Appearing in "The Times They are A'Changing!"
Synopsis for "The Times They are A'Changing!"
As Nick Fury has been flying them back to Earth following the apparent demise of their leader, the Fantastic Four appear to have been whisked back in time to the year 1936. Unable to reach the SHIELD space station, Fury lands his car in an ally, and confirms his suspicions, Fury has gone back to the days when he was merely a teenager. As they gain their wits, Johnny asks Sue what they should do, appointing her leader now that Reed is apparently dead. Sue points out that anything they might do could alter history and that they shouldn't risk contact with anyone from this era. When they spot a garbage crew coming by to pick up trash, Sue quickly turns the group and Fury's car invisible. When the danger of discover passes, Sue returns everyone to normal. Trying to debate what to do, Fury at least solves the problem with the risk of leaving his car behind: activating a device it quickly re-configures itself to resemble a UPS truck, which closely resembles the vehicles from this era. As they drive through the streets of 1930s New York, they take stock of the fact that not even Captain America, or the original Human Torch exist in this era. Suddenly, they are being chased by the police when they note the lack of an authentic license plate on their truck. Zipping into an alley get away, they are shocked when they reach the other end and have apparently returned to the modern age.
With the danger seemingly over, Fury decides they should go to a nearby SHIELD outpost to figure out what was going on. Johnny opts to leave to check on his girlfriend Alicia to make sure she is all right following this strange time warp. When Johnny arrives at her apartment, she has no idea what he is talking about when he flames off and explains what happened. Alicia is confused by what Johnny is saying, but before he can fill her in on what has happened he suddenly finds himself in a warehouse back in 1936 again. Flaming on, Johnny flies above the city, then realizes how out in the open he is and an appearance of a Human Torch this early in history could have grave repercussions. Before anyone can see him, Johnny flames off and sticks to the roofs to get around. Elsewhere, Sue, She-Hulk and Fury also have found themselves pulled back to 1936 with a bang -- as Fury's car crashes into a wall that suddenly appeared before them. The resulting impact only jostles the women, but Fury is knocked out. Realizing that Fury needs a doctor, Sue turns invisible to try find one she can convince to help them. After Sue's gone, Fury's radio communicator kicks in, receiving a clear signal from the SHIELD space station with an urgent message for the Fantastic Four. When She-Hulk answers them, she shocks them by telling them that they are stuck in the year 1936.
Elsewhere, the Invisible Woman passes unseen through the streets. With all the differences between this version of New York City, Sue realizes how far back in time they have actually gone. It causes her to think about how great it could be to speak to her parents, or even Reed. The thoughts of her reportedly deceased husband causes memories of their relationship to come flooding back: When she first met Reed when she was 13 years old and he was a college freshman boarding at her aunt's house, Reed's rocket flight which turned them all into the Fantastic Four, and finally her and Reed's wedding.
Meanwhile, the crew aboard the SHIELD space station are shocked by She-Hulk's news, as their scanners show that New York is the one of the present not the 1930s. Before they can delve deeper into this mystery, She-Hulk hears a man cry for help and goes to see what the commotion is. She spots an African-American man running for his life by a gang of mobsters chasing him in a car. She-Hulk decides to help him, by grabbing the vehicle and lifting it over her head. Seeing that their car had been stopped by a massive green woman, the mobsters flee in panic. She goes to the aid of the black man and assures him that she means him no harm. He introduces himself as "Licorice" Calhoun. She-Hulk immediately remembers him as a jazz musician whose records her father used to own. Calhoun explains that the men were after him because he has the ability to make his dreams come true. When local mobster Mister Cleveland heard this, he demanded Calhoun use this power to Cleveland's benefit. Not willing to use his powers to help Cleveland win a horse race, Calhoun figured he found an out: Not only allowing the horse Cleveland was betting on to win, but make a total tie race. Realizing the duplicity, Cleveland sent his men to harm Calhoun, leading to She-Hulk's rescue.
