MARVEL Fantastic Four Annual #13 Original Art PAGE #22 Artists Buscema/Sinnott
O riginal Comic Art from The Fantastic Four Annual #13, December 1978, PAGE #22. The Human Torch streaks across Manhattan's skies, exulting that the Fantastic Four are a team once more. He skywrites a huge "4" and treats the bystanders below To a brilliant fireworks display. Not all are entertained, however, and it is not long before the New York Fire Department is called and Captain Forbes, a battalion chief, tells Johnny to stop.
The city has been as dry as a tinderbox for the last three weeks, he says. Not wanting to be a fire hazard. Johnny quickly complies, and then he soars away past the Baxter Building to Alicia Masters's apartment.The top floors of their headquarters have been empty since the Fantastic Four's breakup, he muses, wondering whether Reed intends to have the team move back in soon. Johnny enters Alicia's place through a window, and Alicia, Franklin, Agatha Harkness, and his teammates greet him. Ben chides him for being late, while Franklin and Agatha compliment him on his fireworks. Ben has a copy of the Daily Bugle that headlines a string of mysterious disappearances in New York, but no one notices, because they have gathered for another reason. Alicia says that she summoned Agatha from Whisper Hill to present her with her latest work. Then she unveils a statue of Agatha as a young woman. The old lady is struck speechless by the beauty of the piece, marveling at the blind sculptress's expertise. She sculpts with her soul, says Agatha, so all is revealed to her in spite of her sightlessness. She declares that she can never thank Alicia enough for reawakening her precious memories. Reed says that they will be happy to transport the statue to Whisper Hill when the Pogo Plane is out of mothballs. Soon Reed and Sue escort Agatha and Franklin to the train back to Whisper Hill, leaving Ben. Alicia, and Johnny in the apartment. Ben hoists Alicia into the air. Proud at how happy she made the "old woman, " but Alicia, perplexed, wonders what old woman Ben might be referring to. Johnny interrupts their conversation by giving Ben a hotfoot, and Ben retaliates by grabbing the fleeing youth by the collar. Things are back to normal, laughs Johnny, and Ben. His anger gone, herds him and Alicia out the door to celebrate at a Brew n' Burger around the corner. After they leave, a sinister figure that was disguised as one of Alicia's statues silently gets off its pedestal in the darkened apartment and opens a window. The Mole Man then climbs down a chain of his subterraneans to the street and orders them to proceed with their mission. The city is theirs, he says, because the unsuspecting Fantastic Four will not hinder them. First the subterraneans Kidnap a blind man, whose seeing-eye dog runs away in a panic, by wrapping him up in a transparent cloth, and then they make off with a statue. Then they capture a derelict and a cleaning lady. A chain of subterraneans stretches up the side of a building to the apartment of blind attorney Matt Murdock, but when they enter to abduct him, he is gone. A radio broadcast about the mysterious disappearances alerted him, so he changed into his Daredevil costume and swung out into the night to investigate. All through the night the strange kidnappings continue, and the city's panic grows. The next morning, the Daily Bugle reports the latest wave of abductions. Reed buys a copy from a newsboy, who. Being a brother to some Yancy Street Gang members, starts to insult the Thing. Ben becomes annoyed and accidentally splits open his sportscoat. And after raging for a while, he turns over the remnants as a souvenir to some schoolchildren. Suddenly a police limousine pulls up. District Attorney Blake Tower and Detective Kris Keating, having heard that the Fantastic Four are back together, request their assistance with the disappearances, but Reed has to decline because his equipment is still in storage with SHIELD. They don't even have access to their headquarters at the Baxter Building, says Reed.
Unfortunately, at just that moment the elevator door opens and the four teammates and Alicia step out. As Alicia walks up to her door, she hears someone moving inside, and then they all hear one of her statues shatter on the floor. Ben breaks down the door, and they catch the Mole Man and his minions red-handed. Reed comments wryly that the case of the mysterious disappearances has just solved itself.
As three subterraneans bring Johnny down and snuff out his flame, the Mole Man turns toward Alicia, the one they came to abduct. When Ben sees her in danger, he hurls the subterraneans aside to go to her rescue. Sue turns invisible, but the Mole Man finds her with his batlike radar sense and knocks her to the floor with his staff. The Mole Man grasps Alicia's hand as Ben runs up, and then he stuns Ben with another electrical Jolt from his staff.
Then he picks Alicia up. Crashes out of the window, and runs down the chain of subterraneans to the street. Sue, who revived in time, races invisibly after him. Reed, Ben, and Johnny slowly recover from the effects of the Mote Man's neuro-shocks as the last of the subterraneans hurry through the window.When Sue cannot be found. Reed assumes that she followed the Mole Man. Sure enough, a few moments later they see the "4" signal flare light up the sky. They take a cab and find Sue, her flare gun still smoking. The cabbie insists, and Reed tells Ben to tell the driver to bill the ride to Tony Stark.
The Mole Man turns the ground under Ben to quicksand, and then he nerve-jolts Reed. Then Johnny circles the Mole Man In flame. In desperation, the Mole Man calls on his supposed victims for aid, and the blind and deformed derelicts and outcasts advance toward the Fantastic Four, calling on them to leave them alone. They want to be with the Mole Man, explains Alicia.Better to live in the darkness underground than endure the pity and the Insults of the people on the surface, they say. Not wanting to injure any of them, Sue quickly surrounds herself and- her teammates with a force field, against which the blows of the people fall harmlessly as they tell the Fantastic Four to return home. Ben interprets some of their comments as insults and angrily begins to pound the force field. He wants Sue to drop the. Barrier so he can get at them. The blows exhaust Sue, who lets her field down, and the outcasts swarm over him. Ben grabs some and asks what has gotten into them, and they explain that the Mole Man gave them a world in which they are all accepted. They beg Ben not to take them back to the surface. Then Reed separates the Mole Man from his staff and carries him away for a talk. The Mole Man wails that he has lost again, but Reed says that this is not necessarily so. It appears that many of the people are telling the truth, he continues. Alicia explains that the Mole Man wants to copy the statues that were taken and return the originals. Reed releases the Mole Man. Many who were kidnapped are blind and depend on others to describe the loveliness of the world to them, says Reed. Others, says the Mole Man, hate to look at themselves, even as he once did, so he gave them beauty they could touch, hear, and taste. There are sculptors, chefs, and musicians in the underground village, says the Mole Man, but no mirrors. And now, he laments, the Fantastic Four want to deprive them of this. Then Alicia agrees to donate all her sculptures to the outcasts, except those already promised to others, and she promises to give the Mole Man a gift fit for a king. Sometime later, the Fantastic Four oversee the departure of those kidnap victims who wish to return to the surface. All the statues have been carefully reproduced in the Mole Man's foundries, and the originals are back with their rightful owners. Those who remain with the Mole Man will become his friends, he says, the first he has had in a very long time. Then Alicia unveils a statue in clay that the Mole Man can cast in any metal he chooses. As his fingers go over the statue's contours, tears come to his eyes, for he recognizes it as a statue of himself. He will cast it in gold, he proclaims, for Alicia has portrayed him as a grand and handsome monarch. All the teammates are touched save Ben, who grumpily declares that it is time to head back home.
The item "MARVEL Fantastic Four Annual #13 Original Art PAGE #22 Artists Buscema/Sinnott" is in sale since Sunday, October 22, 2017. This item is in the category "Collectibles\Comics\Original Comic Art\Interior Pages".The seller is "xoranges" and is located in Clarksville, Tennessee. This item can be shipped to United States.
- Series: Fantastic Four
- Signed: No
- Publication Date: December 1978
- Issue Number: Annual 13