Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Script / Pencils / Inks: John Byrne (show off)

Bit of a curiosity this one.

It's the Avengers-story that was published in The Avengers Annual #14, but this time the same events are told from the perspective of the Fantastic Four.

In the first version, the Avengers had been engaged in the war to end all skrulls out in space, when the Fantastic Four had unexpectedly joined them towards the end.

In this version, the Fantastic Four are investigating a UFO-landing on Earth, when they decide to follow a lead out into space, where they meet the Avengers towards the end.

Once the two superteams have made contact with each other, some of the pages are the same pencils in both issues, but with a different inker. I can't decide whose inks I prefer, they both have good things going for them.

Now here's the strange bit, and yes, I am going to talk about how it got reprinted by Marvel UK.

In their weekly Secret Wars II title, Marvel UK had already printed most of the preceding Avengers issues that built-up to these events. However, for the climax to the story, they swapped-in this Fantastic Four Annual version instead. They split it across two issues, with very well done new opening titles to the second half.

Then afterwards, they returned to reprinting the next issue of The Avengers.

Meanwhile, the Avengers Annual that had covered these same events was reprinted separately in Secret Wars II Special #2.

I think it would have made more sense to have used this Fantastic Four version as the stand-alone special, and printed the Avengers Annual where it came amongst the other Avengers episodes, but I'm sure they had a good reason. They probably just wanted to vary which heroes the main title was focussing on.

Good old Marvel UK. Always keeping things interesting.



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