Sunday, February 14, 2016

This is for the lovers : worst break up EVER

Since Today is Valentine´s Day I wanted to do a post about one of the greatest romances in comics. But if you know this blog there´s got to be a twist to it. So my post is not about how this romance started or how it stood the test of time but much rather how it totally crashed and burned.

And I mean the burn part quite literally since one of the involved persons here - and pretty much the injured party - is the Fantastic Four´s most flammable member, Johnny Storm a.k.a. the Human Torch.

To set the story up, Johnny met Crystal from the Inhumans in issue 45 of The World´s Greatest Comic Magazine and in issue 48 the hidden city of Attilan was already placed under an impenetrable dome by mad Maximus.

Johnny spent the next few months trying to find a way to get through the barrier when he was not busy fighting bad guys like Galaktus, Klaw, or Doctor Doom with the Silver Surfer´s stolen power cosmic until the barrier was shattered by Black Bolt in issue 59. Now you would think that Johnny Storm and Crystal would re - unite as soon as possible but Black Bolt in his wisdom decided that the members of the royal family of Inhumans had to go out into the world to explore and they had to take Crystal with them. Why they couldn´t just go to New York to do that - and drop Crystal at the Baxter Building on the way - is just beyond me. It takes two more issues until Crystal and Johnny catch up again. Crystal than lived in the Baxter Building with Johnny and took the place of his pregnant sister on the roster, officially becoming a member of the Fantastic Four with issue 81.  

Crystal stayed with the team ( and Johnny, with whom she had quite a few arguments ) until issue 105. Earth´s pollution had a cumulative effect on Crystal´s health and the only way to save her was to return to Attilan. 

The next few issues the Fantastic Four are busy with Janus, the Nega - Man and the events of The Overmind Saga ( I have written numerous times about one of THE best Fantastic Four stories ever so I won´t bother you with it here, just check out this post if you want to read more ) so it isn´t until issue 117 that we find out that Crystal has been intercepted on her way to Attilan by one of the Fantastic Four´s old sparring partners.

That Diablo character really has some influential fans at Marvel, he was the first the Fantastic Four go up against in John Byrne´s legendary run on the book, he is the first one Ben Grimm´s team goes up against in the ALL IN THE FAMILY storyline ( which will be the topic of an upcoming post - promise ) and he´s also the first antagonist for Marvel´s first family during Carlos Pacheco´s undeservedly underrated Fantastic Four run.

Anyway, Diablo brainwashes Crystal into believing she is the mayan goddess Ixchel to help him gain control of the city of Terra Verde so he can exploit the city for all the rare chemicals he needs for his potions.

With the help of the Fantastic Four ( and a particularly well thrown stone ) Diablo is defeated and Crystal´s memory restored but in the meantime Johnny has learned that the mad Maximus has taken control of the great refugee and she must leave Johnny - again - to help out the royal family.

Boy, that Maximus surely put a cramp in Johnny´s love life intentionally or not. So Crystal is once again out of reach for Johnny while the team has an encounter with the Black Leopard ( who went back to calling himself the Black Panther again right after this adventure ) and battles menaces like Galaktus ( again ! ), an alien who kidnaps Sue and the Mole Man ( how is it that most stories with the Mole Man include Ben Grimm going over to the dark side ? ) until Johnny decides in issue 129 that enough is enough and he´s going to live with Crystal in the city Attilan from now on.

Despite the best efforts of the rest of the team to stop him Johnny manages to take the Pogoplane and make his way to Attilan but upon arriving there he gets the feeling he stole the royal porcelain because he´s treated like persona non grata. He is attacked when he enters the city, nobody wants to tell him what´s going on and to top it all off they don´t want to let him get near Crystal. Which should have been the first hint that something is fishy ( and I´m not talking about Triton here ). I mean if they thought that Crystal had made an understandable decision they would have let Johnny just talk with her. The fact that they feel the need for an intervention before Johnny is allowed to see Crystal is a clear indication that they think Crystal´s decision gives reason to be upset. 

And for those at home keeping tabs, the story that Crystal tells Johnny in the flashback scene takes place after the events in AVENGERS issue 104. 

We now start with issues 131 ( which was drawn by artist Ross Andru ) and 132 of FANTASTIC FOUR, but I have to mention for those uninitiated or unfamiliar with the Fantastic Four and the Inhumans ( if Disney has their way future generations will be oblivious to the first one and onky familiar with the second one ) that Crystal does not have healing powers. She never received any special training as a nurse so there is no logical reason why she should be critical to Quicksilver´s reconvalescence or why she would be better suited to heal him than a real healer with real healing powers - which DO exist in Attilan. This whole thing is entirely her fault. 

I´m not sure I really " got " the story when I first read it since I was more interested in the superhero fights but when I read it again many years later it really hit home. On the positive side Johnny got a new dress out of the deal, the Fantastic Four got another member to substitute for Sue Storm and the relationship between Crystal and Quicksilver would become an even bigger train wreck. If you think I´m being too harsh on Crystal here you might want to check out Crystal : a love story on THE FANTASTIC FOUR 1961 - 1989 WAS THE GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL. And last but not least I want to add for consideration that if the roles had been reversed ( Johnny had been away and when Crystal returns to him he is with another girl ) and Johnny had dumped Crystal in such a fashion this story would be in the big catalogue of Women in Refrigerators next to Avengers 200. 

We start the video section with Gilbert O´Sullivan´s ode to the lonely.

Lately I decided to include more videos about german comics or videos about comics in german to my posts for the benefit of possible german readers. I was looking for something related to Valentine´s Day and while it´s not EXACTLY about love this is about relationships. To those that have never heard of him, Loriot a.k.a. Victor Von Bülow was a german humorist who did comedy sketches and cartoons ( drawn and animated ).

( The daily damages of the railway tracks between Schmilau and Hollenbeck are without any doubt attributable to children at play ).

For kids of my generation he was known as the guy who wrote Reinhold, Das Nashorn and who invented Wum and Wendelin, cartoon characters who appeared on Der Große Preis, one of the biggest Satirday night game shows when Germany knew how to make that kind of entertainment.

While I wasn´t particularly fond of his comedy sketches I always liked his cartoons and his specialty was to show what was " typical german ". One of his best series in this vein was Scenes of A Matrimony and his most famous one is The Breakfast Egg. God, men are primitive creatures. 

I guess I don´t have to explain this one. This is actually the only one I had bookmarked with Valentine´s Day in the title. And it´s got Power Girl too.

One of the things I did these last few days was watch all the episodes of Lip Sync Battle I could get a hold on. Yes, there really is a show about this but then I´m late to the party as usual so I probably don´t have to explain this one to my audience. This is from one of the best episodes and maybe this will give you an idea if you forgot to get a present for your other half.

Well, maybe it is a coincidence that the video with the hot lapdance comes right before a Yaya Han video and maybe not but I don´t want to influence any hot asian cosplayers with a killer body one way or the other.

I´m just saying that if you should feel any urges in that direction just go for it, Yaya ! Anyway, I want to include a video where she is not cosplaying as Power Girl or Chun Li as you are probably already tired of those and to tell the truth I don´t think I have any of them left under my bookmarks.

This one is actually so new that I haven´t even seen it myself.

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