Monday, May 23, 2016


Story & Inks: John Byrne | Guest Penciler: Kerry Gammill
Letterer: Diana Albers | Colorist: Glynis Wein
Editor: Bob Budiansky | Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

The Plot: As they sit in the waiting area near Sue’s hospital room, Alicia tells She-Hulk the story of an adventure shared by the Invisible Girl and the Thing some months earlier: Ben attempted to stop a robbery but was ensnared by the criminals’ leader via mind control. The woman, Karisma, sent Ben on a rampage to which Sue responded. She battled the Thing to a standstill and eventually unmasked Karisma, realizing that the woman’s makeup gave her complete control over men’s minds. Sue rendered Karisma’s head invisible and she and Ben turned her over to the police.

In the present, Reed and his advisors, the finest minds in the field of radiation, are stumped over Sue’s condition. But Doctor Walter Langowski suggests there is one man they have yet to consult: Doctor Otto Octavius, a.k.a. Doctor Octopus.

Sub-Plots & Continuity Notes: The scientists Reed has assembled for help are Doctor Bruce Banner (the Hulk), Doctor Michael Morbius (Spider-Man’s occasional vampiric enemy), and the afore-mentioned Walter Langowski (a.k.a. Sasquatch of Alpha Flight). Langowski reveals that Doctor Octavius was his teacher for one semester in college.

Alicia notes that the last time Sue had a problematic pregnancy, the problem was solved by Annihilus’s cosmic control rod. But with Annihilus presumed dead, there's no way to get hold of that device.

In Alicia’s story, she has long hair and Ben and Sue are in their old blue-and-black uniforms, setting the encounter with Karisma at some point prior to the FF’s trip to the Negative Zone.

Karisma's origin:

I feel like we missed a nice bit of cross-continuity here by not having Karisma be an employee of fashion and cosmetics mogul Roderick Kingsley...

My Thoughts: This clearly seems to be an inventory issue, no doubt prepared against the unlikely event that John Byrne might miss a deadline on FANTASTIC FOUR. Obviously that didn’t happen during the timeframe in which this story is set, so Byrne provides a new framing sequence featuring She-Hulk and Alicia, and we’re off to the races for a quick little done-in-one tale.

This picture has nothing to do with the
text at left. I just really like it.
At its surface, there’s not a whole lot here; it’s basically an issue-long brawl between Sue and Ben. But giving it a bit of thought, this one actually serves a pretty handy purpose: it’s been said that Sue truly came into her own as a character under Byrne’s watch, and we can see an aspect of that here. Byrne has been quietly upping Sue’s effectiveness since he came on the title, first giving us some new uses for her power early on, then around issue 255 or so presenting her as the team’s leader in Reed’s absence. Now he shows us that she’s capable of holding her own in a fight with the Thing, and she probably would’ve beat him handily if she weren’t worried about harming her friend.

Byrne has much more to do with Sue before his run is over, so this is just another step along the path of her development. The fact that it occurs in what’s basically a glorified fill-in issue is impressive, though.

1 comment:

  1. I feel like we missed a nice bit of cross-continuity here by not having Karisma be an employee of fashion and cosmetics mogul Roderick Kingsley...

    "Look, everybody, I put Belladonna in a Hellfire Club gown!"