Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Fourth Member--Poor Background Check

Oh, you wacky Frightful Four.

Here at Slay Monstrobot, we've been examining the efforts of three perpetual losers to find a fourth member who would, in the Wizard's own words, make them an "exact evil counterpart" to the Fantastic Four.

To that purpose, they went out and found Medusa, who had amnesia at the time, and made three separate runs at the FF over a 6 month period. In each case, they used the element of surprise to win initially, but they just couldn't close the deal. In the last showdown, Medusa got away while the others were finally captured.

So, it's now 5 years later (our time). While the Frightful Four were rotting away in prison, the Fantastic Four stepped up their game, whooping on Galactus, taking down a cosmic-powered (stolen, but still) Doctor Doom, fending off Annihilus, dealing with an infant Adam Warlock, and saving the world from Tomazooma. You can't mess with these guys now.

But the Wizard has actually picked a good time to attack: the FF is concerned with family matters, namely, finding child care for Franklin:

Dude, it's not even widescreen!!But where is the Trapster? And whom will they choose for the fourth member this time?!? Both of these questions are answered in the next panel:

What, she left call-forwarding to Attilan??But...but...wait...I mean...

Yes, I know. In the intervening 51 issues, Medusa has clearly joined the side of the angels. She recovered from her amnesia, revealed herself as a member of the Royal Family of Attilan (not to mention being Black Bolt's main squeeze), and a staunch ally of the Fantastic Four. Hell, Johnny Storm is even going out with her sister!!!

So, Wizard, what the hell? It's not like Medusa was exactly low-profile over the past few years. Was super-genius Wizard too busy to actually pay attention to the news? Didn't anyone in the super-villain underworld mention to any of them, "You know that chick with the crazy hair you used to run with? She's good now!"??? Oh, you lovable losers...

So, Reed & Sue & Ben & Johnny trundle "upstate" with infant Franklin to check out Agatha Harkness' daycare center, and spend the night. So it's time for the Frightful ones to strike!!

And the Wizard knew about the secret passages in Agatha's house how?!?
Nice shot!
Well, the anti-grav disc and paste were a good clue...
Really? That's all it takes to knock out the Thing?Well, Ben's down, and pretty easily, too. What about Johnny?

All too easy
These guys are really efficientHe's down quicker than Jose Canseco in a MMA match (hey, I got the topical references!).

That leaves Reed & Sue. And believe it or not, the Trapster will take them both out...by himself!

Reed wears a wife-beater?!?
Ladies and gentleman...the FF beaten by a blocked door
uh, ewwwwww?That last panel, by the way, is the coolest coloring error ever (& kinda gross)!!

Now, as you may have noticed, Medusa didn't lift a follicle during this whole affair. You would think that this would give the bad guys a clue, but noooo...

Which means, of course, that's it's time for the "surprise" betrayal:

Hey, Medusa, why haven't you helped at all?
She was never your ally, dude
Oh, what a cunning planAnd after a teeny bit of gratuitous sexism from Paste-Pot Pete...

Oh, Trapster......Medusa is easily taken down.

Remember when she was supposedly 'the most powerful one of us?' Not so much, anymoreSo much for your master plan, lady. Couldn't you have picked up the phone to warn Reed or something??

It should be noted here that the Frightful Four...or, rather, Three...actually win here! The three of them take down all four of the FF, plus Medusa, and barely work up a sweat!! Geez, guys, maybe you never really needed a fourth member. Game over!!

But, of course, they've made one tragic error. They choose to stage this little ambush in Agatha Harkness' house. Oops.

That's not an LOL CAT...that's an OMG  CAT!!
Yes...becuase the Trapster has never seen people use powers by gesturing...
Insert Dylan reference
Hope he was wearing dependsYup. All three taken down by illusions (or magic...it's never terribly clear). Once again, the Frightful Four have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Sigh...beaten by a witch.

(Of course, one has to ask, if she's really so badass, how did the Wizard et al infiltrate her house in the first place? Unless she wanted them to incapacitate the FF, so then she could prove how useful she was by whooping them, as an incentive for Reed and Sue to hire her? Hmmm, Agatha, you crafty old biddy!!)

This was pretty much the height of the Wizard's group's success. From here, it's all downhill...as we'll see next week, when the Frightful Four find a new fourth member...and are actually taken down by just one member of the FF. But oh, that fourth member...

The Frightful Four get taken out by Endora in Fantastic Four #94, the first issue of the 1970s!! By, of course, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Joe Sinnott


Anthony W said...

"Then the screaming starts...though no sounds escape his lips!

Uh...thats pretty brutal for a code approved book.

Maybe he should go the Lex Luthor route and use his genius to strike it rich and then strike at the FF through paid cronies that can't be traced back to him.

I admire the Wizard's desire to be the guy leading the charge, but he just isn't cut out for the field. Maybe he should go the shadowy mastermind rout.

Anthony W said...

I meant to say "route"

karl said...

Wizard and Trapster get scared by Agatha's pussy...

Nathan Adler said...

In Fantastic Four #94, Agatha Harkness speaks of “all her charges” so who besides Franklin Richards had she been governess to? It could’t be the Seven, since it’s unlikely she’d refer to her children as her charges!

Reed would never have entrusted his child to her if he didn’t know of her reputation!? So how did he come to know of her “reputation”?

However, being a witch would surely not be it, so it had to be in relation to her being governess to other important “charges” he knew of!

Did it have anything to do with her reputation as a governess being “world-famous”?

If so, what charges across the world had she governed?

Was she his, or his father Nathaniel’s, governess perhaps?

Who else in Marvel’s “world” had she been governess to?