Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Inhumanity - Meet Madame Medusa!


The Inhumans are very popular in today's Marvel Universe. But truth is, they've had a long and often sketchy history to begin. The story of the Inhumans begins in Fantastic Four #37 with Madame Medusa, a villain who appears pretty much from nowhere on a Mediterranean beach to tapped by the Wingless Wizard to become the distaff member of the nascent Frightful Four alongside fellow baddies Paste Pot Pete (soon to become "The Trapster") and The Sandman. In their first attack on the Fab 4 the villains are really successful and Medusa seems quite the willing villain alongside her murderous partners.


Later the Frightful Four return and initiate an attack which strikes at the heart of the Fantastic Four team by taking control of the Thing and turning him against his own team.


Ben Grimm proves to be a ferocious ally and the Frightful Four use him as a weapon with some success and even for a time appear to gain control of the Human Torch as well.


The battle rages for several issues featuring artwork by Jack Kirby and inker Vince Colletta. Colletta steps in after Chic Stone steps away and as much as I like his effect on Kirby's Thor work, I've never cottoned to his inks on the FF.


Eventually the Fantastic Four are able to defeat the Frightful Four though it comes at no small cost. Madame Medusa is there the whole time, fighting alongside her fractious partners. There's little indication that she hides some mysterious secret and her lack of any origin is glossed over. It's only later, after this defeat when the Wizard, the Trapster, and the Sandman are defeated that she escapes opening the door to future encounters. That comes more quickly than you might imagine.


More next time as we meet The Inhumans.


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4 comments:

  1. The question is did Kirby think she was just a villain when he created Medusa and only later plug her into the Inhumans? Or did he have it planned all along?

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    1. I honestly don't know. I want to think she was just a weird character with an unknown origin, but that very fact points to something larger. It's a conundrum.

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  2. I still have issues 41 and 42, the two oldest comics I think I've ever owned. They're incredible visual treats. The colors back then were superior to the ones of Bronze Age days when printing standards were taking a nosedive. Unfortunately, you can't find those perfect colors in any of the reprints, and it's a real shame.

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  3. Not only was Medusa a most able partner in the Frightful Four, but some comic fans have described her as being quite evil and even sadistic back then, as she proved that she was a very capable rival to Susan Storm!

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