Fantastic Four vol. 3 #15
Marvel Comics (March, 1999)
“A Clash Of Iron”
WRITER: Chris Claremont
PENCILER: Salvador Larroca
So was it tradition at this point for every Marvel credit to list the writer and penciler together without any acknowledgement who did which? I thought this was only happening in Kurt Busiek’s stories.
INKER: Art Thibert
COLORING: Liquid! Graphics
LETTERER: Albert Deschesne
EDITOR: Bobbie Chase
From what I’ve gathered Ronin The Accuser teleported Four Freedoms Plaza to the moon and used something called a mannequin to take control of the Invisible Woman. He’s after some weapon in the care of Uatu The Watcher in his base in the “blue area” of the moon. While the others and a police officer who works with the X-Men (I don’t know her story) are heading after them the arrival of the building has attracted the attention of an under-construction moonbase jointly run by NASA and SHIELD. The woman in charge calls up Iron Man for help. Meanwhile Ronin and Sue’s efforts to break into the Watcher’s dome causes strange temporal events that lead to the other FF members seeing a vision of a potential future where they died and Sue marries a reformed Doctor Doom. Franklin tries to use this to send a warning to Reed but Iron Man’s teleporting in disrupts the field, while a strange electromagnetic pulse from Earth messes up the base’s electronics as well as Tony’s new prototype armor, causing a battle between the armor and the FF until Reed manages to access the teleporter to bring them all inside Uatu’s base. Iron Man joins the others in trying to stop Ronin and rescue Sue. (continued in Iron Man vol. 3 #14)
What they got right: Continuity. With Tony working on a new armor that won’t kill him with his own energy field we don’t get the final version but the prototype of the new armor Busiek wants to make over in Iron Man. Reed shows a concern for Sue but still keeps a level head. I hate when writers made Reed so caught up in the scientific challenge that he doesn’t show concern for others, especially his own wife. (At least during Secret Wars II he had a good reason during the Psycho-Man nonsense.)
What they got wrong: Unless that EMP was supposed to be a plot point for later events (like the future vision), it seems to just be an excuse to have Iron Man and the Fantastic Four -1 fight each other. And given how often Marvel has just dropped all pretense and had heroes fight each other in recent years that’s even more annoying now.
Recommendation: Unless the Iron Man side of this crossover is more interesting, or you’re already a fan of the Fantastic Four (which I’m admittedly not, so take my recommendation for what it’s worth) this isn’t an issue you need to run out to track down, at least without the previous issue to set up what’s happening here.