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If I Pass This Way Again – Johnny Storm Had Sex With a Double of His Sister?!

suedoubledisplay

Every installment of this feature is about odd plot points that were never addressed again after they were first introduced.

We continue with Alicia Masters’ odd physical resemblance to Sue Storm.

In Fantastic Four #8, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby introduced the evil Puppet Master, who managed to take control of the Thing’s body. The Invisible Girl, Sue Storm, followed the Thing to the Puppet Master’s lair, but she was quickly incapacitated.

Upon looking at her, though, the Puppet Master had an idea. Sue was the spitting image of the Puppet Master’s beloved step-daughter, Alicia, which inspired a plan…

suedouble1

suedouble2

Note that they walk right up even on camera – no one can tell that she is NOT Sue, not even her boyfriend, Reed Richards or her brother, Johnny Storm…

suedouble3

And after the Thing is subdued, Reed and Johnny finally figure it out…

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This striking resemblance between Sue and Alicia was not brought up again, which was a good thing, since nearly 200 issues later, John Byrne introduced Alicia and Johnny as a couple…

suedouble5

So yes, Johnny just had sex with a woman who looks exactly like his sister.

He then even MARRIED Alicia!!

Then she was discovered to be a Skrull all along, but that’s a story for another time…

NOTE: While looking up which issue Johnny and Alicia first had sex I found that my buddy Bully had done a piece on this same basic topic. Just figured I’d mention that!

If YOU have a suggestion for If I Pass This Way Again, drop me a line at bcronin@comicbookresources.com

43 Comments

Comics. Gaaaaaaagh. There’s a reason Oedipus gouged his own eyes out….

Brian, if you want to get really nutty, you need to cover Nate Grey’s hot-and-heavy flirtation with Madelyn Pryor, who’s a clone of his genetic mother Jean Grey. They were separated by a few degrees of cloning and reality hopping, but…yeah. That happened.

Das some shit, mane.

I fapped.

I was SO glad she turned out to be a Skrull because Alicia and Johnny together felt so wrong! It felt like watching your girlfriend happy together with your best friend, it hurt me to read it!!!! I was so against that storyline and have always felt that Alicia and Ben should be together, and seeing Ben’s friend dating her and marrying her hit me pretty hard emotionally, as a reader. Not cool Johnny!

I have been reading old FF and so much about Alica makes no sense. For example how does she have a studio full of sculptures of people she’s never met and had a chance to memorize via touch?

why the hell did puppet master need to make a fake uniform, he could’ve just taken Sue’s off and covered her in a sheet or something!

Sue is captured… because she can’t open a locked window.
Why don’t you try the latches on top, honey? Maybe throw something through the window?

I’m always annoyed by the “we look alike” plot idea.
In theory, it can work on film and with people who aren’t familiar with either party, but it does NOT work for people who know them well. Johnny should be able to spot his own sister.
I went to high school with someone who looked a lot like me, to the extent that teachers I didn’t know would ask why I wasn’t in there class. I could pass their pictures off as me. This worked unless it was a good friend and then they noticed it wasn’t me. I was paler, my lips were bigger and the pose wasn’t right.
Like the beginning of BASIC INSTINCT; Sharon Stone killed that guy. No, we didn’t see her face but that was her body!

“why the hell did puppet master need to make a fake uniform, he could’ve just taken Sue’s off and covered her in a sheet or something!”

Because he’s a gentlemen at heart and gentlemen do not undress ladies without their approval.

I have been reading old FF and so much about Alica makes no sense. For example how does she have a studio full of sculptures of people she’s never met and had a chance to memorize via touch?

I always had the fanwank theory that Alicia, whose blindness was caused (per Marvel Team-Up v.1 #6) by exposure to the radioactive/magical clay the Puppet Master uses, has a sort of intuitive empathetic sight. She’s blind for all intents and purposes, but she can sort of “read” people and unconsciously translate that into tactile/visual art. It would certainly explain how she was able to sense the Silver Surfer’s noble spirit when they first met.

why the hell did puppet master need to make a fake uniform, he could’ve just taken Sue’s off and covered her in a sheet or something!

Because the Comics Code isn;t going to let them do a story where it’s implied the villain undresses an unconscious woman.

More to the point, since we see elsewhere in this story that the Puppet Master can control multiple people at once, why does he need to use Alicia at all? Why not just mind-control Sue?

Why would you want to mind control someone who can’t open a window?

And I have fun thinking of the comics code people sitting around….

“OK, so a villain can’t undress an unconscious woman…what if she was conscious?”

