The Thing’s new adopted children are certainly troublemakers, but their powers and unique outlook make them the best new Marvel characters in years.
Warning: spoilers for Fantastic Four #26!
The Thing has overcome several obstacles throughout his years in the Fantastic Four, but he is now facing a completely different set of challenges in his new role as a father. The Empyre crossover event resulted in some major ramifications throughout the Marvel Universe. Easily the most significant change was the end of the Kree-Skrull War and the strengthening of the Kree-Skrull Alliance. Although this alliance is sure to have a major impact on Marvel’s future, it doesn’t compare to Empyre’s greatest product: N’Kalla and Jo-Venn.
During the Kree-Skrull War, two children were enslaved and forced to imitate the warring armies’ battles in fights against one another. The Skrull child N’Kalla and the Kree child Jo-Venn were raised to hate the opposing species, resulting in a bitter rivalry between the two. Luckily, the Fantastic Four discovered the two kids and rescued them. Unfortunately, this did not end their feud. It was not until the two were captured by the Cotati, an enemy of the Kree and the Skrulls, that Franklin and Valeria Richards were able to get the aliens to bond over their shared experiences and finally form a friendship. A friendship which defeated the Cotati. Finally out of captivity, the kids were adopted by the Thing, AKA Ben Grimm, and his wife, Alicia Masters.
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Fantastic Four #26 by Dan Slott, R.B. Silva, and Jesus Abertov, shows readers the incredible dynamic that Jo-Venn and N’Kalla add to Marvel’s First Family. Their bond is stronger than ever, and the alien siblings are finally getting to live like kids. Although their version of playing is a little bit wilder than most children’s. While a group of visitors are walking down Yancy Street to meet with the Fantastic Four, the kids decide to ambush them. N’Kalla transforms into a giant monster and snatches the humans off of the sidewalk as Jo-Venn points a blaster at them and demands that they identify themselves. The Thing arrives just in time and stops the kids from doing any serious damage, but their visitors are already understandably terrified.
The kids obviously have a lot to learn about Earth’s customs, and their fierce fighting skills paired with their superpowers mean that they are certainly going to be a handful for Ben and Alicia. Their prank in this issue is pretty harmless but it wouldn’t be surprising to see them pulling similar shenanigans in the future. The issue hints that N’Kalla has a tendency to “slime” people as well, so one can only imagine the kind of trouble these siblings have been getting into. Seeing Jo-Venn and N’Kalla join the Fantastic Four family was certainly a surprise at first, but they already fit right in with the rest of the team. Most people would have a tough time taking care of the kids but the Thing and Alicia are already proving to be excellent parents to the most enjoyably rambunctious characters Marvel have created all year.
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