Marvels Snapshots: Fantastic Four #1: Review

Mar 2020
, Benjamin Dewey

Story Name:

(No title given)

Review & Comments

5 stars

Marvels Snapshots: Fantastic Four #1 Review by (January 11, 2022)

Review: The Human Torch solo series in STRANGE TALES was one of the goofiest things Marvel ever did, on a level with the original Ant-Man series in TALES TO ASTONISH. They were flat out silly, crazy, and a lot of fun. And Johnny’s roots in Glenville, where the entire town conspired to keep him thinking he had a secret identity, were overlooked pretty quickly. But here, Johnny plays the arrogant jerk who has little time for his hometown to hide the fact that he has stayed in touch and loves the place fondly, with the whole town conspiring once again to protect him but for their sake this time. This is the most entertaining of the series, likely because it’s a just plain happy story with no hidden dark side (unless we count Bob) but for the most part, the memories are sweet.

Comments: Everywhere else the title is given as FANTASTIC FOUR: MARVELS SNAPSHOTS; we’re a bunch of rebels. Written by Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer. Dorrie Evans was Johnny’s girlfriend mainly in STRANGE TALES, starting with issue #113. Asbestos Man appeared in STRANGE TALES #111 and Bull Brogin of the Terrible Trio were in FANTASTIC FOUR #23 and STRANGE TALES #122 and 129. As Phil Sheldon’s assistant, Marcia Hardesty was in MARVELS #4 and MARVELS: EYE OF THE CAMERA #4-6. The Red Zone was in AVENGERS (1998 series) #65-69. Subtle note: Dorrie has two children but there is no mention of their father and Dorrie is not wearing a wedding ring; no explanation offered…or needed. Unsubtle note: All the songs played at the reunion have “fire” or “heat” themes, which is part of why Johnny leaves so quickly.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Marvels Snapshots: Fantastic Four #1 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Dorrie Evans is going to her ten-year high school reunion in Glenville, Long Island; accompanying her will be reporter Marcia Hardesty and cameraman Chris Turner. The big interest in the reunion is that Johnny Storm, the Human Torch, is expected to attend and Dorrie wants to showcase the town, not just its most famous former residents (Johnny and Sue). They first visit a local museum dedicated to the Storm siblings where staffer Wayne Morris, also a classmate of Johnny’s, gives them the mini-tour and boasts of Johnny’s association with the town. Then comes a visit to the poor side of town where they meet Professor Kasloff, the former Asbestos Man, and Bull Brogan of the Terrible Trio, talking about how they fought the Torch and lost, though Kasloff denies ever trying to kill him, only prove that he could accomplish something too. Marcia then interviews Dorrie, who describes her relationship with Johnny as unpredictable but she also worried about the danger he was in; she also mentions her nightmares that Johnny kissing her would burn her up but without going into details. Eventually they drifted apart and that was that.

The Human Torch arrives at the reunion, skywriting the school’s name as he arrives. He poses with the tourists and jokes around before entering. He wanders around, chatting briefly and not lingering with anyone for long. Brushed off by Johnny, Marcia and Chris are forced to interview other attendees, each giving their take on Johnny, mostly comical but one guy, Bob, gets drunk and tells off Johnny for not doing enough. After his wife takes him away, it is revealed that Bob lost his niece and nephew at Mount Rushmore when the Red Zone hit. Johnny leaves soon after and the party winds down…but Marcia isn’t satisfied, something didn’t feel right. Marcia and Chris follow Dorrie secretly and she heads to the beach where several others from the reunion are waiting. She gives a signal, then Johnny Storm teleports in, courtesy of Lockjaw, and the real party begins. The public reunion was just to distract the media into thinking Johnny no longer has an interest in Glenville so the town will stay quiet and safe. Even Professor Kasloff and Bull Brogin are part of the scheme. Marcia lets them have their privacy and she and Chris sneak away. Soon, the Fantastic Four’s signal bursts in the sky and Johnny must leave to take care of business but they give a big cheer for Glenville and he’s gone….

Dorrie returns to find the kids are still up and the TV is reporting another adventure by the FF. She heads off to bed, reading the inscription in her yearbook that Johnny finally got around to signing….

Benjamin Dewey
Benjamin Dewey
Jordie Bellaire
Alex Ross (Cover Penciler)
Alex Ross (Cover Inker)
Alex Ross (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Joe Caramagna.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Human Torch
Human Torch

(Johnny Storm)

Plus: Asbestos Man, Dorrie Evans, Lockjaw.

> Marvels Snapshots: Fantastic Four: Book info and issue index

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