i thought was totally unnecessary i don't think the soldier would behave like that and some sequences smacked too much of tarzan to me. just one of my problems with byrne and his questionable race issues.

Scott M said...

Fair enough. I do remember that rubbing me the wrong way, but obviously it faded over time when I sat down to post this. Thanks for the comment!