Lee & Kirby & Ortolani: The Last Fantastic Four Story, Part Two

This is the second installment of Italian creator Leonardo Ortolani’s four-part fan-drawn final adventure of the Lee and Kirby Fantastic Four. It was originally published in the fanzine MADE IN USA #8 in Italy in 1993, and hasn’t ever been made available in English as it was an unlicensed production. While the first episode was interesting, it’s in this second part that Leo begins to pull his story threads together in an intricate fashion.

As with the first chapter, all of the translation here is being done by me using software, so it’s possible and even probable that some errors have crept in.

JOHNNY: I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time…the defeat of the Fantastic Four by the Human Torch!

CAPTION: REVENGE FROM THE PAST

CAPTION: IS THERE ANY FUTURE FOR THE FANTASTIC FOUR?

TITLE: REVENGE FROM THE PAST!

CAPTION: Johnny is dead.

CAPTION: I don’t believe it…yet here he is in front of me, in this high-tech sarcophagus…

CAPTION: …but I don’t believe it.

CAPTION: Come on, open the lid and have a terrible laugh at my expense.

CAPTION: He’ll open that lid in 10 seconds…

CAPTION: …7…8….9…10…

CAPTION: …11…12…13…

CAPTION: Sheesh! When he does that, I’ll kill him!

CREDITS: STAN LEE was out… JACK KIRBY refuted it…JOE SINNOTT ran away…so it was all done by LEO

BEN CAPTION: It doesn’t make sense…after helping…Fish-Face and beating Magneto…*

ED NOTE: *FANTASTIC FOUR #102 (In America, FANTASTIC FOUR #104)

BEN CAPTION: …we were attacked…by an android from somewhere unknown…*

ED NOTE: *FANTASTIC FOUR #103 (Actually, the previous installment, which was numbered as though it would have been the next issue in the Italian numbering sequence.)

BEN CAPTION: We took him out without too much trouble…only Crystal was hurt…

BEN CAPTION: …but two hours later, the kid went into a coma and died.

BEN CAPTION: Sue’s broken-hearted, and Reed…Reed is keeping the group from breaking up…

REED: News of Johnny’s death must not leak. Not yet. Whoever our enemy is must not know that he has hit us so hard…

REED: We’re on Red Alert.

BEN CAPTION: He locked himself in his lab for hours…trying to figure it out, hoping to find a way to play the next move…

BEN: He’s going to make it, I know it…if he comes up with some cosmic corkscrew, we’ll have victory in our pockets…

BEN: …and then he’ll explain to me why my fingers are merging together…

REED: Burned! Completely burned from the inside!

REED: Why?

REED: WHY?!

REED: What is the connection between this and the android’s attack?

REED: I feel like what…what I’m missing…is a particular element…the key to everything…

REED: But I can’t find it!

REED: …we were under the illusion of being like the heroes of comic books…but we’re not immortal like “Superman”…

REED: Maybe…if I study the battle footage, I can…

REED: …My arm!

REED: I..it isn’t retracting!

CAPTION: Something on the screen attracts Richards’ attention…

REED: Computer…enhance image on the android’s thorax…

CAPTION: This man is a scientist…one of the brightest minds on the planet…

CAPTION: …and rarely makes a wrong diagnosis…

REED: The Fantastic Four are finished!

CAPTION: Susan Storm Richards sits on her seemingly empty bed…

CAPTION: Since the birth of the Fantastic Four, she has paid the highest price.

CAPTION: …first her father, killed by the Skrulls*…now her brother…

ED CAPTION: *FANTASTIC FOUR #32

CAPTION: Another woman, in her situation, would want to hold her remaining loved ones to her, feel them still alive and close, to choke off the pain in that embrace…

CAPTION: What Susan Richards wants is neither her husband nor her son…this woman wants revenge…

CAPTION: …and she swears she will have it!

CAPTION: Outside the Baxter Building, in the streets, indifferent to everything and everyone, life goes on…

FIGURE: There it is!

FIGURE: The headquarters of that miserable group!

FIGURE: After so long, I will finally have my revenge!

FIGURE: And what small, delicious irony it will be to perpetrate it by the hands of the person who deceived us, leading us to defeat!

JOHNNY: Yes…this will be the day the Human Torch will destroy the Fantastic Four!

JOHNNY: It was a piece of cake, getting into their base through this broken wall…

SUE: The illuminated emergency alarm, where the wall was destroyed…someone entered the base!

SUE: Johnny?!

JOHNNY: It’s the Invisible Girl! I will start with you…you’ll never expect to be attacked by your brother!

JOHNNY: They’ve done us a lot of damage, huh, Sue?

SUE: Johnny…

JOHNNY: I don’t understand…something isn’t right…she looks at me like I’m a ghost…

JOHNNY: It doesn’t matter…I’ll strike now!

JOHNNY: No! I can’t touch her!

SUE: !!!

JOHNNY: Why?

BEN: Susan…I’m coming, Susan…

SUE: Ben! Just in time!

JOHNNY: Those footsteps…something is struggling towards us…

BEN: ,,,I came as fast as I could…

JOHNNY: ?!

BEN: …I think I have a problem…

JOHNNY: Is that the “Thing”? What’s happened to the Fantastic Four?!

