Journey Into Marvel – Part 55
Extremites, Sean Howe’s “Fantastic Four Equation,” featured in his book Marvel Comics: The Untold Story states that the Four are incomplete on their own. Human Torch is a powerful out of the box thinker but lacks any form of control, Sue Storm has a strong conscience and empathy but she is not a strategic thinker, Reed Richards is a brilliant strategist but his ability to think beyond the norm is nominal, and Thing lacks empathy but his strength of character and over abundance of feelings make him into one of the most loyal and trustworthy characters in Earth-616. Together, the Four make one perfect hero. But Sean has missed the completing digit in the equation: Alicia Masters. Alicia Masters, in her non superhero way, anchors the team. The team is often wrapped up in their personal “greatness.” Alicia reminds them that they are human.
Masters seems like another helpless damsel in a line of damsels, but Alicia’s damseldom — new word Extremites — is novel for archetype obsessed early Silver Age Marvel. AM is in many ways a modern redux of the Comedia Del Arte role: the Inamorati or Colombina. An Inamorati is an innocent, with great ability for insight, who is victimized by the Il Dotore character. Often these dastardly characters trapped the poor damsel within their houses. Il Dotore is embodied in the Puppet Master.