FANTASTIC FOUR #185-186 (1977): 1st Salem Seven


Reed learns the meaning of family when Franklin is kidnapped by witches.
Actually, Agatha Harkness is a big part of the problem.

She took Franklin because she thought his powers would protect her from the Salem Seven Witches.

Were there really black women in Salem Massachusetts during the witch trial days?  Yes.  There were three.  Mary and Candy Black, freed slaves, who were accused and convicted based on the testimony of the enslaved woman Tituba, who confessed herself to being a witch and informed on others to avoid death.

In the end all it all works out for the Fantastic Four, and in a remarkable testament to how bad the Richardses are as parents they still let Agatha be their nanny.

In these issues, the Reed doesn’t have his powers, so Reed creates Doc Ock style arms to duplicate them.

It’s remarkably easy for him to do this.  Makes you wonder why nobody else is doing it.

2 thoughts on “FANTASTIC FOUR #185-186 (1977): 1st Salem Seven”

  1. The storyarc concerning Reed’s power loss transpired over a four-year period of time, beginning in FF#157, and culminating four years later in issue#197- my high school years! Not knowing where or what I was going to do after high school, I had my fingers crossed that the situation with Reed’s faded powers would resolve itself somehow before I graduated and had to ship off for somewhere! I was fascinated with this particular storyarc because it struck me as a very realistic extension of the Fantastic Four/Mr. Fantastic storyline, and I would have crushed if I had to ship out for somewhere without knowing if or how Reed would get his powers back! Fortunately, they were restored in issue#197, just months before graduation. Watching Reed get his superpowered grove back just in time to fight off the Red Ghost, and shortly thereafter, settle archenemy Dr. Doom’s hash, ( who he addresses as “Victor” in a psychological bid to show Doom who is the bigger man ) was quite a cathartic experience, leaving me able to go off into the world with a clear mind! One of my five favorite things in LIFE is the first FF cartoon from 1967-1970, and the Mr. Fantastic “stretching” sound-effect is still one of the coolest things I have ever heard, in that it suggests POWER. I don’t even mind the sound-effect being appropriated by the amoeboids Gloop and Gleep on the Herculoids, simply because they use it so well. As a matter of fact, ALL the Herculoids owe more than a bit of gratitude to the Fantastic Four in terms of their character designs, superpowers, and sound-effects! Even though the Herculoids can be best-described as a watered-down cousin of the Fantastic Four, nevertheless, both of these shows made Saturday mornings in the late 1960s definitely worth getting out of bed!! FF Forever!!

    • It’s a lot of fun reading all the FF books in a row. Makes you appreciate all the various arcs/storylines–and the way different creators tell very similar stories.


Leave a Comment