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Fantastic Four #539: Review

Jul 2006
J. Michael Straczynski, Mike McKone

Fantastic Four #539 cover

Story Name:

Decisions made

Review & Comments

4 stars

Fantastic Four #539 Review by (August 28, 2014)
Matt Murdock is in jail. This Daredevil is Danny Rand/Iron Fist. This issue is interleaved with Amazing Spider-Man #534 which basically shows the same events. Towards the end of this issue Captain America appears without his shield. That's because he loses it in battle to Spider-Man in ASM#534 (after trying to persuade Spidey to switch sides). Peter puts the shield in a safe place where Cap finds it later. Only prisoner is actually shown escaping from the convoy, and various authorities identify him as ex-Avenger and ex-New Warrior Rage (who we never saw captured). Wiccan, the only Resistance member we *know* was captured in Civil War #4, was obviously not in this convoy because he gets rescued in CW#6. This issue and the next 2 occur between CW#4 and #5.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Fantastic Four #539 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
At the end of last issue we saw that Mad Thinker and Puppet Master have a plan to kill lots of heroes while they embroil them in a fight over some Superhero Registration Act prisoners being transported to jail. As part of this plan they gave information about the route of the transport trucks to the Yancy Street Gang.

Captain America, Cloak and Dagger, 'Daredevil' and Luke Cage of the Resistance know the date of the transfer, but not the time and route. They are planning how to cover the possibilities when some YSG members pop in to fill in the blanks. (How do the YSG know where the Resistance meet, when even SHIELD can't find out?)

In their lair Puppet Master is creating a mock-up of the area where they intend the conflict to take place, with models for the protagonists in his special clay. Thinker's Cerebral Enhancement System helmet should enable Philip Masters to control many more people at a time than usual via their 'voodoo' dolls.

Thing knows when the convoy is due. So when he hears that the YSG are staging a protest then he rushes out to keep them out of trouble.

Iron Man and Spider-Man are accompanying the convoy. (Spidey is crouched on the cab of a truck - exactly where PM's puppet placed him.) Peter Parker's Spider-Sense detects trouble ahead, which is the Resistance approaching through the sewers. So IM switches the convoy to a backup route, straight into the protesters. At this point the backup-backup route takes them down Yancy Street itself - exactly as Thinker had planned.

The YSG start pelting them from the rooftops. Tony Stark calls in backup:- Ms Marvel, She-Hulk, Tigra, Wasp and Yellowjacket. Puppet Master senses that Spider-Man is sensing his control, so the villainous duo decide to accelerate their plan. PM takes control of the pilot of an escorting helicopter, and fires missiles. The heroes seem to stop all the missiles, but the convoy still ends up crashed and on fire.

Thing is already on the scene. The Resistance heroes arrive. Luke Cage asks Ben Grimm to help them free the prisoners, while Iron Man tells him to stop them escaping. Thing hesitates.

Meanwhile Mouse, the YSGer that Puppet Master used to get the info to the gang, is obviously being controlled. He gets a bomb out of a rubbish bin and runs with it towards the convoy. Other YSGers tackle him, but the bomb rolls along the floor. Until Thing picks up an empty truck and uses it to smother the explosion. But 1 of the YSG members is dead. And Ben recognises Philip Masters' voice coming from Mouse.

All the prisoners have escaped, but the opposing hero groups are eager to continue fighting. But Ben shows them the dead kid, and shames them into stopping. Cap and IM still try to talk him into joining them (or in the SRA side's case, continue to support them - he's already registered). But Thing now declares his neutrality - he believes the Registration Act is wrong but he doesn't want to fight his government. So that leaves him 1 option - he's leaving the country.

Fantastic Four #539 cover

Mike McKone
Andy Lanning
Paul Mounts
Adi Granov (Cover Penciler)
Adi Granov (Cover Inker)
Adi Granov (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Rus Wooton.
Editor: Tom Brevoort.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Matt Murdock)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Luke Cage
Luke Cage

(Power Man)
Ms. Marvel
Ms. Marvel

(Carol Danvers)

(Jennifer Walters)

(Peter Parker)

(Ben Grimm)

(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Cloak, Dagger, Daredevil (Danny Rand), Hank Pym (Skrull), Rage, Yancy Street Gang.

> Fantastic Four: Book info and issue index

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