Fantastic Four #165
Published and © by Marvel, December 1975
Title: “The Light of Other Worlds!”
Synopsis: The inability to secure a bank loan sends the Crusader (né Marvel Boy) on a ferocious rampage seeking vengeance.
Writer: Roy Thomas
Penciler: George Pérez
Inker: Joe Sinnott
Review: There’s a fine line between endearing character traits and flat out annoyance, and this issue sees every member of the FF on the wrong side of that line. Mr. Fantastic is gruff and arrogant, the Thing is an ill-tempered brute, and the Torch is an emo horndog. Meanwhile, the Invisible Girl spends multiple internal monologues contemplating how to be more submissive to the men in her life. Yuck. The Marvel Boy/Crusader reboot is just OK; the ferocity of his quest for vengeance is a little off-putting and the conclusion feels rushed. But George Pérez’s visual storytelling is solid.
Cool factor: It’s already clear George Pérez is going to be a great fit for the FF.
Not-so-cool factor: The Crusader is a jerk. The FF are an unpleasant lot. This one needs a likable character to root for.
Notable: The “Baxter Building Bulletins” letters page includes an LoC from future Marvel writer Peter B. Gillis.
Collector’s note: According to the Grand Comics Database, there is a 9p British variant and a National Book Store variant of this issue. … According to MyComicShop.com, there is also a Mark Jewelers variant.
Character quotable: “I was detained on Earth – by a hard-hearted banker’s rubber stamp!” – The Crusader, who apparently doesn’t take rejection well
Editor’s note: This review was written Oct. 25, 2021.