Recent Dorkiness

Vacationing with Thingbeard

So the nerd farm has been officially shuttered up of late for our traditional Halloween vacation. Which means we not only haven’t had time to write anything, we’ve barely had time to read any funnybooks, either. Normally, we’d just post a picture with the headline “Gone Fishin'” or some such. But his week saw the release of a comic that made us so happy we had to at least say a few words on its behalf…

Fantastic Four: Grand Design 1
by Tom Scioli

First of all, this comic is awesome and DENSE. Scioli’s working around a 25-panel grid (!), packing every page with as much information as it can hold.


It’s insanity. The series works, ostensibly, along the same lines as Ed Piskor’s recently-completed X-Men: Grand Design, but taking the idea even further. Scioli’s making smart changes to the backstory that make the FF richer characters, and tying them into all of Jack Kirby’s Marvel cosmology, dating back beyond prehistory into the very birth of the universe. It’s great stuff, and normally I’d be more than happy to track all the tiny details he’s incorporated, and how he’s changed things around (like, he’s made Johnny Storm more of a juvenile delinquent, and it’s HIS idea to steal the rocket ship that sends them on their fateful journey through the Cosmic Rays).

But like I said, I’m on vacation.

So I’m not going to do that.

What I AM going to do, though, is direct your attention to one particular panel from the page above:

That’s right. Tom Scioli has now put the nerd farm’s personal favorite Fantastic Four gag into print.


Oh, I’m so happy.



About Mark Brett (570 Articles)
Shaved Yeti. Alien. Writer of stuff. Read my fiction at Read my thoughts on comic books and other dork culture ephemera at

2 Comments on Vacationing with Thingbeard

  1. Dale Bagwell // November 6, 2019 at 4:23 pm // Reply

    Thingbeard eh? Ok so if they had a whole career as pirates, what exactly did Reed and Johnny do then? Certainly not rape and pillage, but maybe they did run rum and guns, idk.
    Definitely worth a mini to explore that period.

    Either way, I have a feeling this will be just as worthwhile reading as Grand Design was.

    Finally, the image of Thing carrying an actual nuke into a giant sea monster is sheer balls out comic book fantasy. Kind of a bit overkill too though right? I guess back then Reed wasn’t as worried about the lives of animals back then.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah… The A-Bomb thing is completely insane, in the way only super hero comics can be. I read that scene in reprints as a kid, and it always stuck with me. Because, holy crap how awesome is that?!

      As for Scioli’s addition of the FF having a career as pirates… Yeah, I’d read a mini-series built around that idea. Thingbeard is a concept you could do a lot with in general, though. I think most writers kind of ignore it as a silly throw-away moment, but there’s a lot of meat to it, if you look at it from the right perspective.

      Liked by 1 person

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