It’s that time again, faithful congregants, where GHG explores a weekly quintent of deliciously — or disgustingly — random funnybooks. It’s the Fistful of Comics! And, somehow, it’s Moody’s turn.
Let’s just get to it.
FANTASTIC FOUR #1
Having the Fantastic Four take front and center in our feature this week was a no-brainer. First, was the casting of the film reboot that incited a thousand suburban white riots (kidding; cynics of all races joined in on the plunge). Second, this All-New Marvel NOW! issue marks a return to glory for James Robinson.
Known best for his epic run on Starman (to which I own every hardcover omnibus), Robinson had been in a bit of a funk with DC Comics lately. Blame the skimpy assignments (Flashpoint: The Outsider? Earth-Two?), or blame the savage criticism of those who cried for justice at some of JR’s plot decisions and, worse, freakish characterizations (Supes replaced by…Mon-El? Red.. Bleeping.. Arrow…). Either way, something just wasn’t right; this guy co-created Starman, dammit!
Thankfully, Mr. Robinson is able to capture his JSA-scripting roots with Marvel’s First Family and capture it well. In this first ish, readers should “lol” at Ben Grimm’s classic disapproval of Reed’s usual overthinking and feel touched by Susan’s reasonably rocky state-of-mind following the intergalactic departure of her daughter. Rob’ nails the F4 dialogue. And whereas Fraction did a nice job with plot exploration and Hickman was impressive in all his world building, Robinson is just as splended at keeping all of the danger right at home. The book’s wrap on reality feels more Mark Waid F4 than anything else.
I was also impressed by how tight-knit the family felt despite the inclusion of the Future Foundation. The zany presence of Frac’s favorite students never once deterred the muddy waters. For a comic with such an overall positive vibe, there’s just enough foreshadowing that this series may just get uglier than Fox’s casting decisions: a desecrated logo, massive monster brawls, and new duds that reflect more Blackhawk than Maple Leaf.
And, parish, does Leonard Kirk make all of this newfound Baxter Building gloom go boom. Even panels featuring the more personal — such as Sue and Reed having a moment, or Bentley just being his usual mischievous, inventive self — pack plenty of pretty things (at least as much as I can alliterate…). Call it: no cubicle left behind. Thankfully, feeling lonely will be far from the truth for Fantastic Four comic book fans smart enough to pick this up. Don’t call it a comeback…
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