“No.”

“OK, can a HERO undress an unconscious woman?”

“No, of course not.”

How about if she was conscious…..?”

“…”

This story was adapted for the first episode of the 1994 Fantastic Four animated series. Not sure how this got by the TV censors, but in the cartoon Puppet Master actually DOES undress Sue!… right down to her undies!… while she’s unconscious!

I think he even undresses Alicia too, (while she’s awake?). Or maybe Alicia did the undressing. It’s not actually clear. One minute the girls are both fully dressed, then in the next scene they’re sitting around in their underwear while Puppet Master looms over them with that creepy perpetual grin of his.

He at least has the decency to let Alicia dress herself when he hands her Sue’s costume.

How can Alicia sculpt people she can’t see?
Well, if that bit about her going blind because of Puppet Master’s radioactive stuff is true, maybe Alicia developed a radar sense like Daaredevil, except it’s not as strong because she didn’t train with Stick, but it’s still good enough for sculpting.

@ Purple Hayes
“Sue is captured… because she can’t open a locked window.
Why don’t you try the latches on top, honey? Maybe throw something through the window?”

Because she was a dim, dingy broad, just like the Wasp, Lois Lane, and all the women of comics from the 60s and back were portrayed! Even Wonder Woman had her share of “dumb bimbo” moments. No wonder females hated comics!

The “Sue and Alicia” thing did come up at least one other time: Psycho Man had taken over the Baxter Building, and since he was expecting Sue to come fight him, she gave Alicia a costume and had her go into the building as a distraction. Of course, in that case, it didn’t need to be an EXACT double the way this example does…

I hated the Johnny-Alicia marriage. That whole era of FF was strange. Being an FF fan between issues 300-400 was rough. I liked some of it though. I liked Thing’s new transformation in FF 310 but the villain they were fighting was hilarious. His name was Fasaud. He was a sheik who tried to kill a reporter but his knife went into a TV camera lens instead. His knife “completed a circuit”and he was transformed into a living consciousness that could inhabit machinery (like Cyborg Superman kinda). Thing was in space with (another) Ms. Marvel fighting the guy and they won somehow (though that didn’t really make sense). They start making out and they get hit with Cosmic rays. Thing becomes even stronger (and he looked cool) and Ms. Marvel became a female Thing.

I didn’t care for the Doom-Kristoff war which went on for WAAAAAAAY too long. But then in FF 350 it turned out that all the times we saw Doom from like FF 250 and on were ALL Doom bots. The real Doom was off meditating or something and came back with this all white armor (that we saw only once). Then like 20 issues later Reed and Doom die fighting one another, Sue gets with Namor temporarily (while Thing gets jealous). Then they fight some dude named Hyperstorm for like 20 issues – he turns out to be the son of Franklin Richards and Rachel Summers in DOFP. He’s so powerful no one could beat him apparently. Then Reed and Doom (apparently they were Hyperstorm’s prisoners) come back and Reed introduces him to Galactus and the big G decides to use Hypertstorm to forever satiate his hunger. But we saw Galactus later sans Hyperstorm so who knows where that whole thing ended up. Oh and somewhere in there Wolverine clawed up Thing’s face and he wore a damn mask (did he really need to uglier???) It was rough I tell ya’s. Rough.

The 200 issue gap makes it slightly less creepy. Slightly.

I love Byrne (in general) and his run on the FF (in particular), but he faded a bit at the end. The return of The Thing from The Secret Wars and the discovery of the Alicia-Johnny romance by Ben is pretty decent “jump the shark” moment.

011001010100011101

June 12, 2014 at 4:09 pm

You ever notice how common the exact double thing gets used in comics….what is the weridest one however, simply because it is something that has been mentioned well into the modern day comics is the fact that, Bucky Barnes, Jack Monroe, and Rick Jones (interestingly enough all orphans) all look enough alike to confuse Captain America into thinking they are the original Bucky. I don’t think Bruce has ever confused Winter Soldier for Rick Jones, in modern comics, but the resemblance is supposed to be uncanny, so much so, that it was included in the recent retelling of their first meeting. The update was even more striking since in the original Steve is awakening after dreaming about Bucky and sees Rick in his old uniform, and in the retelling, Steve just sees him on the street, as Rick Jones is confused as to how Bucky made it to the Future along with him.

You know, something that they could explore in the comic related to this…Winter Soldier was always coming out of the cooler to do missions….I wonder how often he sought the company of local ladies during that time…I wonder how often that produced a little Bucky who wound up an Orphan, and eventually side kick to Captain America as well.

