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The Fabulous FF's Friends... and Foes!
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This issue's story sees the Fantastic Four saving a local priest from the clutches of The Mole Man, who's kidnapped him to officiate at his marriage to Kala, Queen of The Netherworld. If this seems like a weird match, between the Officially Ugly Mole Man (it's part of his origin) and the beautiful Kala that's because, inevitably, Kala is simply playing the Mole Man, tricking him into marrying her so she can steal his subterranean kingdom and then cop off with the dreadful Tyrannus instead. Tyrannus, frankly, seems like a dick. Mr Fantastic disguises himself as a Subterranean using his surprisingly little used ability to mold his facial features into a different shape so that he looks like somebody else. He also utilises some skin dye which he "thought might come in handy", which seems doubly odd given that he almost never uses this aspect of his superpower.
Anyway, the team manage to rescue the vicar while simultaneously saving the surface world from Kala's plan to destroy it with volcanoes, and the story ends with The Mole Man left alone once more. Poor old Mole Man! Doctor Doom then appears in a 'pin-up' page by John Buscema, the first in a series called "The Fabulous FF's Friends... and Foes!" This image by John Buscema would be used again and again, in merchandising and in the comics themselves, as a template for Doom's overall design, defining how the character will look from now on. It does little things like stabilising the size of his bright yellow cloak clasps and formalising the design of his armour, especially the boots and gloves which have tended to change with different artists. It'll be interesting to see, the next time somebody other than Buscema draws him, whether they stick to this design.
Sadly for the Mole Man, although this image will be re-used again and again, he will always be cut out, like a quickly dumped ex in a family wedding photograph. Poor old Mole Man!
link to information about this issue
posted 8/2/2019 by Mark Hibbett
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