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  1. #31
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    Fantastic Four #151 Oct 1974
    "Thundra and Lightning!"
    Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm are at a haberdashery trying on new outfits, but Ben soon
    gives up in exasperation, saying that nothing in the store will ever improve his appearance.
    When the owner turns his attention to Johnny, he unfortunately makes some disparaging
    remarks about Ben, and an annoyed Ben brandishes his fist at the frightened man.
    Fortunately, Johnny calms Ben down, and a short while later, Johnny and Ben, wearing their new suits, walk back to the Baxter Building.
    But when Ben and Johnny approach the Baxter Building, they see that it is surrounded by a crackling glow.
    Alarmed, Johnny bursts into flame, reducing his new $110 suit to a cinder, and Ben flexes his muscles and tears his own $150 suit to shreds.
    Then Johnny flashes up to the top of the skyscraper, while Ben climbs up the wall.
    Johnny knows that Reed and Sue are spending the day in the country with Franklin,
    which means that someone is trying to invade their headquarters.
    Suddenly the wall next to Johnny explodes, and a powerful figure, glowing with energy, strides forth,

    demanding to know the whereabouts of the "she-witch," Thundra the Femizon.

    Meanwhile, Medusa is walking through a park near the United Nations building,
    where she had gone to learn the legal status of her countrymen.
    After being pestered by a reporter, she meets Thundra, and the women strike up a conversation.
    Thundra explains that she wants to see Reed Richards, who is quite reasonable—even though he is a man.
    She goes on to reveal that she comes from a future Earth that in a way does not yet exist.
    In this alternate future, women are dominant and men are reduced to slavery.
    Of all the Femizons, she continues, she is the strongest and the bravest.
    There are a thousand million alternate futures, she says, one born every time a decision is made.
    Thus there also exists a world called Machus, a future in which men are in power.
    Machus is a bestial place where women are kept as slaves and men fight eternal wars.
    Somehow, says Thundra, the world of Machus and the world of the Femizons have recently
    been drawing together, and the normally docile men of her world have begun to rebel.
    The Femizons have been forced to squelch the rebellion by bloody means, which is not to their liking.

    For this reason, Thundra was sent by the Queen of the Femizons to find and battle the Earth's
    most powerful male and defeat him so soundly that men will learn their lesson for all time.
    This, says Thundra, would eliminate the alternate future of Machus.

    Meanwhile, the huge figure, who calls himself Mahkizmo, grabs Johnny's legs and pitches Johnny into a bank of machinery.
    But he burns himself and, howling with pain, he vows to break Johnny's neck.
    No one injures Mahkizmo, he says, least of all an "effeminate" like Johnny.
    Johnny manages to evade Mahkizmo's blows until the Thing climbs up to where they are battling,
    but then a solid punch sends Johnny hurtling over Ben's head. When Mahkizmo sees Ben,
    he again demands to know about Thundra, saying he will not rest until she is in his hands.
    But when he says that Ben is too weak to stop him, Ben staggers him with a powerful punch.
    Mahkizmo, however, retaliates with a punch of his own.
    He will not be mocked and have his manhood insulted, he shouts, for among the men of his world,
    he is the strongest, and only he has been chosen to wield the "ultimate energy."
    This is the power that gives him his name—Mahkizmo, the Nuclear Man.
    Then Mahkizmo strikes a thunderous blow into Reed's equipment, reducing it to scrap. Johnny and Ben can only look on dumbfounded.

    Meanwhile, Thundra explains to Medusa that there is some kind of temporal field surrounding the
    Baxter Building, which brought her to the Thing rather than to the Hulk or Thor, who are both stronger.
    In her months on Earth, she has come to understand something of the world, and now she does not want
    to battle the Thing because she is no longer certain that the Femizon path is the proper path for the future.
    Yet, she says, neither is Machus. Thus, she says, something must be done about Mahkizmo.

