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Fantastic Four #77

Posted: Friday, November 14, 2003
By: Ray Tate



"Authoritative Action": Part 4

Writer: Mark Waid
Artists: Howard Porter(p), Norm Rapmund(i), Avalon's Matt Mila(c)
Publisher: Marvel

This chapter of "Authoritative Action" graduates from being merely annoying to being ludicrously stupid. I'm not going to rail about Doom actually being good for Latveria. I don't need to do so. The story has enough independent of Doom dragging it into the whirlpool circling the drain.

We open the tale with some petty theft being stopped by flour that's apparently shot from a cannon positioned in a bakery. Now, it wasn't actually shot from a cannon. It merely looks that way due to a communication problem between a) Mark Waid and Howard Porter or b) the art editor and Howard Porter. Flour if thrown out of a bag is not going to stream seven feet and slap a cutpurse in the puss.

In the next scene, the soldiers' uniforms all look exactly alike despite the waving flags from different countries. None of these uniforms bear modern designs. They are certainly not dressed as U.N. peacekeepers and in fact resemble World War I doughboys. Perhaps, Doom as a futile contingency plan opened up a time portal that the doughboys exploited. No women serving either.

The fusion of the Marvelverse and reality works as well as Thor, the mythical Norse God of Thunder, picking up a piece of September Eleventh wreckage rather than say whipping up a tornado to suck in the al-Queda piloted planes. In The Fantastic Four Reed mentions Iraq as a contrast to Latveria and hints at the current U.S. economic crisis. None of these problems should exist in the Marvelverse.

See the planes should not have destroyed the Towers of the Marvelverse. Al-Queda would have been smashed and badly by oh--let's pick a hero--Namor, Imperious Rex. Any lies the Presidolt made about connecting Saddam to Osama would not have flown in Congress who wouldn't have acted like sheep and stood against the temp in the White House with his ridiculous pre-emptive strike and dubious intelligence sources that wish to make Haliburton's CEOs richer.

Iraq and the economy should not be an issue in The Fantastic Four. What should be an issue is that the Avengers happen to be U.N. representatives, and they could ascertain whether or not Reed is dismantling--say it with me--weapons of mass destruction. Reed could deliver Latveria to them since they are currently U.N. representatives. Surely, Reed trusts the Avengers. I mean his not trusting the Thunderbolts I could understand, but the Avengers? This whole fiasco could have been avoided, and there's no real answer why it ran the course chosen.

If the powers that be still didn't like what was going on--even with the Avengers being in charge--they should be able to use the teleporter that blips Nick Fury into Casa Doom before the doughboys reach Latveria's borders on the FF to beam them to the televised trial that would have left them in financial and cultural ruin which would have led to them creating the new Mayberry lives Bill Jemas intended.

Another sucky issue. Just ride it out. The real fun, cosmic adventures are coming real soon.



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