Norman Osborn and the Fantastic Four kids

I’ve already covered numerous stories of Norman Osborn and his time as top of the government food chain during Dark Reign.  Spoiler alert: it’s a lot of “Don’t you know who I am?” while superheroes continue to punch him in the face.  After he grabs the controls of SHIELD replacement HAMMER, one of his first acts is to curb the Fantastic Four’s influence.  Y’know, since they hold dozens of planet-destroying machines and zero ties to the current government as the Invisible Woman’s still angry at Mr. Fantastic for messing everything up during the Civil War.  But not realizing that like the Hulk, the Fantastic Four don’t cause any trouble if you leave them alone, Norman Osborn decides he wants to place Marvel’s first family under his slimy, corrupt wing in Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #1-5, written by Jonathan Hickman and drawn by Sean Chen.

The main plot involves the Fantastic Four accidentally sent through time, leaving them incapacitated for most of the miniseries, forcing the two Richards children (both under the age of ten) to be in charge of the Baxter Building.  Valeria Richards, super genius, and Franklin Richards, sorta-reality warping mutant, can take care of Osborn’s goons themselves.  After all, they live in the most technologically advance building on the planet.  Plus, wild overconfidence.

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When Franklin and Valeria have spent their entire lives watching their parents and uncles fight dozens of supervillains — usually one breaks into their house every other week or so — fear doesn’t really factor in anymore.  I mean, they’ve fought Mole Man, who can summon Godzilla-esque monsters, and Hydro-Man, who can turn into a killer water park, and those are two of the lamer ones.  Osborn’s henchmen might as well be gum they wipe off the bottom of their light-up sneakers.

Still, if I know anything about the former Green Goblin, he’s not too fond of being shown up by those who haven’t even hit puberty yet.  Grow a mustache at least if you want to defy Osborn’s commands. Oh, and wondering what the other Fantastic Four members are up to?

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Make the best of a bad situation, I guess.  Every time I forget why Namor’s infatuated with Mr. Fantastic’s wife, I always find a scene to remind me.  Namor may smell like tuna and soak whatever rug he stands on, but I would never stop pursuing the Invisible Woman too if I were him.

Now, Osborn doesn’t know the Fantastic Four’s busy with gunslingers.  But he figures a small army and Venom should be enough firepower to prevent a fight.  Maybe some polite adult conversation while Venom snacks on a squirrel or something.  A rational person would handle Osborn in that way, but unfortunately, the HAMMER commander’s dealing with children.  And children are insane.

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I’m no expert in Osborn psychology, but I do know his top two most hated things include being made a fool and Spider-Man.  Thanks to Valeria’s ability to decipher fine print, Venom doesn’t snap them in half and make necklaces out of their organs (though that is a fairly graphic image when dealing with children).  But the children are going to need to be punished.  Like a spanking, or in the case of supervillains, something far more severe:

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Norman Osborn is shooting at kids.  The second most powerful person in the United States government is attempting to shoot at a four and an eight-year old.  I get it — the Richards children were rude, but next time Osborn gets impaled by his goblin glider or breaks his jaw on Spider-Man’s fist, you’ll know it’s 100% deserved.  Plus, you know who’s not fond of the former Green Goblin firing a pistol at the Fantastic Four’s kids?

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I’d like you all to remember that the Fantastic Four has defeated Galactus more than once.  Y’know Galactus, the Devourer of Worlds who has traveled the stars for thousands of years murdering trillions of people.  Trillions.  Throughout every solar system in the galaxy.  And four meta-humans singlehandedly took him on and won every single time.

Mr. Fantastic can wrap around Osborn with such force that his eyeballs would pop out of his head like a cartoon.  The Invisible Woman could explode his brain from the inside with a flick of her wrist.  The Human Torch can melt Osborn like a wax statue thrown in a furnace before our antagonist can even blink.  The Thing has the strength to punch Osborn across several state lines before smashing him into the ground hard enough to turn Osborn into liquid.  So keep that in mind for the next page, where Osborn gives quite possibly the ballsiest answer I’ve ever seen in comics:

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Right?  So they do.  Because for all the injuries and scars inflicted on the Fantastic Four by their enemies, the superheroes only have one rule that defiantly shines above all others: leave the children out of this.

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See the ego oozing out of Osborn?  It makes sense, if just because the former Green Goblin has fought against superheroes long enough to know that they wouldn’t inflict any permanent damage upon him.  Stupid morals and whatnot.  Also, Osborn does have the law on his side no matter how much he twists or corrupts it.  Look, we know our antagonist isn’t going to win this argument — Dark Reign’s pretty much categorized by his impressive amount of defeats (with a few notable exceptions like the Punisher).  But at least he never gives up, though he really shouldn’t forget about the children.

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That’s totally a toy gun — Reed and Sue aren’t going to give their kids actual bullets (though I guess laser guns are a different story).  So how does Osborn take some lead in the shoulder?  The beginning stages of Franklin’s reality warping superpowers, of course.  Most mutants don’t get their powers until puberty, but as I’m no scientist, let’s just blame this on cosmic rays or something.

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Mission accomplished, more questions arisen.  But like I said, Osborn deserved he everything that happened to him.  That dude’s a jerk.

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4 Comments on “Norman Osborn and the Fantastic Four kids”

  1. furyoffirestorm78 says:

    Franklin’s pretty much had his abilities since he was a toddler, and even used his own powers to briefly age himself to adulthood and unlock his full potential. His father was able to inhibit his powers until he was mature enough to use them properly, but Franklin was eventually able to work his way around his father’s safeguards and use some of his abilities as a member of Power Pack under the name Tattletale (since he mostly used precognition to foresee future events, as well as astral projection). At the present time of the story, Franklin had “burned out” his powers sometime ago and they were latent again.

  2. js says:

    why was anyone worried about Reed getting a bullet in the head? The guy is a human wad of silly putty. I have to admit, as much as I love the character of Sue, and the adventures of Ben Grim, the only thing that makes the Fantastic Four interesting are those kids. The time they were babysat by Laura X-23 Wolverine’s daughter (not clone) was a gas.

    • furyoffirestorm78 says:

      Even silly putty can be pulled apart, and a bullet at close range can have enough force to tear through Reed’s head. Plus Osbourne probably had special bullets made that could tear right through Reed, because he’s that kind of crazy asshole.

      As for X-23, she’s officially Wolverine’s clone, since she was created by copying James’ DNA (with some tinkering to swap the damaged Y chromosome with an X chromosome, thus resulting in a female clone) and not by the usual “sperm meets egg” deal. Also, he considers Laura his younger sister, not his daughter (there are several appearances where he introduces her to others as his sister).

      • Not gonna argue about that, but I will say writers are dumb.

        It was his DNA and that of a woman, that makes it a variation of simple artificial insemination (yeah, there was no sperm and it followed the rules of “comic book science”, but if you have genetic material from two candidates, a male and female, those are now parents). And Logan/James/Patch is not exactly the ideal model of responsible parenthood, so he can say what he likes. The thing about the truth is that it’s still true whether you believe in it or not. This kid (and she IS a kid so it weirds me out when they draw her like a sexbomb) is the daughter of Wolverine and the scientist who conceived her in the lab.

        If you want to stick with the official or in book version, then you are more than welcome to, and some could say it is the right way to go. We will just have to disagree on it.

        As for the Reed surviving a bullet to the head thing, I may have been confusing 616 Reed with Ultimate Reed, but as far as I knew they had the same stretchability despite a few differences in their biological process details. Either way, have a good one 🙂


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