Why I Love Marvel Comics: Fantastic Four #38

I love the 60s. Such a time of feigned innocence. Political correctness meant knowing the right way to shake hands at a Kiwanis meeting, and, the Fantastic Four’s playfulness with Sue Storm was seen as cute.

That’s why this sequence from Fantastic Four #38 is so amazing looking back with 2009 eyes. In just two panels, there’s enough to make Gloria Steinem and Naomi Wolf assault Marvel HQ with the fire arrows from Braveheart. First, the Thing looks to be ready to administering a playful spanking to Ms. Storm … and then he and Reed play flickball with her. Score!

Actually, Sue may deserve a spanking for getting that haircut.

Honestly, this is Stan and Jack keeping the book lighthearted. The FF were a family. They loved each other. They weren’t afraid to have fun with their crazy lives and power. and Sue was the adored kid sister — well, not so much for Reed.

But, now, just a year Tigra’s beating/rape? at the hands of The Hood’s villains and Sue Dibny’s rape/beating/murder pissing loads of readers off (including me, I admit, as the father of two girls) … this scene just seems so antiquated and naive. And, it makes me not just a little nostalgic for a time when I didn’t know so much about how badly men can treat women in real life.

In case you haven’t noticed from my posts, I adore the golden/silver ages. I read comics for an escape. I have enough real life in my real life.

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