Chapter 3: Monsters Among Us
Writer: Kurt Busiek
Artist / cover artist: Alex Ross
Lettering and interior design: Richard Starkings
Logo design: Joe Kaufman
Originally published: February 1994
Yeah, more Kurt Busiek! And Alex Ross’s art again! Woo!
Seriously, I love Marvels. It’s super good. In this issue Busiek deals with the emerging mutant “menace”. It turns out everybody — everybody — hates the mutants. A lot. Like, I thought Spider-Man was hated by the public, but Busiek puts people’s fear and distrust of mutants in a whole other category. Even our protagonist, photojournalist (and now budding author) Phil Sheldon, hates the “muties” and ends up clocking Iceman in the head with a brick.
That all changes, though, when Sheldon’s daughters find and rescue a lonely little mutant girl. Sheldon agrees to take her in, and his views begin to change. The mutant story comes to a head when the Sentinel robots are released, sparking mass riots and general chaos. Sheldon sees his friends and neighbours turn into far worse monsters than the mutants they’re raging against.
The chaos and anti-mutant fire is contrasted with the whole city’s celebration of Reed Richard and Sue Storm’s engagement and subsequent wedding. The city adores the Fantastic Four, and the wedding is a blow-out extravaganza that catches the interest of the whole town. The fact that the wedding and the release of the Sentinels occurs on the same day just helps further sharpen the contrast between these two groups – the so-called Marvels and the mutants – and the public perception of them.
This is a great issue in what’s turning out to be a great series. Busiek’s writing and Ross’s beautiful, stunning paintings, make it a sheer joy to read.