Series: Fantastic 4
Writer: James Robinson
Art: Leonard Kirk, with Karl Kesel & Jesus Aburtov
Summary from Comixology: “The countdown begins! The Invaders meet the Fantastic Four as the hunt for Reed Richards and the missing kids of the Future Foundation continues. Meanwhile the mastermind behind everything unveils his ultimate plan. But how does Franklin Richards factor in? Guest starring Jim Hammond, Namor, the new Captain America and Doc Green!”
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again… I don’t like the Fantastic 4. Never really have. I don’t necessarily have anything against them so maybe instead of saying I don’t like them I should say, I’ve always been indifferent to them. That was until, one of my favorite writers, James Robinson, took the helm and steered the team in a direction I absolutely love. I’m not saying that the downfall of the team is something I’m happy about, but I actually care that it’s happening. I care about what they’ve been going through. Johnny lost his powers, Ben was framed for murder, Sue and Reed had their children taken away and were fooled into helping a villain hiding in plain sight, and they ALL lost their home, The Baxter Building. It’s been a brutal dismantling of a Marvel’s most classic superhero team and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.
James Robinson can do no wrong, and if you disagree with me I have a Nerf version of Star-Lord’s Element Gun that I will shoot you in the face with. He has single-handedly taken the team from, “Eh, whatever.”, to, “Oh. My. God. That did not just happen…” (I say this on an average of 3 times per issue.) Here he pits our protagonists against, well… against OTHER protagonists. Sue, Ben, and a powerless Johnny have to take on Namor, Captain America, Hulk, and some other superheros who show up to stop them from doing whatever it is they think the FF is up to. The dialogue among the different characters is perfect, and his ability to create tension in unmatched. There’s even a couple of twists at the end that I absolutely did not see coming. James has a knack for setting up characters and giving you a specific impression of them, and then he f—ing shatters that impression like firing cannonballs through… through something large and made of glass. Lots and lots of glass.
The artwork is perfect as well. Every panel is well-drawn and colored. It’s solid, and it feels classic. It’s not fancy, or abstract, or pretentious. It’s exactly what the story needs, really good comic book art. Kirk and his team are doing a *fantastic* job on this book. (Wakka Wakka!)
To sound like a broken record, there’s nothing “low” about this issue. I will go ahead and explain one thing though… The numbering changed on this issue back to the series’ original numbering before they relaunched a few years ago. That is why it’s issue #642 instead of the current run’s issue #15. Not that this is “low” or anything, but I think it will confuse some people so I might as well mention it here.
The Final Say –
I’m a big fan of this series. Normally, I read my Image or other independent titles first every week on New Comic Book Day, but this week it was this. I was just really excited to see what was going to happen. The entire run has been completely cohesive, from the fist issue until this new one, and it’s not over just yet. I’m awarding this issue 4 out 5 stars. It was a great read and I think you should pick up this series, even if you don’t like the FF. It just might chnage your mind.
Wednesday, my good buddy Bill posted his Supergirl #38 review, which debuts this new section of our reviews. I’ll share his announcement and then jump in on the fun myself…
“Welcome to a new section! This is something that my fellow 4LN writer Stephen Andrew and I have been wanting to do for a while. We both obsess over music and enjoying listening to it when we read comics. Going forward, in our reviews, we’ll be sharing with you our picks on some great music to partner with your reading of whatever comic we’re reviewing.”
For this issue, I’m gonna say you’ll want to pair reading it with listening to something like Rush’s “Tom Sawyer” and/or the Foo Fighter’s “Long Road To Ruin”. You want something classic and easy to listen to while you absorb this story.