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Antebellum Marvel: Fantastic Four #538

Previously in Civil War: Front Line #2

I’m traveling the road to Civil War with Marvel so I can be caught up by the time this storyline hits the big screen. Please do not comment with spoilers if you’re familiar with this particular story arc, but you are welcome to provide non-spoiler answers to any questions I may ask in the review. If you are interested in following along, here’s the reading order I’ll be following

Fantastic Four #538 Cover

Who’s In It:

Fantastic Four, Ms. Marvel, Silverclaw, Luke Cage

Fantastic Four #538 Title Page

What Happens:

Street Fighting gives us a glimpse of what it’s like for superheroes who have a personal relationship to be divided in the SRA issue, and we see it’s not easy for those who wish to remain neutral.

Johnny Storm is still unconscious in the hospital – remember he was attacked when the public began to turn on superhumans after the Stamford tragedy. When she’s not worried about her brother, Sue Storm is fighting with Reed Richards. She doesn’t agree with him getting involved in helping Tony Stark round up non-compliant superhumans.

Ben Grimm offers to sit with Johnny while Reed gets back to work and Sue runs home. He reminds the two that there shouldn’t be negativity around Johnny while he’s in his current state. We get a few adorable panels of Ben trying his hardest to entertain the comatose Johnny. This is particularly funny when Sue returns and Ben learns he was only with Johnny for an hour, and not several like he thought.

Fantastic Four #538 - Thing in Hospital

Meanwhile, in Oklahoma, people have gathered from all over to try and lift Thor’s hammer. Some enterprising citizens set up massage and medical posts near the crash site to help injured participants.

Before Ben can head home, he sees there’s a huge fight between superhumans on the news. Ms. Marvel is having a hard time bringing in Silverclaw, who refuses to register. The cops are nearby, kept from interfering by protestors who pelt them with rocks. The senior officer in charge explains to Ben that Iron Man has pushed off some of these incidents to the local police, who are not equipped to deal with it. If Ben can’t get the situation under control, the cops will go and do it, by any means necessary.

Ben approaches the protestors who happen to be led by Luke Cage. He tries to keep the peace and explains it’s not so much that he’s against the law, he’s just not a fan of fighting the government. He says there are plenty of laws he doesn’t agree with. Luke ain’t about that life. They’re going to continue to take a stand and he tells Ben he’ll have to as well – staying neutral isn’t an option.

The Thing and Luke Cage

After Ben leaves, Luke makes arrangement to break a few heroes out during a prisoner transport. Unfortunately, he’s working with someone who doesn’t share his ideals and he and his crew are being setup to take the fall.

Out in Oklahoma, a mysterious man in a trenchcoat and hat swoops in and picks up Mjolnir like it ain’t no thang, causing a huge explosion of light.

Mystery Man

Score | 9/10Overall Thoughts:
  • Um, who the hell is this new guy?
  • Poor Ben. I was glad to see the focus on him and how he’s trying to stay out of it. Also, the dry humor from him in his exchange with just about everyone was perfection.
  • Also, feel free to correct me if that’s NOT Luke Cage. I know not all brothas look alike.
About Nina Perez (1391 Articles)
Nina Perez is the founder of Project Fandom. She is also the author of a YA series of books, "The Twin Prophecies," and a collection of essays titled, "Blog It Out, B*tch." Her latest books, a contemporary romance 6-book series titled Sharing Space, are now available on for Kindle download. She has a degree in journalism, works in social media, lives in Portland, Oregon, and loves Idris Elba. When not watching massive amounts of British television or writing, she is sketching plans to build her very own TARDIS. She watches more television than anyone you know and she's totally fine with that.

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