By John Byrne
Collects Fantastic Four #268-275 and Avengers 18, and Thing #19.
This is another batch of classic FF action: Terminus, Reed’s dad in a parallel universe, Jen meets Wyatt, and Johnny’s and Alicia’s relationship starts.
This trade starts right after the previous one. Susan is still in the hospital. Meanwhile Johnny and Jennifer fight a mysterious opponent in the Baxter Building. It turns out to be Doom’s mask which leads to rather disturbing conclusion: either Doom is still alive or someone else is using his equipment.
Soon after, a huge and powerful beam from space cuts into the US soil. People are panicking and the president calls to the FF. It turns out that the beam is writing and in it Terminus declares the Earth as his. Jen and Reed outsmart Terminus while Susan is left to rest. Susan isn’t happy about that at all and is determined that she isn’t going to be shoved aside again. Wyatt wants to see more of the universe and becomes an unofficial member of the FF.
During Reed’s birthday, he confesses to Susan that he has lost some memories. In order to get some of them back, the FF goes to California to the Richards’ family estate. There the servant couple tells Reed that they have seen ghosts and the FF decides to investigate. Soon, they find Reed’s dad’s laboratory which has a working time machine. However, the FF know that you can’t actually travel in time but only into parallel universes. They decide to follow Reed’s dad and perhaps to return him. The FF and Wyatt step through to a very different world which has been ravaged by wars and is now ruled by the Warlord. The dimension has cowboys riding flying, horse shaped metallic steeds and valkyries who ride similar metal dragons.
Then She-Hulk must deal with the photographer from the Naked Truth.
Apparently, there are also a couple of issues of the Thing battling monsters but these weren’t published in Finland.
Terminus is yet another hugely powerful alien who wants to enslave Earth. This time it (while Terminus is clearly sentient, its gender or sex is impossible to know) clearly wasn’t beaten completely so its return (in Avengers, IIRC) wasn’t a surprise.
I really loved the parallel universe. The metallic steeds and the whole post-apocalypse atmosphere. It was one of the first parallel universe –stories I’ve read and it still has that nostalgia -feeling.
IMHO, Jen was far too lenient to the gossip magazine’s editor. That story was a bit too real-life for my taste. In other words, writers should just ignore it or otherwise all super heroines (and heroes, for that matter) should have paparazzies after them.
All in all, a classic collection of adventures although not as good as the previous trades.