FANTASTIC FOUR #38-39 (2001)

Carlos Pacheco and Rafael Marin continue to bring the Fantastic Four back to where it needs to be, after Tom DeFalco and Chris Claremont ruined it.

Thing gets harassed by the Yancy Street Gang and then fights Grey Gargoyle. Whose touch temporarily turns people to stone. And Thing is made of rocks. So when he does it to Thing, and then it wears off…

…Thing is cured! Again! It’s such a great trope (see the tag below), but nobody did it like this before!

By the end of the story, he voluntarily transforms back to Thing. Also, a very nice use of Sue’s powers…

The story also introduces Reed’s old friend and professor, Noah Baxter…

fantastic four #39

…Who gives them their house back.

That’s right.  Pacheco brings back the Baxter Building and gets the team off that horrible pier Chris Claremont had them living on. 

“Noah Baxter” is an engineer/super genius who apparently helped the FF design the first building and now wears a costume and does cool stuff.  Masterful bit of retconning.  He seemed so familiar, but I was sure I’d never heard of him–and I’ve read every single FF issue ever written.  In fact, I had to check wikipedia and other resources several times to make sure this really was the first time I’d seen the character.

They also continue to improve on Trapster, expands on the “Gideon Trust” that is trying to capitalize on Reed’s inventions, and generally build back the legends of that made this comic great for so many years.

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