How Lee & Kirby's "Fantastic Four" Birthed the Marvel Universe, Part 1
Every week, I will spotlight strange but ultimately endearing comic stories (basically, we’re talking lots and lots of Silver Age comic books). Here is the archive of all the installments of this feature. Feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com if you have a suggestion for a future installment!
With Aunt May being announced for the new Spider-Man film, I thought it would be nice to take a look back at the time that Aunt May became the Herald of Galactus. Not a Hoax! Not a What If…?! Not an Imaginary Story!
The story appeared in Marvel Team-Up #137 and was written by Mike Carlin and drawn by Greg LaRocque and Mike Esposito. It starred Aunt May teaming up with Franklin Richards to stop Galactus. It was part of Marvel’s “Assistant Editor’s Month” (where all their books were put out under the premise that the Assistant Editors were in charge that month, so each book tried to do something a bit different that month – some went for outright wackiness while others just tried to do slightly different types of stories), had a cover which noted that this team-up was “Not a Hoax! Not a What If! Not an Imaginary Story!”
It opened with Nova, Galactus’ then herald, dying after a planet decided to destroy itself rather than give itself over to Galactus for him to feed on them (with the theory being that their sacrifice might serve to kill Galactus through starvation). Nova is killed in the explosion.
Meanwhile, Peter Parker is at the circus with Aunt May and the Fantastic Four are all there with Franklin Richards. Reed discovers a situation in San Diego, so the FF has to leave. Peter figures that he should help out, as well, and while they’re all gone, he figures that Aunt May can watch Franklin (who naturally doesn’t want to leave the circus).
A weakened Galactus searches out a new herald and figures Franklin would do well, since he already has so much power in his little body, but Aunt May takes her protector duties seriously…
Franklin has a brainstorm as to what could help Galactus find nourishment…
Then the comic becomes basically an extended riff on the idea of the famous superhero Hostess ads, as Golden Oldie discovers a peculiar planet…
I’ll let you seek out this issue (it shouldn’t be too expensive to find) to see how they resolve everything (while keeping true to their promise on the cover)!!
Thanks to Lee S. for the suggestion!
(Note: This article first appeared as part of the Fools of April feature – BC)
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