Honestly, I think he’s a grown-up Herbie Popnecker (and that he’s teamed up with Herbie does nothing to dissuade me).

§ September 15th, 2021 § Filed under fantastic four, flaming carrot, this week's comics § 4 Comments


This issue of Marel Two-in-One was the first Fantastic Four-related comic I remember reading. Sometime after that I remember looking at some random issue of Fantastic Four my cousin had, which one I can’t remember, but I do know it was in the middle of some ongoing story and it was weird and strangely fascinating to someone mostly used to DCs and the occasional Charlton.

It wasn’t until the early ’80s that I began my full-on dive in Marvel Comics readin’, and my gateway was…an issue of The Thing, which brought me to John Byrne’s run on Fantastic Four (starting with the then-current issue and picking up the previous ones as I could) and then on to just about everything else Marvel-ish.

Fantastic Four, though, was one of the main two I stuck with (the other being Incredible Hulk and all its later permutations). I would occasionally not follow the title (there’s a big chunk of ’90s FF I skipped) but I have all those Byrne issues, the Waid run, the Millar run (which I still think is actually pretty good), Fraction and Hickman, Simonson, and now Slott…all readable, enjoyable and imaginative. I’ve also since read all the original Lee/Kirby stuff, with all its primal energy, laying the foundation for a fictional universe that is essentially dominating all popular culture today (even if its mostly been without the FF’s direct interaction, though not for lack of trying a couple of times).

None of this really says anything about the comic, so let me just say it’s a fun tribute to the team’s long history, with cute “chapter break” images that really drive home the time the team has spanned. You will not be surprised at all by one of the story’s “twists,” but really, it’s a wild trip though the FF’s history and that’s entertainment enough. It’s mostly a standalone book (though one major subplot does carry through from the previous issues, but the exposition train pulls into the station long enough to catch you up) so if you haven’t read FF in a while, it’s a good sampler of the title’s current status, and worth checking out.

• • •

On a copmpletely different topic, I was looking at my old Flaming Carrot action figure the other day. It has a feature where if you twist the little plastic plume of “flame” that sticks out of the top of his head, it will light up. Or would light up if the battery wasn’t long dead, I thought as I twisted the doodad, but lo and behold:


…LET THERE BE CARROT LIGHT. I wondered just how old this figure was, as I couldn’t recall exactly when I picked it up from the previous place of employment. A peek into Diamond’s database revealed 1) it was still listed in said database, and 2) it came out in December of 1998. Nearly 23 years later, that little light is still working. Amazing. Now if we can only fnd out what the Carrot’s actual secret identity really is, and where that speaker in his chest came from.

The official Dark Horse Comics site still has a page devoted to the figure (which gives a release day of November ’98). A closer look is in this pic I “borrowed” from an online source:

All that does is make me wish I hadn’t discarded the packaging for my figure.

4 Responses to “Honestly, I think he’s a grown-up Herbie Popnecker (and that he’s teamed up with Herbie does nothing to dissuade me).”

  • Thelonious_Nick says:

    I know the Millar run has a bad reputation, and I don’t even like Millar much on other things, but I quite liked his FF run. Although it was admittedly overshadowed by Hickman’s huge FF run immediately afterwards.

  • Turan, Emissary of the Fly World says:

    When I saw the post’s title, and then saw the picture directly under it, I assumed that the title referred to the Fantastic Four, and that “He’s Teamed Up With Herbie” was a reference to H.E.R.B.I.E., the robot from the 1970s cartoon. That set me to wondering which character in “Fantastic Four” you considered to be a grown-up Herbie, and I decided that you probably meant the Thing, but either the Impossible Man or the Watcher was a possibility.

    The actual post was therefore a bit of a disappointment.

  • Snark Shark says:

    “there’s a big chunk of ’90s FF I skipped”

    Probably for the best, given what I’ve heard about that era of FF.

  • Dave says:

    I was appalled by this issue of the FF. Here was a chance to give a number of artists and writers a chance to portray the team in the style of the periods of each chapter, and they give art duties to Romita, who is easily in the top five of worst artists in comics with his Lego blocks posing as humans.

    What a disappointment.

  • Leave a Reply