Fantastic Four #328 (July 1989)
Writer – John Harkness
Artist – Keith Pollard
A few Sundays ago, my friend and I went to Trader Jack’s Flea Market and I came across The Comic Book Ink inside the complex. Most of the back issues were $1.99 or cheaper so I grabbed a couple books to take home with me. One of those issues was Fantastic Four #328.
The Fantastic Four have fallen in battle against The Frightful Four, Aron the Watcher, and Dragon Man. Ben Grimm, recently depowered, must work alongside Alicia Masters to locate and rescue his fellow teammates.
Ever since Ben Grimm was transformed into The Thing, his one wish was to regain his humanity. Well Ben, be careful what you wish for! A human Ben vs the combined might of the Frightful Four (Klaw, Titania, Hydro-Man, and the Wizard) seems a little one sided but you can’t count Ben out. He uses his know how to contact She – Hulk to get a bead on the Dragon Man’s last known location. With Alicia’s help, the two begin searching for their friends near the Empire State Building. Can Ben and Alicia find their family before it’s too late? You know the answer to this! This wasn’t the final issue of the Fantastic Four, not by a long shot!
Reading comics from years past is always fun because some plot points or jokes give us an idea of pop culture from that era. When Ben and Alicia search a high-rise business office for the Wizard’s lair, Ben makes a quip and a bystander’s reaction is, “haven’t you seen the movie Wall Street?” Another example is when the Frightful Four are trying to decide what to do with the Fantastic Four. When the Wizard’s stubbornness starts getting the better of his comrades, Hydro-Man retorts, “Donald Trump could take ego lessons from you, Chrome Dome.” It’s like a late 80s time capsule of the best and brightest of movies and “celebrity” from way back when.
Usually when I dig in the dollar bins for Fantastic Four comics, I try to stick around the 300-issue range because that is one period I’m not super familiar with and because this was during the time Ben led the FF and Sharon Ventura was on the team. At one point, they would both end up getting exposed to cosmic rays. Ben would become rockier in appearance and Sharon would become the She-Thing.
Fantastic Four #328 was worth the 2 dollars I spent on it. The cover alone was worth the price of admission and the fact Ben has to fight the Frightful Four all alone. Seeing this cover made me want to see what happens inside. It might be not the usual Clobberin’ Time but it’s worth discovering if Ben has what it takes to go up against four super-powered villains with the health and safety of his family hanging in the balance.