I was a kid by the time I started reading the FF comics and Johnny and Alicia had recently become a couple. At the time I wasn’t hip to the “decades” of dating history between Ben and Alicia. Thus, it was no big deal to me. Of course, because most male comics fans tend to be rather extremely Victorian in their worldviews, inevitably they started labeling Alicia as a wh*re in retaliation.
Realistically, Alicia would not have had any outlet for traditional sexual fulfillment, during her entire time with Ben. The second FF movie actually flirted with addressing this with Johnny’s joke about “a rockslide”. People can comics-fantasize that “it” happens between them, but really, it’s impossible. Reed would have to invent some kind of psychedelic pill that might allow Ben and Alicia to “experience” each other while in close proximity.

I wouldn’t be helping her either if she was calling me Thing instead of Ben.

You know, something that they could explore in the comic related to this…Winter Soldier was always coming out of the cooler to do missions….I wonder how often he sought the company of local ladies during that time…I wonder how often that produced a little Bucky who wound up an Orphan, and eventually side kick to Captain America as well.

That’s SO fanfic. I could see it as a new 52 story or an episode of Arrow or Smallville. :D

She was made up to look like Sue, she’s not an identical double for her. Some make-up, some cosmetic manipulation, and she can pass.

I think Johnny can tell Alicia looked nothing like Sue.

She was made up to look like Sue, she’s not an identical double for her. Some make-up, some cosmetic manipulation, and she can pass.

There was nothing in the comic about make-up or any other cosmetic changes. He put her in a blonde wig and a mock-up of Sue’s costume and that’s it.

I think Johnny can tell Alicia looked nothing like Sue.

But he didn’t. It’s right there in the comic. It wasn’t “Hey, there’s Ben and someone who looks nothing like my sister!”

@beane2099

Thank you so much for basically summing up in its ENTIRETY all the memories I has of FF being a weird_a@@ comic growing up. I remember all that, plus didnt Ben use an exoskeleton towards the end of that run too?

The only thing I liked was that one issue Secret Wars 3 that tied up the Beyonder and Molecule Man storylines, That’s it. It seemed way too inaccessible for me – and ironically I got deep into the X-titles were seemed less convoluted at the time!

I kinda HOPE I’m pointing out the obvious here, but since no one else has mentioned it– it’s not like Sue Storm as drawn by John Byrne looks ANYTHING like Alicia Masters as drawn by John Byrne, and the same goes for most of the artists who handled the FF after Byrne (at least, those skilled enough to give their women different facial features and body types).

Even Kirby can’t seem to quite make up his mind whether they look alike or not: sometimes Alicia-as-Sue looks just like Sue, but in other frames her features look childlike and the wig doesn’t sit quite right on her head.

It doesn’t feel like she’s really a dead ringer for Sue so much as like the Puppet Master is exploiting the fact that nobody in the 1960s prefeminist FF paid a lot of attention to Sue at any given moment, anyway. She probably didn’t even need the wig. “There’s something different about you, darling. It’ll come to me. New lipstick?”

Just how does the Puppet Master come up with a blond wig and spare FF costume so quickly. Did he just have them laying around?

J-So yes, there was a phase in the early 1970s where Ben lost his powers and turned to an exo-skeleton so he could still help the team.
Re sexual fulfillment, the Brit TV series Misfits actually dealt with that problem: One team member has a power that makes it impossible for her boyfriend to have sex with her, so they wank off together instead.

I’ll go you one better: given that Johnny and Sue are siblings, it’s safe to say the resemble one another, so Johnny was actually having sex with someone WHO LOOKED LIKE HIM!

capt usa (jim)

June 13, 2014 at 9:53 am

About Alicia looking like Sue. The issue is, that Johnny couldn’t tell the difference based upon a 1960’s era closed circuit tv. Even as recently as 10 years ago, most closed circuit TV was poor quality. A quick glance, the uniform, hair and her being with Ben would be enough to allay any doubts about who that is on the TV.

@011001010100011101- You’re completely right. After all these years, Cap shouldn’t have been “Bucky, you’re alive?!?” when he saw the Winter Soldier, but “Rick Jones! What have they done to you!!”

And I hate all that “everything has to be tied into each other” convention, but I am sooooo amused by the idea that Bucky is Rick Jones and maybe Nomad’s dad.

@hyperstyles- Why not? I imagine Ben is always rock hard. She can be on top.

