Doug: In today's who-do-you-choose, we're going to look at comics' first family, the Fantastic Four. But, throughout their history all has not been fantastic all the time -- there've been maternity leaves, personal leaves, and leaves in a snit! And in those times, heroes from outside the bonds of the family were brought in to fill the void and keep the membership at 4.
Doug: Over the years, we've seen Crystal and Medusa from the Inhumans, everyone's favorite Hero-For-Hire Luke Cage, and the femizon Thundra (although I'm not sure if she was ever officially a substitute member). And what about the time immediately after Cage's tenure when the depowered Ben Grimm was given his exo-skeleton, and had the ability to become the Thing at will? Would you count him as a substitute during those issues?
Doug: But let's stick to the first two substitutes -- Crystal and later her sister Medusa. Crystal was on board beginning in FF #81 as Sue's replacement after her delivery of Franklin. She'd actually been hanging out with Johnny since her debut way back in issue #45. Medusa on the other hand, was introduced as a super-baddie member of the Frightful Four. She didn't become a member of the FF until the Bronze Age, when Sue left Reed after Reed had lobotomized young Franklin -- seems the lad's mind was about to ruin the universe! Each sister's official tenure as a member of the FF was rather brief, but important nonetheless in the whole "family matters" scheme of things.
Doug: So who was your favorite? Which would you have lobbied for to attain permanent membership? Who was just a bad fit/plot vehicle/never should have been considered in the first place?
Our collaborators, Martinex1 and Redartz, have opened a new blog called Back in the Bronze Age... If you have liked the sorts of topics seen here on Bronze Age Babies, then you are going to feel right at home at Back in the Bronze Age... Give them a visit!
Karen and Doug
Bronze Age Babies, Unite!
On Sunday, 4/23/17, Martinex1, Doug, and Redartz gathered for a day of fun at C2E2 in Chicago. It was great to finally meet in person after years of online cameraderie.
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Karen and Doug met on the Avengers Assemble! message board back in September 2006. On June 16 2009 they went live with the Bronze Age Babies blog, sharing their love for 1970s and '80s pop culture with readers who happen by each day. You'll find conversations on comics, TV, music, movies, toys, food... just about anything that evokes memories of our beloved pasts!
Doug is a high school social science teacher and department chairman living south of Chicago; he also does contract work for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. He is married with two adult sons and a daughter-in-law.
Karen originally hails from California and now works in scientific research/writing in the Phoenix area. She often contributes articles to Back Issue magazine. She is married. She hangs out with Joe Biden occasionally.
Believe it or not, the Bronze Age Babies have never spoken to each other...
We don't own property rights for any of the images we show on Bronze Age Babies -- those copyrights are retained by their respective owners. Most images are from books, etc. that we have individually purchased, while others have been copied from the Internet. All images are displayed here for the purpose of education and review within the "fair use" terms of U.S. Code: Title 17, Sec. 107. If we've used something we shouldn't have, please ask and we'll take it down. Thank you -- Doug and Karen
Dig Karen's Work Here? Then You Should Check Her Out in Back Issue!
BI #44 is available for digital download and in print. I've read Karen's article on reader reaction to Gerry Conway's ASM #121-122, and it's excellent. This entire magazine was fun! -- Doug
Back Issue #45
As if Karen's work on Spidey in the Bronze Age wasn't awesome enough, she's at it again with a look at the romance of the Vision and the Scarlet Witch in Back Issue's "Odd Couples" issue -- from TwoMorrows!
Karen's talking the Mighty Thor in the Bronze Age!
Click the cover to order a print or digital copy of Back Issue! #53