Whatever Happened To...?

By | Sunday, May 01, 2011 Leave a Comment
OK, here's a page from the original origin sequence of the Fantastic Four...
It's been reprinted and redrawn often enough that most of you are probably pretty familiar with it. Can I get you to focus on one panel for a moment, though?
The team is clearly sneaking past a guard and taking the rocket against policy. It says so right in that very panel. Four civilians, one of whom was a minor, sneaked past an armed military guard. The guard is clearly oblivious. They lift off in the rocket, right under the nose of this guard. The guy has one job, a relatively important job given that this new rocket is an experimental prototype for the military, and he blows it. Big time.

So what happens to him? Aside from that one panel, we never see him again. Sure, the FF were picked up by the military again after they crashed, but the guard still screwed up. That might not warrant a court martial, but it's most definitely going to put a black spot on your record.

At some point, I wrote up an outline of a story where he was found of no overt wrong-doing but was so demoralized that he started messing up everywhere. He eventually got drummed out of the service and took a job as a security officer for an insignificant warehouse in the private sector. He screwed up there, too, and got fired. His fiancée eventually left him. His confidence was shot and he was in this downward spiral of self-destruction.

Then, while he was on the bus to yet another job interview he was certain he'd mess up, the vehicle is slammed sideways into a building. The villain (I forget who I had as the villain -- Trapster? Wizard, maybe?) groggily climbs out of the hole he just made in the bus and readies for another attack. The Human Torch flies into view; the two adversaries exchange some quips and get back to fighting. This guard, though, is on the sidelines watching. He's wracked with emotion -- there's one of the guys who destroyed his career and yet...

The villain eventually gets the upper-hand and has Johnny down. (I think this was via a ripped-out-of-the-pavement fire hydrant.) Then, just as the villain looks down on the Torch and is about to conduct the final blow, a brick cracks him right between the eyes, knocking him unconscious. The former guard looks at his own hands, stunned. Eventually, he regains his composure and helps the Torch, who asks what happened.

The scene cuts to Mr. Fantastic welcoming the guard on as a new security chief at the Baxter Building in front of the rest of their headquarters' staff. The guard thanks Reed and says something uplifting about second chances and positive outlooks and living up to your potential. As everyone disperses, Johnny asks if the guard wants to grab something to eat after work to which he declines, citing that he's got a date with his former (and future!) fiancée.


So somebody write that up and make that into a comic for me, will you? I'm freely giving that idea out to anyone who wants to take it. It's just a half-decent (I think) idea that I'll never really be able to do anything with. But it seems like it'd make kind of a nice fill-in issue at some point, right? Maybe a back-up in an oversized issue? Just a thought.
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