|Originally posted on TOR.com, written and copyrighted by "Stubby the Rocket"|
Funnybook writer Mike Sterling recently wondered what it would be like if H.P. Lovecraft had written the Fantastic Four. (Which would, of course, actually be called “The Phantasmagorical Four.”) He immediately jotted down some character scenarios involving the Richards' family and discovered that the mash-up functioned frighteningly well.
A portion of the reader's introduction to Reed Richards, the polymathematical mind otherwise known as the stretchable “Mr. Fantastic.”
What could I call it? A sense? A “feeling,” like the sort one would have when another person is peering intently at you, and you know for certain that you are being so rudely stared at even without directly confirming it yourself. This, however, was not the weight of another’s intense observation I felt upon me. This was the feeling that something was behind me, not approaching me, but passing by, twisting and serpentine, splitting through the air with haste. I saw nothing of what it was, frozen briefly by the sensation, staring blankly at a crowded row of books only a foot or two away. I heard nothing, save for what sounded for all the world like the hard cover of a book briefly scraping along a high and distant shelf.Just as suddenly as the feeling had come upon me, it was gone; and, the spell broken, I spun around to try to determine what had just occurred unseen behind my back while I had vainly looked for a ladder that wasn’t there. Professor Richards was still seated in his chair, as if he’d never left it, and it creaked again lightly now as he once more leaned forward over his desk. It was not to study his papers, I saw to my surprise, but rather to read the book of Egyptology, the very one that had been sitting on the shelf moments before. I thought perhaps it was simply a twin of the volume, maybe one that Richards had stored in a desk drawer and removed unheard, but a quick glance upward revealed that the book that was once there, was no longer.
And a bit about Ben Grimm, also known as the mountain that moves like a man, The Thing:
“The rocks that moved…the cracking…that rumbling laugh…those eyes, those piercing, soulless blue eyes blazing from the crevices…!”
There's more to be had at Sterling's site, linked above! The pieces are short and unfortunately our heroes never confront the sun-quenching terror of a very Cthulhu-like Galactus. But then again, some terrors are best left to the imagination.