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Fantastic Four #21: Review

Jul 2020
Dan Slott, Paco Medina

Story Name:

Living history

Review & Comments

4 stars

Fantastic Four #21 Review by (July 17, 2020)
Sean Izaakse supports Paco Medina in the pencils/inks.
Erick Arciniega supports colourist Marcio Menyz.

The Avengers have to have their own Empyre mini-series because their own title is too busy with other stuff. But the Fantastic Four throw their main title into the Empyre event instead.

S'byll débuted in Silver Surfer (1987) #13 and worked her way up to Empress of the Skrulls in that series. But she hasn't been heard from since #103 of that series.
The Supreme Intelligence was Kree leader in that period.

If Jo-Venn and N'Kalla are so important to their races how come they wound up with Grandmaster and then Profiteer?

The FF's friends besides Spider-Man and Wolverine on the contact board are Daredevil, Dr Strange, Falcon, Hulk, Ms Marvel (Kamala Khan), Scarlet Witch, Squirrel Girl, Valkyrie (Jane Foster), Vision and Winter Soldier.

The Paradise that the Death Harvest mention here is the coming universal takeover by plants led by the Cotati empowered by the Death Blossom as revealed in Empyre #1. The Priests Of Pama who send the Death Harvest to kill the kids are long-time allies of the Cotati. So it seems that the Priests, the Cotati and Quoi, the Celestial Messiah, are not the pacifist good guys we've always thought they were.

I think N'Kalla was happy to meet Alicia Masters, but why? Alicia's main link with the Skrulls was when they kidnapped her and replaced her with the Skrull Lyja for a long time. Possibly Alicia befriended N'Kalla while she was a captive. But supposedly she was in suspended animation the whole time. And anyway N'Kalla seems to recognise the name rather than the face. So maybe she just heard about Alicia. From Lyja? Is Lyja her mother?


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Fantastic Four #21 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
We start with a flashback to the battle of Battle Of Shattered Heart where Kree and Skrulls fought over the corpse of the Forgotten Celestial (this is all new to us). The Kree cracked open its chest with a Nega-Bomb, intending to use the released energies as a power source. The Skrulls were determined to stop them. We see a Skrull blind a Kree in 1 eye while the Kree chops the Skrull's arm off.
In a later flashback the Kree Colonel Kol-Torr recounts to the Supreme Intelligence how he stopped the Skrull reattaching the arm by throwing it into the Celestial's burning heart, but the battle continued until the Celestial's power had all drained uselessly away. We note children incubating around the Supremor. This recollection is added to the Chronicle.
Meanwhile the Kree General J'Bahzz recounts his version to his Empress S'byll, and it is added to the Requiem. A donation of his blood is given to a pool where Skrull babies bathe.
Later the Supremor chooses 1 of the Kree children, male Jo-Venn, to be the receptacle for the Chronicle Of Blood, and S'Byll picks girl-child N'Kalla to remember the Requiem Of The Shapeless Soul.

In Empyre: FF #0 the Fantastic Four rescued Jo-Venn and N'Kalla from the Profiteer's Casino Cosmico where they were made to repeatedly fight each other in an arena while the crowd bet on the outcome. Each fight was based on a different battle in the millennia-long Kree/Skrull War, battles which had been etched into their memories. They didn't actually mind it because they had been raised from birth to hate each other. But when the FF brought them back to the Solar System they found a space fleet menacing Earth.

The alien kids can tell that the armada is composed of Kree spaceships with Skrull warp engines. They assume that the War is over, but each child assumes his/her side won. They start fighting again until Human Torch and Thing drag them apart. Mr Fantastic tells his children Franklin and Valeria to take the pair to safety in the escape shuttle. Franklin Richards wants to stay and help fight the invaders. Valeria Richards doesn't want to be a glorified babysitter. The space-kids want to stay and do their job of recording the event. Invisible Woman gets them all packed off eventually. (We'll follow what the grown-ups do in Empyre #1.)

Franklin's driving the escape pod and suggests an adventure, but Valeria sensibly insists they return home to Yancy Street. They fly over Vietnam and we drop in on the Priests Of Pama in Agaphaur. The High Priest gets a message from the trees telling him it's time to unleash their secret order, the Dark Harvest.

In her Soho loft Thing's wife Alicia Masters, the blind sculptress, is creating a piece modelled on Sky, the winged girlfriend Johnny Storm brought home from the FF's previous space trip (#14-19). She gets a call from Val warning of their impending arrival. But the craft is flying erratically because the Kree/Skrull duo are fighting again. They crashland in Yancy Street and N'Kalla breaks out in the form a giant snake with Jo-Venn on her back attacking her. Franklin prepares to use his diminished cosmic power to subdue them while his sister runs inside the FF's brownstone to set off the Four-Alarmer to ask some friends for help.

The Dark Harvest have been alerted that the long-awaited Paradise is ready to bloom. Their task is to 'cull' the living histories of the Kree and Skrulls, who are here on Earth. So they leap forth in a martial-artsy sort of way.

Sky flies Alicia to Yancy Street where they see Franklin standing between the space-kids. Val calls them down and explains briefly what's happening. Sky is astonished  that there are 2 more alien species. She thought there were only Earthers and her Spyricans. Alicia and Val decide this isn't the time to enlighten her. She decides that it's time an *adult* super-being took care of these squabbling brat. She takes to the air again and stops Jo-Venn with a sonic scream. Meanwhile Franklin is holding back a large tigroid.

In Washington Square Park a 'gate' from Krakoa, the island home of the mutant nation, opens and Wolverine pops out in search of whoever caused the 'pinging' in his head. He's greeted by Spider-Man who guesses this is the same summoning tech that brought them, Ghost Rider and Hulk to form a temporary FF in #347-349. Spidey grabs Wolvie against his will and web-swings off towards Yancy Street (in a replay of the cover of Amazing Fantasy #15).

Valeria reminds Jo-Venn that she personally won his freedom (by breaking the bank of the Casino, with invisible help from Sue Richards), and his actions are dishonouring her. The Kree child stops struggling against Sky. Franklin tells the tigroid that his father hypnotises unruly Skrulls into being cows. N'Kalla doesn't like that idea. At this point Spider-Man and Wolverine show up. Val apologises for calling them because they've got the situation under control. But both men sense a bigger menace (the Dark Harvest).

N'Kalla, still in tigroid form hears Alicia referred to as Alicia Masters. She bounds towards the female, I think in joy. But Logan just sees her as a Skrull imitating  a tiger and he instinctively guts her with his claws. N'Kalla reverts to her true form bleeding copious green, and Wolvie realises he's killed a child. As her consciousness fades the little Skrull calls to Alicia for help.

Paco Medina
Paco Medina
Marcio Menyz
Nick Bradshaw (Cover Penciler)
Nick Bradshaw (Cover Inker)
John Rauch (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Caramagna.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Human Torch
Human Torch

(Johnny Storm)
Invisible Woman
Invisible Woman

(Sue Storm)
Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic

(Reed Richards)

(Peter Parker)

(Ben Grimm)

(James Howlett)

Plus: Alicia Masters, Franklin Richards, Jo-Venn, N'Kalla, Sky.

> Fantastic Four: Book info and issue index

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