BEN: Johnny! I knew it! I knew you’d open that lid!

SUE: Careful, Ben! It’s not Johnny!

BEN: …but doesn’t he have to make a joke about how much better I look now?

REED: Susan is right, Ben…

REED: This isn’t Johnny.

REED: Johnny is dead.

SUE: Reed?

BEN: Pal, I’ve seen people who need a facelift, but you beat them all!

REED: Don’t fight. Don’t use your powers or the cosmic radiation will kill you like it’s already killed Johnny.

CAPTION: “I’ve examined his tissues…analyzed my own cells…

CAPTION: “The amount of radiation that gave us our powers has been increased beyond measure, exaggerating them lethally to our bodies!

CAPTION: “Using them now means accelerating the process of degeneration!

CAPTION: “Johnny suffered internal carbonization…

REED: Ben, you are crystallizing from the outside in…

BEN: Great.

BEN: Wait’ll the Yancy Street Gang hears about this!

REED: I’m going from an elastic state to a plastic one…and then probably on to liquefaction

REED: Susan, your powers are more complex…the laws of refraction regulate your molecular structure…you’ll find it difficult to remain visible…but you shouldn’t die…

BEN: Who is the one who took this shit on us…him?

REED: No, Ben…I don’t think so…

REED: This is the work of someone who can control cosmic power…

CAPTION: “…of one who can replicate the Cosmic Control Rod*, putting it into the chest of the android that attacked us…”

ED NOTE: *FANTASTIC FOUR #79 (in the United States, FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #6.)

CAPTION: “…releasing the radiation in the final attack that all four of us were present for….”

REED: Watch out! It’s still active!

BEN: Fat lotta good it’ll do him!

CAPTION: …This is the trademark of our mortal enemy…

REED: …Annihilus! Ruler of the Negative Zone!

JOHNNY: Annihilus…yes…that must be the name of the metal-coated creature I met that day

JOHNNY: …the day when the attempt by our glorious empire to invade failed*…

ED NOTE: *FANTASTIC FOUR #2

BEN: A Skrull! A damned Skrull!

BEN: Our space probes didn’t detect any spaceships landing nearby! Where did it come from, Reed?

REED CAPTION: “I’ve got the idea that we’re looking at the fourth of that Skrull group that impersonated us at the beginning of our career…I thought he’d run away with the rest of his fleet…

SKRULL CAPTION: “When you tied us up, leaving us alone in that apartment, you made a gross mistake…we could change shape as we wished, and so we were free…”

CAPTION: “The other three decided to stay and attack you upon your return…”

CAPTION: “But I went away…I wanted to warn the fleet…”

CAPTION: “…But I met with the one you call Annihilus…”

CAPTION: “…he raised a hand and I was plunged into unconsciousness…”

FIGURE: It will be interesting to study your ability to change shape!

CAPTION: “I’ve been imprisoned for a long time…”

CAPTION: “…until a few days ago, when by chance, I managed to escape…”

SKRULL: But the years of humiliation will soon be removed by the pleasure it will give me to destroy you!

BEN: Leave him to me!

REED: Ben! No! You’ll die!

BEN: And him with me!

VOICE: That’s enough, worm!

VOICE: When you fled, you would have been wise to hide in some den, but instead you had the insolence of putting yourself back in my way!

SKRULL: That voice!

SKRULL: He’s here!

SKRULL: He’s found me!

REED: Look! A gigantic ship is hanging over the Baxter!

SKRULL: You’re not going to jail me again! I will be free…free!

CAPTION: In a panic, the Skrull races to the hanger and takes off in the old water-tank shuttle

VOICE: You’re free, idiot…

VOICE: …free to die!

BEN: Annihilus is coming!

REED: No…not Annihilus…

REED: Annihilus never left the Negative Zone…the being of whom the Skrull spoke…

REED: …is Victor Von Doom! (literally Victor Von Fate in Italian–in Italian translations, the character is known as Doctor Fate or Doctor Destiny.)

DOOM: Once again, face to face, Richards…for what I have reason to believe will be the last battle…

REED: It is right, Doom…you and I, as it was at the beginning of everything…

DOOM: It is only right that the person who broke the circle closes it at the end…

DOOM: …so i think you’ll understand if I don’t address you, but rather Susan…

DOOM: You were there at the beginning…

DOOM: If you want to live…

DOOM: If you want the circle to close…

DOOM: …come back to me, my love!

BURST: NEXT ISSUE: “MORE THAN HATRED…”

5 thoughts on “Lee & Kirby & Ortolani: The Last Fantastic Four Story, Part Two

  1. Tom, can you explain the artist’s facial designs? Are his FF teammates supposed to be monkeys? Or is there another explanation? I’m not being a wiseguy, that’s what they look like to me. Otherwise, I’m digging his cartoony style. Thanks.

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      1. I can answer to that. When Leo Ortolani was a child, it was difficoult to him to draw the human face, so he took as inspiration the monkey face, as they’re the closest animal to mankind. He would later kept this choice as trademark or personal style, but of course he can draw a regolar human face now.

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  2. Leo Ortolani always draws his characters with monkey faces…his most famous creation is Rat-Man, and it has monkey faces too

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