@T Campbell- That’s an interesting take, because I remember when Byrne was his peak then, the one thing he got criticized for was that all his faces looked alike…particularly the women. Just different color or style hair.

@J-So- So “Secret Wars 3″ was the only good, accessible story from the FF at the time? It just seems like you have to read not one, but two maxi-series to get anything out of it, and it strikes me as the worst story out of a lot of bad ones at the time. I mean, it completely undercuts Secret Wars 1&2. Not sure if they just wanted to piss Shooter off at that point or what.

@Mal- Does the Pupper Master look like a guy who you really want to know what he does in the privacy of his own home?

@Capt usa- you win my no-prize for the day.

011001010100011101

June 13, 2014 at 10:48 am

@M-Wolverine – I figure your answers are either that Bucky is the secret father of Nomad and Rick Jones…or there was a secret conspiracy, cloning orphans to be placed in precarious situations so that they would become side kicks to heroes, perhaps for malevolent purposes.

Actually, in the latest Original Sin, there seems to be some great secret revealed to Bucky that causes him to take action…perhaps he has learned of his long forgotten family.

…and that is proof that Johnny Storm will hit anything lol

Nothing like a little incestuousl relations to sell sum comics

@BadthingUS, that sounds right. Johnny is vain like that.

Okay, in Johnnie’s defense, I got the impression that he didn’t get that long a look at Alicia in the wig. Just a brief glance at the videoscreen and then they came in the room and mind-controlled Thing attacked.

In fact, there’s some science behind human vision that shows that when we glance at something we don’t actually see all of it. We just get a vague impression of it and our brain fills in the details with what it expects to see. So if Johnny glanced at the screen briefly and saw a woman in the right clothes with the right hair and facial features that were generally similar to Sue’s, and then looked away, it’s entirely possible his mind would have filled in “Sue” since that was what he expected to see and he wouldn’t have noticed the difference.

It would still mean that Alicia looks a lot like Sue. But it’s not implausible that she could look similar enough to Sue for Johnny not to notice from a brief glance.

To Alicia, Ben is her “Giant-Sized Man-Thing.”

Travis Pelkie

June 13, 2014 at 6:51 pm

I’d give a bit of a pass to Johnny, since he did only see Alicia-as-Sue briefly on the screen, before Benji knocked him out, and Reed notices right off that it isn’t Sue.

In fact, I’d chalk it up as much or more to Puppet Master’s creepy fixation on Alicia — “oh, this woman looks vaguely like you, stepdaughter that I’m perversely obsessed with!”

Although maybe this is what Morrison was going to delve into with FF1234?

“Reed notices right off that it isn’t Sue”
I don’t know if he notices right off. It’s AFTER they subdue Ben, and he has somehow changed from Thing to Ben Grimm, and then they revive Johny, and have even moved him to a comfy chair. It isn’t until she speaks up with “Who are you” that Reed realizes “Wait that isn’t Sue!”.

So unless she had been in another room all that time and had just walked in, then Reed didn’t notice right off. Of course I’d need to know more about what happened in the panels that aren’t shown above. If she is seen by Reed or Ben before those 2 panels of them reviving Johny, or if she was absent between the time that Ben punches Johny, through the subduing of Ben and getting Johny to the chair and reviving him.

Travis Pelkie

June 14, 2014 at 1:32 am

That is true.

It’s quick for Reed, though. :)

I can’t remember the details of this issue so I don’t know if suggesting the picture on the screen wasn’t particularly clear could help (though of course you would want a good picture to spot imposters).

While I’m certain that this story had been forgotten (and I don’t have a sister myself), it is my understanding from TV documentaries that such attractions are normal though the taboo against incest may reduce occurrences.
Of course I am talking about subconscious influences on behaviour- if Johnny insisted “Alicia” wear a blond wig when they had sex it would be WRONG

ParanoidObsessive

July 18, 2014 at 3:50 pm

This raises an interesting question, though.

If Alicia looked so much like Sue in her first appearance, no one found it kind of off that Ben pretty much immediately hooked up with her?

Like, it never occurred to Johnny that it was kind of creepy that Ben was with someone who looked like his sister? And Reed never had a moment where he realized his old college buddy was dating a girl that looked like his girlfriend?

Hell, maybe that’s why Reed never managed to cure Ben – he was afraid that if he did, Ben would go after Sue.

If Alicia looked so much like Sue in her first appearance, no one found it kind of off that Ben pretty much immediately hooked up with her?

Early on, Ben WAS all about Sue, so I imagine Reed was just happy to get him out of the picture.

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