Posted by: Andy | August 13, 2006

Lyja, where the hell art thou (now)?

Something within the last few days reminded me of Lyja, the Skrull Alicia Masters impersonator who married the Human Torch under false pretenses (she was a shapechanging imposter, duh!). Her story was actually pretty convoluted (and interesting!) even for a comic book.

The original writer of the Masters & Torch marriage intended for them to actually be married. Then, ~70 issues later a new writer/editor/whatever comes along and decideds that she was better with the thing, so they decide that the Alicia who married the Torch was a Skrull imposter. The ff discovers the imposter because they are doing some random brain scan. Torchie is hurt, wounded, blah but realizes he loves Lyja, not Alicia (sorta – he’s still all shocked when they find the real Alicia who was tranquilized for the last year or so and she picks right back up with the Thing). Lyja leads the FF to a Skrull world to help them rescue Alicia. She “dies” giving her life to protect Torch from a blast from behind. She “dies” in his arms with both of them confessing their love for ecah other. Then, in one of the worst bits of bad characterization EVER the FF just abandons her there and runs away with Alicia.

Surprise! She wasn’t actually dead. Oh, you knew that already didn’t you. And she’s crazy mad at Torch for abandoning her to the Skrulls who now consider her a traitor. So they give her some other super power (laser blasts! w00t!) And send her back to Earth to kill him. Then she switches sides again at the last minute and saves his life again, so she can kill him herself later, or some junk. Then she’s with the team for about 40 issues and the two of them finally come around to admitting they love each other again. All together this takes place across about..80 issues.

Then she vanished without so much as an off-panel explanation during the whole Onslaught thing. Or so it seems. “There must be an answer,” I thought, so I set about reading a lot more Fanstastic Four than I really should in a short interval.

Now that I think about it…that period (circa Onslaught) was probably the lowest Marvel has sunken to that I can recall. The Lyja situation reeks of the whole Joseph/Magneto/clone oops-now-he’s-gone-too plot thing. I really can’t stand the bit (which readers can see telegraphed years in advance) where a comic writer introduces a new supporting character whom you KNOW will never make it to top of the deck, but will be sacrificied in some pointless battle for the “emotional effect” that they are too stingy to kill their money makers to get. End result: everyone is just annoyed, not moved.

OK. Back to Lyja…I’m still trying to figure out where she went. HMMM, wikipedia says:

However, in the wake of the Onslaught crisis, the Fantastic Four were thought dead, and Lyja left to attempt a normal life, masquerading again as a human woman. Her current whereabouts are unknown.

Thank you wiki! Of course, it’s missing references so off I go digging… Hmm, it’s not in the onslaught finale…and I’m dreadfully afraid to read the Heroes Reborn FF. There must be an issue somewhere where it actually says this, probably one of the random ass Onslaught crossover issues. *sigh*. Anyone happpen to know this off the top of their head?

Oh gawd…I just skimmed about 20 issues of heroes reborn crap. ARRRGHHH. I think half my brain cells just died. I don’t think I have the patience to read 70 issues of v3 right now, or anytime soon. So Lyja’s fate will remain lost to me. I really don’t know why I care, I think I just have a soft spot for shapechargers.

/end pointless comic rant

[edit: Here’s a shot of power and cheese – you might have to stretch your browser window to get it to size right:

lyja & child??!?

/end edit]



  1. The funny thing is: guys “hate” soap operas. And yet. *finger to mouth in feigned contemplation* WWE and comic books such as these (and by “such as these” I mean sappy, nonsensical and chocked full of “last minute” switheroos) are abundant. Thy cup literally runneth over. And while I do not read FF (because I have something against the foursome…I find them forced and somewhat boring for a collective… for someone who only reads comic books in passing), I do feel highly qualified to comment on this “storyline” after reading this blog. Cheers.

  2. I’ve always said that comics & wrestling were soap opera equivalents for males.

    I think guys just need something else in their soap, so to speak. True, for me, 90% of the time I couldn’t give less of a shit for romance/relationships in comics – especially when they are poorly done, but 5-10% of them are done well and thus interesting. Once in a while they are done well though – the above mentioned one wasn’t really done well at all, which was sort of my point. Well, it ended horribly at least – for years of investment the audience deserves some payback.

    However, the unfortunate case with big name comic characters is that they pretty much 100% absolutely positively never ever change anything about them. And Johnny Storm’s “thing” is that he is a hotshot single guy (a la Maverick…hmmm). They decided they liked him that way, and his “romance angle” was the perpetual state of falling in love, as opposed to dealing with mature love like Reed & Sue (they are one of the few comic couples in this position). Which makes me wonder how long the Storm & Black Panther marriage will last. Hopefully at least 5 years. The way they built it up it sounds like he needs a child from her first at least though. 😉 Which would be cool, kids in comics are also very rare. Unless they are hyper-aged future versions of those children. Because otherwise their parents would have to age too…

    Oh right, my original point – guys need something else to make drama interesting: sci-fi or fantasy settings (Star Trek, Conan, etc.), super-powers, or…in the case of the …”differently enlightened” (low-fuctioning? :P) beefy men & women in bathing suits hitting each other over the heads with boards.

    Me, if I want violence I’d just as soon watch a martial arts or action movie where it’s much better done and if I want T&A I might as well just watch some porn or something where it’s not dressed up trying to pretend it’s not appealing to the same part of your brain.

  3. […] Invasion: FF – I’ve been wondering where the heck Lyja went for quite a while, so seeing her is at least good news.  But I’m not buying this evil Lyja bit, hopefully that […]


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