As Calhoun finishes his story, She-Hulk realizes that Fury has awoken. Nick has flipped on a radio and listens to a BBC report about regarding recent reports of Hitler's assurances that he will remain peaceful to countries neighboring Germany. Fury explains that the time warp must be affecting the entire world now, and that he was actually listening into her conversation with his men aboard the space station. Realizing that he has an opportunity to stop Hitler before the war. As he takes off in his car, She-Hulk tries to stop him but slams into one of Sue's invisible force fields, which the Invisible Woman was able to put up to prevent Jen from trampling him. This allows Fury to get away, and when She-Hulk explains what Nick intends to do, Sue tells them that in order to preserve history the way they remember it, they have no choice but to stop Fury from killing Hitler.
- The truth about these "time warps" is revealed next issue.
- While weighing their options, the Fantastic Four note that Captain America and the original android Human Torch don't exist in this era. This is correct as the original Torch was not built until 1939 as seen in Marvel Comics #1, Captain America did not gain his abilities until the winter of 1940, as specified in Captain America #109.
- Fury mentions that they could stop the war by killing Adolf Hitler, leader the Nazis. The wartime era of Earth-616 follows closely to that of the real world. In 1936 Hitler was already in power in Germany and had spent the past three years persecuting Jews and herding them into concentration camps and preparing his bid to conquer Europe. World War II would not officially begin until 1939.
- Fury states that the license plates on his car are from 50 years in the future. This, and other references that indicate a specific length of time between the modern age and 1936 should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
- This is not Alicia Masters but, as revealed in Fantastic Four #358, is Lyja a Skrull spy who took Alicia's place around the events of Fantastic Four #265.
- Johnny mentions the FF's battle in the Negative Zone and Reed's apparent demise which happened recently in Fantastic Four #289-290.
- Sue mentions the FF's old headquarters the Baxter Building was not built in 1936. Per Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #4 the Baxter Building was constructed in 1949.
- Sue mentions that she wishes she could seek the advice of her father, Franklin Storm, in this era but that he is only a child. This will eventually have to be considered a topical reference. Fantastic Four #11 states that Sue was in her twenties. Per the Timescale that was the first year of Marvel Time. Currently it has been fourteen years in Marvel Time. So Sue is presently in her late 30s or early 40s. Since new publications are always in the "present" (or the current year) the earliest Sue could have been born was 1975, and that date will keep sliding forward. As Sue's date of birth pushes forward with the timescale, it will soon become physically impossible for Sue's father to have been alive in the 1930s without drastically aging Sue herself. Readers should also note that Sue's thoughts are cut off before she mentions how many years from 1936 until she is born.
- According to Fantastic Four #543 Sue is 13 years old when depicted as a young girl meeting Reed Richards for the first time in Sue's recollections of the past. However, this is later contradicted in Fantastic Four Vol 4 #4 which states that Sue was in her late teens as it was an editorial position that the previous age stated was inappropriate by todays standards.
- Her recollection of the space flight that turned them into the Fantastic Four is from Fantastic Four #1. The Thing is depicted here with dinosaur-like skin. The Thing did not develop his trademark rock-like appearance until about Fantastic Four #10. As explained in Marvel Two-In-One #50, the Thing continued to mutate after the rocket flight, evolving into his trademark appearance over time.
- Reed and Sue's wedding was depicted in Fantastic Four Annual #3.
- The appearance of the Twin Towers at the site of the World Trade Center in the modern day Manhattan skyline should also be considered a topical reference. The twin towers were destroyed in a terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. As the Sliding Timescale has slid forward, the first year of the Marvel modern age (circa Fantastic Four #1 would have happened after September 11th 2001.
- This issue contains a letters page, Fantastic Forum. Letters are published Malcolm Bourne, Elvis Orten, Lawrence Punch, Danny Goldman, Stephen Sanderson, John Brittan, and "DJM". This issue also contains a Statement of Management, Ownership, and Circulation.
- The cover of this issue is a homage to Action Comics #1 which first introduced the super-hero Superman.
- "The Times They Are A 'Changin'" is an iconic song made popular by Bob Dylan in 1964.
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- Images from Fantastic Four Vol 1 291
- ↑ November 3, 2015
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