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

This is the fourth and final installment of the final Fantastic Four story that Italian creator Leonardo Ortolani produced for the tenth issue of the Italian fanzine MADE IN USA in 1994. It was set immediately after the final FF story produced by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and was intended as a climactic finale to the series as a whole. This final chapter was far longer than the earlier installments, a full 38 pages in length, so I’m going to need to break it in half to run it here–there’ll be a Part Five along shortly with the balance of this last chapter.

As with the previous chapters, 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.

BURST: The last story of the Fantastic Four!

TITLE BURST: …And It Ends Like This!

Ortolani’s cover to this final chapter was a play on the cover to the first Italian issue of I FANTASTICI QUATTRO published in 1971, which used a piece of artwork originally created for a T-Shirt. But in this way, Ortolani bookends the entire run with his last cover.

JOHNNY: I’ll call myself the Human Torch, and I’m with you all the way…

SUE: The same goes for me, the Invisible Girl!

REED: Ben?

BEN: I am no longer Ben…I’m what Susan called me…the Thing!

REED: And I will be Mister Fantastic!

VOICE: …and when everything seems lost, and the victory impossible…

VOICE: …do not fear, my children, for I will never abandon you…

BLURB: The F.F. against their worst enemy!

TITLE: …AND IT ENDS LIKE THIS!

CAPTION: The Fantasticar takes off, bound for the ship of Doom…at the command post, Reed Richards controls the operation of the device…

CAPTION: Susan Richards maintains a force-field around the spacecraft…

CAPTION: In the left car, Ben is silent, clutching the plasma rifle…

CAPTION: The fourth position is empty…

CREDITS: I …I was kidding! Stan Lee never wrote this story…Jack Kirby never drew is and Joe Sinnott never inked it…but now…now it’s too late…too late!

SOLDIER: Colonel! The Fantastic Four have taken off! They’re approaching the ship of Doom!

SOLDIER: They’ll make it, won’t they, sir? They always have before!

COLONEL: Yes…

CAPTION: “But I didn’t see the Torch! Strange…”

BEN: Why don’t you attack us now? Why don’t you fry us like you did with that Skrull?*

ED NOTE: *FF #104 (Chapter Two)

CAPTION: As if in response, a large door opens wide in front of them…

BEN: Go! Turn the tub! I don’t feel like going in where he decided!

REED: I can’t…

REED: …I lost control of the spacecraft immediately after takeoff…

BEN: What?

BEN: Do you want to get us killed? This is definitely a trap!

BEN: …or did you think he was receiving us in his good living room?

SUE: Ben…

BEN: Stay out of it, Suzie! I want to know when we’re in trouble! I want to know immediately!

REED: We’re inside! It’s what we wanted! Nobody ever said it was going to be a cake walk! Stop it!

SUE: Ben! Don’t be afraid!

BEN: “Afraid”?

BEN CAPTION: “Ben, it’s important that we take this risk! We have to…or do I have to think you’re afraid?”

BEN CAPTION: “Afraid, me? No one has ever dared to call me such a thing! Let’s go on that missile and see what happens!”

BEN: Yes…

BEN: …I’m afraid.

REED: We will find Doom and end this story…once and for all!

SUE: What…what do you mean?

REED: We may have to kill Doom! You understand that, don’t you?

REED: Are you going to back out?

SUE: What are you thinking?

SUE: You believe that I…

SUE: …you!

BEN: What the hell are you saying? We’re here for the Cosmic Control Rod!

BEN: …at least that’s what I’m here for!

BEN: !?!

DOOM: Welcome!

DOOM: Welcome aboard the “Victoria I”!

DOOM: Susan?

DOOM: …have you thought about my proposal?

SUE: I don’t…

REED: Susan will never be yours! Never!

DOOM: She already has been, Richards…

DOOM: …more than you imagine…

DOOM: …but now you’re his, is that it, Susan?

DOOM …well…

DOOM: Wait…where is the boy?

DOOM: Where is the Human Torch?

BEN: Dull conversation, by the way.

BEN: We’d better move!

SUE: Reed?

SUE: When someone asks me a question…

SUE: …i want to be the one to answer…

REED: Sorry…I didn’t like the tone of his questions…

SUE: …or were you afraid to hear my answers?

REED: Movement!

BEN: Where is it?

REED: The scanner reports cybernetic activity all around us!

SUE: I see nothing!

VOICE: Let’s get out of this corridor! Quickly!

VOICE: They took me!

VOICE: I’m downstairs! I’m downstairs!

BEN: Swallow this, asshole!

BEN: In front of you, Suzie!

SUE: I have them!

DOOM: “More than you imagine…”

SUE: “Victor…”

SUE: “Love…”

BEN: It’s over! They’re retreating!

BEN: Reed!

BEN: That’s enough, pal!

BEN: That’s enough!

BEN: You okay?

