Fantastic Four: TWGCM >> View Post
Post By
Grimm Warrior

Location: Des Moines, Ia
Member Since: Mon Dec 30, 2013
Posts: 1,384
In Reply To
Jim Mc

Member Since: Sun Jan 20, 2013
Posts: 982
Subj: Re: Did Reed ever act like Ben's "best friend" besides in college flashbacks?
Posted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 at 11:45:17 pm EDT (Viewed 135 times)
Reply Subj: Did Reed ever act like Ben's "best friend" besides in college flashbacks?
Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 at 11:40:38 pm EDT (Viewed 174 times)

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As it looks like the return of an FF title is becoming more and more unlikely anytime soon, I often think about the untapped relationships between the four core characters. You'd think that after 50 plus years there wouldn't be much more to explore.

I disagree and think that there's still a lot of different ways the various relationships between characters can be tapped. Take for example Ben and Reed. Are they truly "best friends" as so often is stated, primarily after the events that transformed them? My answer is no. In fact I think Ben is closer to both Johnny and Sue.

I'm not bashing Reed. Yes, the burden of leadership is heavy and he has tried many times to cure his "old friend" out of a sense of guilt. Yet there were prolonged periods where Ben seemed content with his plight and at least verbally communicated that he was content with himself. During these times did Reed and Ben ever go to the bar or to the ballgame, just the two of them? Or do anything that would indicate that they are best friends? Again, I am excluding college flashbacks.

I have a hard time remembering any scenes indicating a deep friendship. Reed often talks down to Ben or calls him "old friend" in a way a father gives his child a lecture. If the FF were to ever return I'd like to see Reed and Ben hang out once in a while, talk about life, have some fun. I recall a Hickman issue where Reed sits down with Ben and has a beer in the final panel or so. Beyond that I'm struggling. Was he ever at a poker game?

In all the times Ben has been under someone's control or has temporarily "gone bad" Ben's real feelings towards Reed often come to the surface and they go beyond just being angry with him over the transformation. I think Reed and Ben have a lot to work out if they are to ever get back to "best friend" status. I'd like to see that relationship explored further.

Off the top of my head I recall them playing poker together in an issue of Marvel Two in One. During the Claremont run they played chess together. I believe the two of them went to a baseball game together in another issue. Sorry I can't recall exact details like issue number and creative team.
But, you are correct, Jim. There's never been a lot of references of them hanging out as best friends since they were changed by cosmic rays. Blame it on Sue! A guy hooks up with a the love of his life and everything else comes to a crashing halt with his buddies. That's life.
A lot of the best friend stuff was once exemplified by their common love of adventure and exploring the unknown and their sense of commitment to making humanity a better place. Always got that feel from their early adventures. Kind of goes back to the pulps that were so popular and probably influenced Lee and Kirby's initial work. Not to forget there was mutual admiration and a certain balance each man gave to the other from a personality standpoint to temper each one's extreme. The best friend angle was always deeper than just two guys with common interests hanging out and going to ball games or chasing coeds on campus.
Its been lost and taken for granted as the years have passed. Shows up every great once in awhile during a story. Maybe last exemplified during Hickman's run with the one shot of future Ben keeping the dream alive long after Sue, Reed and Johnny long passed.

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