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Fantastic Four #67: Review

Oct 1967
Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

Story Name:

When opens the cocoon

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Fantastic Four #67 Review by (December 18, 2018)
This issue is of course full of Stan Lee's scientific gobbledegook and Jack Kirby's dramatic architecture and machinery.

Not long ago #44-53 housed the burst of invention that gave us the Inhumans, Galactus and Silver Surfer, the Negative Zone and Black Panther and Wakanda. #54-63 played with some of these and Dr Doom. But now #64-67 saw more new stuff:- #64-65 introduced the Kree including a Sentinel and Ronan The Accuser, and now #66-67 have birthed the man who will be called Adam Warlock.

The next FF story arc will pit them against old foe the (Mad) Thinker and then Crystal will temporarily replace pregnant Sue in the team.

I don't think the being born here is actually *called* Him in this issue. The evil scientists say things like they're worried about him and what he might do, but because the words are all in capitals it's impossible to see whether they say "Him" or just "him". However it is relevant that they never say anything like 'what Him might do'. When he reappears in Thor #165-166 he'll say he has no name so must be referred to as Him (or maybe just 'him' again). But the question becomes moot in his next app in Marvel Premier #1 where he takes the name Adam Warlock.

1 of Warlock's trademarks, his cocoon, is introduced here too. In between now and Thor #165 he falls into a meteor trap set by the Watcher and automatically reforms his cocoon. And when he is defeated by Thor in #166 he retreats into the cocoon again, which will reopen in MPr#1. The cocoon will be reused many times after that, including 3 times in the latest Jim Starlin GN Thanos: The Infinity Conflict (where the Him version of Warlock appears too).

Hamilton does die this issue but Morlak, Shinski and Zota and the Beehive aren't destroyed and will return in Hulk Annual #6 where they call themselves the Enclave and repeat their experiment. They create the male Paragon who also turns against them and tries to destroy the place before returning into his cocoon to later emerge as Her, a potential mate for Him.

Meanwhile the Enclave will avoid death again and return later for more evil schemes, next in our #207.





 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Fantastic Four #67 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
In #65 Ben Grimm's girlfriend Alicia Masters disappeared from her apartment. Last issue Reed Richards used a heat-image tracer to reconstruct a film of what happened and the Fantastic Four saw a strangely-garbed man apparently escort her through a wall. Reed deduced that it was the band on the man's wrist which allowed him to transport her away ...

... and now he seeks to duplicate the mechanism. He has created a schematic of the system and now awaits some components he's ordered from Tony Stark. A man in a decontamination suit delivers a box, and when Reed and Ben are similarly-suited Reed opens the box to reveal a collection of microdots.

Meanwhile last issue Alicia was transported via transfer-grid to the remote citadel of science known as the Beehive. Her companion Hamilton introduced her to 3 other scientists Morlak, Shinski and Zota. They had tried to create a perfect human who would usher in a new race unplagued by crime, illness or war. They evolved their creation to adulthood in a life-cell tank, but he emerged prematurely and escaped. They have him confined within Lock 41 but can't approach him because of his blinding radiation. So they sent for the blind sculptress to go in and use her sensitive touch to tell them what he 'looks' like. But Hamilton can't let her go alone.

Now the pair are getting close but still having to avoid the warning blasts the creature sends their way, Hamilton shoots at it but it creates a molecular wall which sends the blasts back at them. But Alicia runs toward it believing that it is only lashing out in frightened confusion and she can calm it down. It causes Hamilton to get enmeshed in tendrils from the ground but lets Miss Masters through.

Listening to the other 3 scientists we learn that their motives weren't pure. They intended their super-race to conquer mankind but be ruled by *them*. Morlak curses the fact that their plan has gone wrong but Zota is now stricken with conscience. Shinski says he has a backup plan to at least save their lives. They take a vacuum car to another part of the Beehive where he shows them the detonator for an anti-gravity transmitter which will create an ultronic wave to send their creation far away in outer space. Morlak says then they can start again and get it right this time.

Reed Richards has been working for 2 days without food or sleep on creating the duplicate wristband. Now he's called the group together at the crack of dawn. Johnny Storm has arrived in civvies (presumably from Metro College) and his Inhuman girlfriend Crystal is making him breakfast. The Human Torch uses his flame power to extra-toast his bread. Sue Richards and Ben join them. Ben says he's too worried about Alicia to eat, but scoffs a 'few' wheat cakes that Sue gives him. Unshaven Reed comes out of his lab to say the wristband is finished, and pauses only for a cup of coffee.

Meanwhile Alicia follows the voice of the creature who says he senses her goodness, just as he knew the scientists were evil. She reaches him and her hands tell her (and our eyes tell us) that he is encased in a cocoon from which he says he will soon emerge. But he complains of being weak (because of his imminent birth), alone and helpless. Compassionate Alicia likens him to Ben Grimm - powerful but sensitive.

Reed hasn't actually created the wristband yet. He's arranged the microdots in the correct sequence on a strip of tape which he feeds into a micro-tool assembly unit which *does* create the band. He dons the band and says he's taking Ben and Johnny with him. He doesn't want to endanger his pregnant wife Sue, and Crystal is to stay and look after her. They exit through a glowing square ...

... and emerge in the Beehive much to the surprise of guards who thought the only wristband that could work the transfer grid was locked in their vault. Torch flames on and flies around the guards, Mr Fantastic smothers some with his flattened body and Thing wrecks stuff - and they all demand to know where Alicia Masters is.

We know she's in Lock 41 with the cocoon creature. The creature's weakened state means the tendrils that were holding Hamilton collapsed and he now catches up with Alicia and finds that he can see the cocoon because it's no longer emitting the blinding rays. He tells Alicia to come away with him but she reminds him he's a doctor and this patient needs help. He now admits to her their evil plan which he now regrets. But the thing will now be born out of their control, and he's too dangerous to roam free. He tries to shoot the cocoon but it blasts the 2 humans away and then starts to dissolve.

The Fantastic Three have scared information out of the guards and now persuade 1 of them to take them to Lock 41. Torch burns through the door and the other 2 follow.

Alicia and Hamilton try to escape the coruscating energy. The voice tells them that the female won't be harmed but the rest must pay for their evil plans. And Hamilton dies under a hail of rocks leaving Alicia alone.

But then Ben finds her and Torch absorbs as much of the energy surging around as he can until his flame is snuffed out. Reed helps him up and they flee with Thing carrying Alicia.

The other 3 scientists see the FF escape Lock 41 on a view-screen but they're more worried about the being they have created. Shinski pushes down his detonator but nothing happens. Morlak theorises that the creature read their minds and mentally disabled the bomb. They hear their doom approaching and run for the transfer grid. The FF get there 1st and pass through. As Morlak and co near it their creation appears before them - a glowing golden man who decides to leave Earth behind, a man who will call himself Him. But as he leaves, the energy of his passing destroys the whole Beehive.



Jack Kirby
Joe Sinnott
Jack Kirby (Cover Penciler)
Joe Sinnott (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Art Simek.
Editor: Stan Lee. Editor-in-chief: Stan Lee.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Human Torch
Human Torch

(Johnny Storm)
Invisible Woman
Invisible Woman

(Sue Storm)
Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic

(Reed Richards)
Thing
Thing

(Ben Grimm)

Plus: Alicia Masters, Carlo Zota, Hamilton, Morlak, Shinski.

> Fantastic Four: Book info and issue index

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