Fighting fire with fire! The Fantastic Four are attacked by the four elements: Earth, Air, Fire and Water! Meanwhile, Johnny and Frankie Raye rekindle their old fling. Will she finally accept his hero alter-ego?
Back to the Basics!
This was the beginning of John Byrne's "fantastic" run on Marvel's flagship series. His first issue brought back long time FF foe Diablo with, what else, a plan to exact revenge on the FF by mystically bringing to life elemental statues he had stolen and using them to get rid of the Fantastic Four. He cleverly sent each of the four elementals (earth, water, wind and fire) after a member of the FF the most unsuited to handle its' particular attack. Still known as "The Invisible Girl" at this point, Sue Richards was attacked by a monstrous behemoth made of earth (which Sue even said reminded her of The Thing) which tried encasing her in a earthen tomb. Ben Grimm was attacked by a water elemental that surrounded The Thing with a watery cocoon, thus depriving him of oxygen and a physical foe to use his own, monstrous strength against. Johnny Storm, aka The Human Torch got ambushed by an air/wind elemental whilst meeting up with Frankie Raye and was knocked unconcious. Reed, alone in the Baxter Building, was the last of the FF attacked and his came in the form of a fire elemental. Thanks to his superior intellect, Reed was able to not only escape his foe, but was able to reason out what was going on and eventually meet up with the rest of the team and Diablo's threat was negated soon thereafter. Realizing who was actually behind the plot, Reed enlisted the aid of Dr. Strange and was able to capture Diablo at issue's end. Overall, this was a very "basic" beginning to Byrne's run on the book (presumably henceforth the title "Back to the Basics") and had a very, very Stan Lee/Jack Kirby/early FF feel to it. Overall a nice kickoff to a historic run on The Fantastic Four!
- Features the Hostess Cup Cakes Ad, Spider-Man VS. The Human Computer!
- John Byrne used the pseudonym, Bjorn Heyn for his inking credit this issue.
- Bob Budiansky was assistant editor on this issue.
- Joe Sinnott's 16 year run beginning with #44 (minus fill-ins) as inker for this series ends this issue.
- Although he had pencilled several issues of this series the last few years prior to this issue, and wrote a few, this issue officially marks the first of John Byrne's legendary run on this title as writer and artist.
- Sue's long hair is cut short this issue, the beginning of many changes to her character during Byrne's run.