Friday, February 27, 2009

The long and winding road... leads me to your mind control!

Dear readers, please be aware: the following post will be a long and hopelessly convoluted one, dealing with different types of mind control that tend to combine into one rather difficult to grasp mess. I considered chopping it up, but hey... that would distract from the fact that Fantastic Four issues # 13-18 are really a gawdful rollercoaster ride filled with stale plots, cheap pastiches and... urgh, here we gooooo...

Issue #13 mainly serves as buildup to a confrontation with the Kree Accuser Ronan on the Moon. The actual fun starts in issue # 14 when Ronan decides to enlist the Invisible Woman, after having easily warded off attacks from the FF and guest stars Iron Man and X-men Z-lister detective Charlotte Jones (...For those of you keeping count: Its been 10 issues since he started on the book and Charlotte Jones is the 5th X-universe character Claremont blatantly inserted in the book).

So... Sue's body is being taken over by an alien parasite with the snappy nickname Mannequin. Mannequin? As in 'genitalia-lacking-doll-you-model-clothes-on'? Wow... Well... I'm sure all the other good names were taken. But hey, all kidding aside... the pink, blobby Mannequin is an actual threat. Sue is completely under Ronan's spell and attacks her former teammates. The Mannequin quickly turns Sue's body into something quite horrific. Becoming more monstrous by the minute, her thoughts are becoming more savage and predatorlike as well. And the worst part is: there's no way to reverse the process, Sue is stuck like this forever...

Now and here's when it gets hopelessly complicated. Being the strongwilled woman she is, Sue breaks free from the Mannequin's mental control. She then helps out to kick some Kree butt. All's well that ends well? Not quite... one) she's still turning into a monster and two) she's turning into a monster in the Negative Zone of all places! Yes, at the end of their battle against the Accuser, one of Reed's dimensional teleportation gizmos malfunctions, causing the FF to get stranded in the Zone... desperately teleporting blind, hoping to get home...

In their quest to get home, the FF fight several different not very interesting foes, including Kree Avengers and the alien Brood (another X-men villain!) and then... its time for a visit to Shadow City, featuring Lockdown and Rosetta Stone!

Okay, here we go: Shadow City is a virtual reality construct, created by a society on the brink of extinction. In order to survive, they locked themselves away inside a virtual reality universe where they could leisurely sit out whatever is threatening their world. Problem is: no one seems to remember they are in a VR-world in the first place! The Fantastic Four arrive on the scene by accident, quickly get knocked out by robots that guard and monitor the VR-systems (yah, I know... believable) and soon, they're plugged into the Shadow City simulation as well.

In Shadow City, the FF is actually a team of villains known as the Tetrad. You got your Stormy Sue, you got your Matchstick Johnny, your Richard Reed and of course Grim Ben. The Tetrad is continuously thwarted by the hero of Shadow City... Lockdown and his young ward Rosetta Stone.

Dark protector of a corrupt city filled with dangerous villains no one else dares stand up to? Battling evil with gadgets, martial arts and his own genius intellect? Cruising the streets with his high tech car? Remind you of anyone... Nana-nana-nana... copyright violation!

Anyways, the Tetrad aren't the only villains in Shadow City, Lockdown also had dealing with an all female team known as the Twisted Sisters. Their superpowers compliment each other... The girls Helix, Coil, Ringtoss and Gyre are able to completely transform a person into their own image... Twisting and changing their bodies and personalities into whatever they please. Here, take a look at how they try and change Sue...

So... Lets see what's happened to Susan Storm-Richards in the space of five issues... Got her body taken over by an alien parasite that changed her into a flesh hungry monster... Only to get mind controlled by a Virtual Reality System that made her believe she's the Shadow City criminal known as Stormy Sue... And then to top it all off, her essence is molded into Torque, the latest Twisted Sister!

In short: the mind controlled victim of an alien parasite is digitally remastered and then mentally recast as a trampy SM-enthusiast with teeth for shoes? Chris, Chris, Chris....CHRIST!

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