REED: Okay, yes…

REED: …I’m okay…

BEN: They weren’t so dangerous…Doom wants us to run out of weapons…he wants us to use our powers…so that we kill ourselves…

REED: Yes…let’s conserve ammunition…

SUE: All the ammunition in the world won’t be enough…

CAPTION: “…to kill a ghost!”

REPORTER: Yes, Ted…

REPORTER: …I’ve been here for half an hour…

REPORTER: …from the outside you don’t notice anything strange…

CAPTION: “…but inside?”

REED: Ben…do you notice something…strange about Susan?

BEN: …should I?

REED: She…has been with Doom…and if she takes to his defense…as she did with Namor?

REED: We could fail…I wish she hadn’t come…

BEN: No. We won’t fail…

BEN: The Cosmic Control Rod will soon be in our hands!

REED: The Rod…of course…

REED: …it’s not about Alicia and Doom…

REED: …the past of Doom cannot be erased…but his future is in my hands!

BEN: He just wants Doom…

BEN: What about the Rod? I’ll have to do all the damned work alone!

BEN: What’s up, Suzie?

SUE: You were talking about me, weren’t you?

BEN: What? No!

BEN: Are you kidding?

BEN: We were talking about…

BEN: …about…

SUE: You never told lies before, Benjamin…don’t start to do it now…

BEN: Well…Reed…you know…it’s hard to take…

SUE: I know what you think…I know what you all think…

SUE: …that I protect him…that I protect Doom because I never talked about my history…and I didn’t do it because sometimes I like to reconsider…that’s it, right?

BEN: No! Absolutely not!

BEN: No! No! No!

BEN: SHEESH!

REED: Attention…the closer we get to the center of the ship, the greater the activity reported…

REED: Beyond that portal we could find anything!

BEN: Knock knock…

BEN: May I get a…

SUE: So much beauty…hidden inside metal armor…

BEN: The window at the bottom!

BEN: Look…

BEN: …it’s us!

DOOM: I thought you would have arrived earlier…but I forgot…

DOOM: …without your powers…

DOOM: …you have to depend on technology…

DOOM: It was like that for me too, at the beginning…

DOOM: …I depended on it…

DOOM: …now I dominate it!

DOOM: Oh…don’t worry

DOOM: …you don’t need them anymore!

DOOM: …your search is over!

BEN: This is my moment!

SUE: My god…Reed!

REED: Ben?

REED: Ben, no!

REED: No!

DOOM: How dare you?

DOOM: Hanging on, monster?

BEN: It hurts!

DOOM: You never give in, true?

DOOM: You must always go forward…you have always done it…

BEN: The Rod…I must have the…

DOOM: …you are so stupidly predictable!

BEN: …the Rod…

DOOM: But this time, your silly sacrifice will not help you!

BEN: That’s what you think!

BEN: I got you!

DOOM: “Got me”?

DOOM: What have you got, Grimm?

BEN: !?!

DOOM: A robot and an empty jar? Is that what you got, you poor idiot?

BEN: It’s not possible…the Rod…

DOOM: The Rod no longer exists! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

BEN: Filthy son of a bitch!

BEN: Bastard…you killed Johnny…and Alicia…

BEN: …Alicia will never see me again…

BEN: Uh…uh…>sniff<…but then Alicia has never seen…

BEN: Ha! Ha! Ha! >caff<

REED: Maybe…uh…maybe it’s not true…

REED: …that the real Rod is elsewhere…

BEN: Thanks for your interest…

BEN: But wherever it is elsewhere…

BEN: …I will go there alone.

SUE: I…will explore the gallery on the right…

CAPTION: For a moment, Richards looks at the remains of the robot…then he goes into a third gallery.

BEN: Alicia.

BEN: I’m sorry, baby.

BEN: …this time, I’m afraid I won’t make it…

BEN: …what am I doing in here?

BEN: …this is no longer my fight…

BEN: Now it’s only about Susan and Reed…

BEN: ..and Doom!

BEN: …and I feel so tired…

CAPTION: Let go…

CAPTION: Sink…

CAPTION: Gently…towards the abyss…

CAPTION: Without ties anymore…

BEN: So you finally decided on a name, huh?

REED: We decided to call him Franklin…after his grandfather!

SUE: Dad would be so proud…if only he were alive!

REED: His middle name is…Benjamin!

BEN: Benjamin! Like me!

BEN: Come on, come to Uncle Benjy!

BEN: Coochie, coochie…coooo! Coochie…

SUE: I thought you didn’t like playing around with children!

BEN: That was before I knew his name!

BEN: Nobody ever named anything after me…before!

BEN: Now…suddenly I feel like part of the family, instead of just a freak!

CAPTION: …go back!

BEN: No!

BEN: It won’t end like this!

BEN: Suzie and Stretcho might need me!

BEN: …and now?

BEN: Which gallery did they take?

TO BE CONCLUDED!

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

  1. Page 6, final panel: “Conversazione noiosa, comunque” quotes the italian translation of Han Solo’s line in “A New Hope”, “Boring conversation, anyway…” whe he shoots a communicator, exactly as Ben does, so it’s how it should be translated back!

    Like

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