Fantastic Four #242

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Title: “Terrax the Untamed”
Synopsis: Terrax abducts Manhattan itself in an effort to elicit the aid of the Fantastic Four against his former master – Galactus!

Writer: John Byrne
Penciler: Byrne
Inker: Byrne

With this issue, John Byrne enters a nice groove. Leading into his first proper multipart FF epic, the writer/artist spends a few pages giving each team member a character moment, moves on to a well-choreographed fight sequence with Terrax, pulls back out to show the battle’s ramifications on the rest of the Marvel U, and ends this installment with an announcement that next issue will be bigger and badder yet: Galactus is coming! It might have taken Byrne a while to get comfortable with the FF’s cosmic scope, but he’s certainly comfy now: this is good stuff.

Grade: A

Cool factor: We’ve got cosmic villains, guest stars galore and Manhattan in outer space. Coolness abounds!
Not-so-cool factor: The Twin Towers are damaged by Terrax. That scene is a bit more disturbing these days.

Notable: Guest appearances by Thor, Iron Man, Daredevil and Spider-Man. … At the play rehearsal visited by the Human Torch, the actors are reading from Elfquest. … The “Fantastic Four Fan Page” letters column includes an LOC from John Byrne. … This issue contains one of the classic Bill Willingham Dungeon & Dragons ads.

Character Quotable
“The defense scanners are registering an enormous power-nexus over the city. It’s almost as if the leading edge of a space warp were opening above New York.”Mr. Fantastic (All in a days work, Reed. All in a days work.)
Fantastic Four #242

Published and © by Marvel, May 1982
Cover by John Byrne and Terry Austin

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Fantastic Four #242 is reprinted in:

Editor’s note: This review first appeared on Comics Bronze Age, Sept. 22, 2009.

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