Comic Browser:


Fantastic Four #23: Review

Sep 2020
Dan Slott, Paco Medina

Story Name:

War games

Review & Comments

4 stars

Fantastic Four #23 Review by (September 5, 2020)
Parker Industries was created by Dr Octopus inhabiting Peter Parker's body during his 1st Superior Spider-Man series. It was continued by the returned Peter in Amazing SM (2014) and was still there in the post-Secret Wars rebuilt universe in ASM (2015) until it brought down by Doc Ock during Secret Empire.
Alchemax also arose in Superior SM. I don't know much about Alchemax taking over Parker Industries buildings, but the building the 'Fantastic Four' enter this issue looks more like Alchemax Tower HQ which was originally OsCorp Tower HQ.

It seems the mystery of why N'Kalla knows Alicia Masters must be left to a subsequent issue. Maybe the Empyre Fallout: FF 1-shot.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Fantastic Four #23 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Franklin and Valeria Richards have been looking after 2 alien kids, Kree Jo-Venn and Skrull N'Kalla. While the Fantastic Four are off fighting the Cotati in the Empyre series their children called in friends Spider-Man and Wolverine to help protect the aliens against the Dark Harvest, the martial arts wing of the Cotati's allies the Priests Of Pama. But N'Kalla wound up injured by Logan's claws and the Harvest made off with Jo-Venn.

Now some Cotati are battling it out in the streets of New York with their enemies the troops of the Kree/Skrull Alliance. Then the substitute FF arrive to protect the citizens from both sides, but mainly the Cotati. Also Frank and Val ask the troopers if they've seen Jo-Venn or the Dark Harvest, and they're directed to the Alchemax Building.

As they approach the place Spidey bemoans the fact that this was once part of Parker Industries, before Peter Parker lost it all. It's now looking the worse for wear as the Dark Harvest broke in to steal tech-stuff. Valeria considers what they took and decides she knows what they want it for - a Kree Omni-Wave Projector.

Which is exactly what the Harvest have built in their Temple. They have it encased in solidified resin, alongside Jo-Venn similarly confined. Their leader Master Forest reports to Quoi, the Celestial Messiah, that they are ready for a test run. Jo-Venn is the Chronicle Of Blood who contains the memories of all the Kree's wars against their hereditary enemies the Skrulls. This low-power test will beam those memories into all the Kree nearby, which will set them at the throats of their Skrull allies. Quoi praises him and says that when all the other meat-life on Earth has been turned into fertiliser, the Harvest will stand beside the Cotati in the plant Paradise.

Forest invades the Kree boy's mind and sees the origin of the Kree/Skrull conflict millenia ago when some Skrulls offered their tech to the barbarian Kree and the plant Cotati. Only 1 race would be given the gift, and when the Skrulls chose the Cotati the Kree rose up and killed the Cotati and the Skrulls and stole the tech. And using that science and weaponry they waged war on the Skrulls. The Priests now beam those images out to the Kree in NY, who turn on their Skrull partners.

Now we look in on 4 Yancy Street, the FF's current home. Alicia Grimm, née Masters, is looking after N'Kalla and the also-injured Sky, Human Torch's new alien girlfriend. Suddenly N'Kalla wakes and calls out for Jo-Venn (presumably because she senses what's happening to him). Sky joins the blind woman and tells her the monitors say the Skrull is fine. She then asks Alicia what secret N'Kalla told her (last issue, that she was tired of fighting). Alicia says she promised not to tell anyone. Sky commends her for her honour and leaves to help the others. Only then does Alicia realise that the real Sky is still asleep in her med-centre bed, so that must have been the shape-shifting Skrull girl leaving.

Meanwhile Val on the roof with Spidey's help is rigging up something to detect when the Omni-Wave is used so they can track it. Franklin Richards is fed-up sitting on the sidelines when his Omega-class mutant power could be helping his family in the Empyre war. (We see events in Empyre #6 which Frank couldn't possibly know about.) Alicia contacts them to tell them still-bleeding N'Kalla is coming to them. She's not there but Wolverine detects her Skrull blood. He figures she overheard them talking about tracking down Jo-Venn's abductors. The 2 kids have a 'special bond' and *she*'ll be able to find Jo. And Wolvie can track *her* scent.

Master Forest is now ready for a full power test which will affect all Kree on or near Earth. Venerable Oak rains on his parade by pointing out that if they had N'Kalla, the Skrull Requiem Of Souls, they could use her 'memories' to similarly affect the Skrulls. Just then Forest notices a disciple trying to tamper with the Projector. He orders Bladed Leaf to deal with the female, who he correctly guesses is the Skrull child. They dump her in a receptacle and pour in amber resin which quickly sets around her. Now nothing can stop them wrecking the Alliance ...

... but nothing arrives in the shape of Wolverine, Spider-Man and the Richards kids. Logan tackles Oak, Spidey webs up the unnamed guy from last ish who shoots vines, Val dodges thorns projected by Sharpest Thorn while Frank bulls his way towards Forest and the kids. But Forest has already started the Projector sending out its messages of hate. (And eventually they will be able to transmit to all Kree and Skrulls in the universe.) The effect is felt in New York, and Quoi sees troops fighting each other in Wakanda. It also affects the inhabitants of the Alliance Command Ship in orbit.

Wolverine threatens Master Forest and tells him to stop the transmission. The Dark Harvest Priest says it *can't* be stopped. But Valeria has an idea, and she tells the alien kids to remember their long time fighting each other in an arena and how they bonded over their joint travails. Franklin cottons on and tells them to remember also how they escaped by working together. And they tell the kids to transmit *that*. And in NY the allies stop fighting and help each other up.

Angry Quoi contacts Master Forest again. The Dark Harvester begs for forgiveness. Quoi appears to understand and says they will still stand beside the Cotati in Paradise. But then the meaning of his promise becomes clear as the Priests Of Pama are turned into trees.

Spidey and Wolvie free the alien kids. Logan is especially careful not to stab N'Kalla this time and tells her he owes her 1, anything she wants. She says they want to go to a place Franklin told them about, the Land Of Diz-Nee.

Paco Medina
Jesus Aburtov
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.


(Peter Parker)

(James Howlett)

Plus: Alicia Masters, Franklin Richards, Jo-Venn, N'Kalla, Quoi (Sequoia), Sky.

> Fantastic Four: Book info and issue index

Share This Page