The second and final character in the original group Fantastic Four is also one of the most important supporting characters in the team myth: Alicia Masters. Represented by Kat Green, she is Ben Grimm’s lover, and she is first kidnapped by a jeweler who wants to make her his wife, and then by Dr. Doom, who uses her as leverage against the mighty Thing. Alicia also appears in the films Fantastic Four and Fantastic Four : The rise of the Silver Surfer, this time represented by Kerry Washington. She plays a rather minor role in the films: In the first film, she becomes Ben’s girlfriend after his fiancée Debbie leaves him because of his transformation. In the second film she becomes Sue’s bridesmaid, although her comic book counterpart plays a fairly important role in the plot of the film, a role that Sue herself takes on in the live-action version. Let’s look at it together.
As the daughter of scientist Jacob Rice and his wife Marcia, Alicia grew up with them at Watershed Lake and spent most of her time with her mother because her beloved father worked hard. She showed early on that she had an unborn talent for art, especially for painting, a talent that encouraged her parents. One night Alicia and Marcia tried to surprise Jacob and picked him up from the lab….. but something went wrong: Mother and daughter saw the building explode…. and it was almost the last thing Alicia ever saw. Jacob died in the explosion, while the explosion blinded the little girl; Jacob’s partner, Phillip Masters, told them about the accident, which he himself miraculously survived. In the following days, Philip took care of his partner’s widow and orphan and even taught Alicia to model with clay so that she could develop her artistic skills even when she was blind. Both women were very grateful to the master and loved him very much: Eventually Marcia married him and Philip legally adopted Alicia. But it soon became clear that Marcia had also suffered from the explosion, because she had inhaled radioactive gases that night: Her body was poisoned by radiation, she died too, and from that moment on Alicia and Philip were on their own. They both move to Manhattan, where Philip can continue his experiments with mutagenic clay, while Alicia studies at a special school for the blind and eventually becomes a gifted artist. Unfortunately, the radioactive clay that Philip used in his work seriously affected his mind: He went crazy and became a bad puppeteer. The puppeteer wanted to master the Thing of the Fantastic Four with his clay puppets and use it as a pawn against the world. Alicia reluctantly helped him when, thanks to her sharp senses, she heard the Invisible Girl sneak into her father-in-law’s house and he could catch her. Relying on Phillip, Alicia had him disguise her as the Invisible Girl and send her back to the Fantastic Four with the brainwashing trick, but when she realized what was going on, she turned against her stepfather and helped the heroes free the real Invisible Girl from her captivity… and in the process, she was struck by the soft heart and personality of the Thing.
The Puppet Master escaped, and Alicia became a constant presence in the adventures of the Fantastic Four. Eventually she even became The Thing’s girlfriend, because she was apparently the only one who could see her real self behind the stone monster he had become. The quartet even tried to get the legendary herb from Rama Tut, in ancient Egypt, to cure blindness, just to help her, because they all considered her part of the family. Alicia reacted well, and when the Four Fears, when the Wizard, Medusa, Sandman and Godfather Pete defeated three of the four heroes, she managed to warn the Human Torch and ask for reinforcements to save the situation. She also helped them face threats like Doctor Doom, the Molecular Man, the Hater and the Mad Thinker. She proved her value, courage and kindness each time and strengthened her relationship with the Thing. She even saved the world once: Galactus came to devour Earth, and his predecessor, the Silver Surfer, came to the planet to prepare him for his master. When the surfer fell out of the sky after hitting the Fantastic Four, he crashed into Alicia’s skylight and the woman helped him. When she touched his face, she felt his nobility and inner pain, and when she found out who he was and why he was on the planet, she begged him to spare the earth and save humanity. The kindness and innocence of this woman struck the right note and Silver Surfer’s emotions, buried deep in her years of service in the world of the Devourers, came to light. Convinced by Alicia’s entreaties, the Surfer turns against his master and helps the Fantastic Four to fight Galactus, who, however, punishes the slave’s betrayal by taking away some of his power and imprisoning him on Earth, where he becomes a dear friend of Alicia (even though this provokes a jealous reaction in the Materia). This was Alicia’s first encounter with creatures from outer space, but certainly not her last: At one point she was kidnapped by the Paibokskop and replaced by a surrogate mother, Leah, until she was rescued by the Fantastic Four, she was even kidnapped by the Enclave, a group of brilliant but crazy scientists who ordered her to form the features of their artificial man, Son, a perfect being… A creature that Alicia in turn considered noble and good and had convinced her to turn against her masters and become a hero. To be such an ordinary young woman, the fate of the world has often rested on Alicia’s fragile but unshakeable shoulders….
Alicia Masters is a friendly and gentle woman, with an unexpected inner strength that can support everyone around her. Although she is blind, she generally sees more than others and is able to discern a person’s true character simply by touching their face. This second look is clearly visible in her work, because she is a skilled sculptor, a neo-realist artist who shows the world the true nobility of her models through her clay sculptures. Although she didn’t like to fight, she also received self-defense training from Daredevil, who also gave her a stick that could become two of Billy’s sticks, just like his. Alicia Masters is a beacon of light that shines in the darkest night, a beacon of kindness and goodness to everyone around her: It represents the best humanity can have, and it is only right that the world itself owes its existence to it, among other things.
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