    Meanwhile, Reed is returning from the country aboard the rebuilt Airjet Cycle.
    He is delighted to have his wife and son back, although he let them stay with Sue's friends for a few days.
    As he approaches the Baxter Building, he spots the hole in the wall and suddenly the
    portable Geiger counter on his '"Fantasti-Cycle" begins to register a strong reading.
    The area is flooded with radiated beta particles, he says and he wonders whether Ben or Johnny
    accidentally set off a contained fusion reactor. They could have been killed in the explosion.
    When Reed stretches down into the hole, he sees Johnny lying semi-conscious on the floor with Ben beside him.
    Then Reed sees Mahkizmo, who renews his demand for Thundra and starts to pound Reed with his powerful fists.
    Reed is no match for the nuclear-powered warrior, and he is quickly knocked unconscious and starts to fall toward the street.
    Just then Medusa and Thundra approach, and when they follow the gaze of
    the horrified bystanders, they see Reed's elastic form plunging toward them.

    Script by Gerry Conway. Art by Rich Buckler (layouts) and Joe Sinnott (finishes).
    Imperius Rex!
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  2. #32
    Astonishing Member Phoenixx9's Avatar
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    I loved seeing Medusa back then with no mask-- it was so rare and her face so beautifully drawn.

    I remember reading this and thinking how powerful Mahkizmo, the Nuclear Man! He should have been a major Marvel villain, but it never happened.

  3. #33
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    This was the era in which I was introduced to the Fantastic Four, so I was always partial to Medusa as a member. And Johnny's red uniform. And appearances by Thundra. And Agatha Harkness. And Impossible Man. I don't think it's as endearing to older FF fans who didn't like all of the changes -- and that Sue was separated from the team.

    In many ways, the Fantastic Four friends were more interesting than the team itself.

  4. #34
    Astonishing Member Phoenixx9's Avatar
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    I think it worked and was interesting--the friends/associates and the FF- because of how they all played off each other. The Sum of the whole being greater than the individuals.

  5. #35
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    Marvel Two in One #56 Oct 1979
    "The Pegasus Project Part 4: The Deadlier of the Species!"
    Guest-starring Thundra, Giant Man (Bill Foster) and Quasar.

    Following her defeat at the hands of Titania, Thundra has been forced into aiding the Grapplers
    in breaking into Project Pegasus for their employers Nth Command, a subsection of a private company.

    As they break into the facility, elsewhere in the Pegasus compound, Ben visits the seemingly
    unconscious Wundarr to express his guilty at letting the people at Project Pegasus experiment on him.
    Feeling tearful, the Thing leaves the room unaware that Wundarr has revived and forgives Ben for what happened.

    Returning to his quarters, Ben runs into Thundra who uses force to try to prevent the Thing from stopping her.

    Their subsequent battle leads to the alarm going off, which brings Quasar and Giant-Man to investigate the situation.
    Quasar runs into Letha, and Screaming Mimi first, and is at first put on the defensive by Mimi's sonic scream.
    However, he manages to overcome the scream's hallucinogenic effects and defeat the three women with his Quantum Bands.
    Giant-Man meanwhile finds Titania and Poundcakes in the research center.
    His giant size working against him, Giant-Man is easily taken off guard, however, Giant-Man
    manages to turn things to his advantage and easily knocks out the two overconfident Amazons.
    As this is happening, Ben is losing his fight against Thundra,

    however, he manages to turn the battle around on her and defeats her as easily as her comrades.

    With Thundra and the other Grapplers subdued, the Thing, Giant-Man, and Quasar attempt to question them.
    The Grapplers refuse to speak, and Thundra regrets that she cannot talk either
    because she had been honor-sworn not to reveal what their plan was.
    Elsewhere in the facility within the Nuclear Research Module, Thomas Lightener has taken the payload brought by the Grapplers
    and is busy completing the assembly of a Nth Projector, a device that he intends to use to destroy the Pegasus Project.

    Story by Mark Gruenwald and Ralph Macchio. Art by George Pérez and Gene Day.
    Imperius Rex!
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    It's clobberin' time! Hulk is strongest one there is! Have at thee!
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  6. #36
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    MTIO #56 is an excellent issue -- maybe my favorite of the entire series. Thunder should have been a permanent gues-star -- she and Ben plays so well off each other. I remember being thrilled that Perez replaced Byrne -- cause Perez draws an excellent Thundra. But at first, I was disappointed that Joe Sinnott left as well. By the end of the story, however, I was a huge fan of Gene Day's inks. His embellishments added more depth that Sinnott's.

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