Hey, ho, friends, fans and family. This week it’s time for another RETRO REVIEW. I’ve had to search through lots of boxes to find something good to write about, as a lot of my stuff is still unpacked from the move last month. Eventually, the night before actually, I came up with Fantastic Four # 112, cover dated July 1971, published by Marvel Comics.
Here is the cover, with that tough black background to keep in great condition:
The cover is brought to you by the artistic team of John Buscema and Frank Giacoia. And a very effective cover it is indeed.
To bring my readers to date, on the last page of Fantastic Four # 111. Reed sends Johnny to find Dr. Bruce Banner to help him cure the Thing of his “Thingness”! Johnny does his thing (pun intended there folks), as the Human Torch and he sky writes Reed’s plea for help from/to Dr. Banner.
Banner jumps into a cab to ride to the Baxter Building, only to see the Thing in Central Park, he transforms into the Incredible Hulk and races to fight the Thing. The battle is thus engaged! The story is entitled; “Battle Of The Behemoths!” and it is written by Stan Lee, pencilled by the aforementioned John Buscema and inked by Joe Sinnott.
The action starts immediately with the Hulk charging in with fists flying. Ben Grimm counters with tossing a statue at the Hulk. Lee switches the scene to a television in the Baxter Building with J Jonah Jameson ranting the all superheroes need to be killed (a nice tie in to the rest of the Marvel Universe)! Just a little extreme there, JJ.
Johnny rushes to fly to Ben’s help, but Reed hits him with some flame retardant and pulls him back inside. Then it’s back to the two combatants, Thing uses an uprooted tree against the Hulk, the Hulk responds with a stone obelisk, with Ben turns against him instead.
Next they destroy the central Park Carousel during their battle. Next Lee switches the scene to Agnes Harkness’s house, where Sue has been recuperating from the birth of her son, Franklin. See leaves for New York and Lee again switches the scene to the Thing’s girlfriend, Alicia’s apartment. She is hearing about the battle on the radio and rushes out to get to Ben’s side.
Alicia fights against all the people running away from the battle to arrive at the battle site. The Thing seems to have a bit of the upper hand, but Alicia cries out to Ben, distracting him and the Hulk lands a punch to the Thing’s exposed head. Down goes the Thing, down goes the Thing (if you’ll pardon my a slight paraphrase).
Reed and The Human Torch arrive with Reed’s latest gizmo but they have arrived too late. To all appearances, Ben Grimm, aka the Thing is dead! Dun, Dun Dun! …
And thanks how this issue ended. All of us Marvel fans had to find issue # 113 when it came out next month to see if the Thing was still dead, or if Reed found some way to save him. Sure in hind sight it’s a easy call, but you just never knew back in 1971. I mean, Bucky Barnes was still dead then!
Thanks for stopping by for this week’s RETRO REVIEW and please come back next week for a new Fabulous Find. Be seeing you …