“We have decided that you two warriors, the epitome of all that is great in each of our mighty races, shall be the champions of each empire. You will continue the single-warrior combat that you have independently begun…”
-Skrull Empress R’klll
Fantastic Four Annual #18
Writers: John Byrne (plot) & Mark Gruenwald (script)
Art: Mark Bright (pencils), Mike Gustovich (inks), Phil Felix (letters), and Petra Scotese (colors)
Editor: Mike Carlin
I was a sickly child. By that I mean I was sick a lot. Seemed like if there was something to get sick from I caught it, and I was also was born with asthma. So a simple cold could turn deadly with Pneumonia real quick. I spent a lot of my formative years reading and drawing because I was a sickly child. In hindsight I’m glad about those circumstances. Art and reading are a very important part of my life.
My Mom was my hero growing up. She always took care of me. One of the more fun things we shared is a love of science fiction and adventure stories. When I was sick she always brought me home a comic book to read. She would pop in my room to take my temperature, ask me how I was doing and give me a new comic book to read. This new series on my blog is going to focus quite a bit on these comics. As she gave me some of my favorite comics.
Her taste was pretty unique and it was always a surprise what she had picked out for me. The comic I’m reviewing this week is still one of my favorite comics to the present day. Fantastic Four Annual #18 tells the story of the wedding of Black Bolt and Medusa. They are both members of the super powered race of Inhumans living on the Moon. This was my introduction to the Inhumans but also a character who would become a fav and a total obsession for many years to follow… Wolverine!
I was 11 years old. I was not an X-men comics reader yet. This is the comic that started it though. The annual starts with a brief interlude featuring Wolverine being hurled across the Moon during the events of Uncanny X-men #137. In this brief 3 page sequence I was introduced to Logan’s unique power set and two alien warriors. One a Skrull and the other a Kree. The comic follows the battle of Raksor (the Skrull) and Bel-Dann (the Kree) as they battle for years without end. Until fate interrupts their battle and they become the ultimate wedding crashers.
This brief introduction to Wolverine would cause me to search out more comics with him in them. I would become a huge X-men fan and read the title non-stop for decades. But it all began with a brief 3 page intro to a character I had never heard of.
Another character I was unfamiliar with was She-Hulk. I remember as a kid being somewhat confused by why the Thing was missing. I was familiar with the FF having read many of the original run of the comics and enjoyed the 60’s cartoon which had been in re-runs on TV. The story explains why he is missing but it was still a bit off putting at first. But I fell in love with Mark Bright’s rendition of She-Hulk. I would follow the adventures of She-Hulk for many years to follow as well.
If you are a fan of the Fantastic Four, the Inhumans, or just enjoy a great done in one comic book stories this is a good one. Chances are you might run across a copy in a dollar bin somewhere. Keep an eye out for it. It’s not an investment or important key issue comic but it’s a great story with great art. I highly recommend it.