Last week I posted a piece about a planned Technet mini-series that never actually saw light of day. Mark Roberts who runs an excellent Blog called 'It Came From Darkmoor', mentioned a series the Technet last appeared in, Issues #6/7/8 of volume 3 of the Fantastic Four, published in the late 90's. With my interest piqued, I decided to track these issues down, and to my surprise, I find out that Chris Claremont wrote them, so I was ever hopeful of a good representation of the characters. For those of you that have read the early Excalibur issues drawn by Alan Davis you will know how he's handled British characters in the past.
The abduction of Franklin Richards part 1
A very slow start to this issue, in fact it seemed to drag on quite a bit, delving into Sue storms personality, thoughts and feelings, the omens weren't good. Twenty four pages full of great art by Salvador Larroca, but not a sniff of the Technet until page 16, and then a very fleeting glance it is at that. I did notice on page 10 Sue Richards is being followed by a white police range rover, a hint to who would appear in this story, but not this issue. There's also a nod towards Alan Davis' creation ClanDestine, Sue Richards is taken shopping for a new dress, the shop of choice is none other than a fashion house ran by Kay Cera, who happens to be Cuckoo, a member of the Destine family. There's quite a few clever, hidden bits in this story, that most wouldn't notice, only those that are familiar with the likes of ClanDestine, and Captain Britain.
The basic storyline runs like this, Reed Richards has taken Susan Richards out for a meal to celebrate the anniversary of the day they first met, Johnny Storm is out clubbing, leaving The Thing, and a babysitter at home looking after Franklin Richards.
Franklin Richards has huge amounts of energy contained within, even at the tender age of five. Gatecrasher and her Technet have been hired to abduct him for the sake of the universe. It has been deemed that he is too powerful to be allowed free reign to possibly, some time in the future, cause all manner of destruction.
So with three quarters of the Fantastic Four out on the town it's left to The Thing to take on Gatecrasher's Technet all by his lonesome, whilst Franklin goes on the run, with Alyssa Moy, who's a friend of Reed Richards, pursued by Ferro 2, the four armed, sword wielding member of the Technet.
Once you get past the initial slow build up, the issue ends with a real exciting bang, with Claremont portraying Gatecrasher's Technet brilliantly, how they should be, with an element of humour. Gatecrasher's Technet come across as bumbling, almost slapstick mercenaries, but they always, almost get the job done. Without Gatecrasher they would be quite inept, Gatecrasher is the backbone, and leader that organizes them in to a force to be reckoned with.
Even though the Technet only appear in 6 pages, they are action packed, and hats off to Chris Claremont for writing them how they should be, and also a doff of the hat in appreciation to Salvador Larocca for the way he's drawn them. I shall now add him to the list of artists that can draw quirky characters, such as the Technet how they should. I'd like to see him tackle The Crazy Gang.
I've bought Issue 7 of the Fantastic Four, and will review this one in my next post!