Posts tagged ‘apanelfromeveryissueofthefantasticfour’

FANTASTIC FOUR #588: And My Last F4 Review + POLL RESULTS!

fantastic four 588

One of the greatest, saddest comic books of all time.

I’ve read it over and over, and it still makes me weepy.  Even though I knew at the time Johnny Storm wasn’t really dead.  I love this drawing especially for how Nick Dragotta puts Thing in the background, shadowed and sullen.

Great art, great writing, great story.  After this, we got twelve issues of a new title called “FF,” with Spider-Man joining the team for a convoluted (but fun) story in which the bad guys join the good guys, the Inhumans come along, etc. etc. until we get back to F4 volume 1, number 600.  I guess they got there because the twelve FF issues counted as part of Fantastic Four volume 1 after all.

From here on out, Hickman’s run isn’t as good–it’s still good, but not as good.

As I said, Hickman’s work doesn’t lend itself to piecemeal, “panel” reviews like the ones on this blog and, frankly, after reading 600 issues of Fantastic Four, I’m ready for a change.

We had a poll.  43% of you said I should read Amazing Spider-Man next.  29% of you liked Daredevil, which I’ve already started doing (but one reader said he doesn’t care for DD–maybe I can change that!).  Two people voted for The Defenders, and one person suggested Power Pack.

Sorry, no Pack here.  I don’t own the back issues and I’m not that into the comic.  (Runaways, I could be persuaded.)

So, starting tomorrow: Amazing Fantasy #15 and a panel from every issue of Amazing Spider-Man begins.

Advertisements

FANTASTIC FOUR #583-587

fantastic four human torch last stand

Johnny faces off against certain “death.”  Or at least death for a year.

I’m realizing that Jonathan Hickman’s run doesn’t really lend itself to “panel from every issue” blogging.  It’s dense, multilayered, and each issue cuts away to different parts of the same ongoing story.  I highly recommend it–I actually recommend it more now than I would have before I started to reread it for my blog–but it’s tough to write single installments about.

I’m going to stop with #600, which is when Fantastic Four Volume 1 officially ends anyway.

FANTASTIC FOUR #581-582

fantastic four 582

This storyline reminds me a little of Infinite Vacation, a terrific little miniseries about a guy who teams up with “other hims” from other realities.

In the end, Franklin Richards kills his grampaw to save all the “other Reeds.”

IMG_3036

This makes the time stream change again, so that the Reeds who died at the beginning of Hickman’s arc are no longer dead.

It’s pretty heady stuff. Hickman’s run can really make your brain hurt.

FANTASTIC FOUR #580

fantastic four 580

Reed likes Valeria more than Franklin.

I never realized how deep and well-crafted Jonathan Hickman’s FF saga was until I started re-reading it.

It starts with Reed quitting finding the answer to everything to be with his family, but quickly he decides to let the kids solve everything–and to spend more time with the kid who is actually trying to solve everything.

Franklin’s disappointment at being picked over by his father (terrible drawing of his face there, by the way) turns into “future Franklin’s” willingness to do anything–even kill–to make sure that Franklin’s all over the realities have a father.  That all comes later, of course.

I know the nature of retrospective analysis of comics-as-literature is bound to have spoilers, but with Hickman’s book getting there really is half the fun.  Knowing where he’s going, and the major story beats, actually makes the experience richer.  Kind of like when you read a good Grant Morrison story.

Anyway, this particular issue also shows us that Franklin not only has his powers back, which we already knew, but he’s figured out how to begin to use them.

IMG_3016

And, finally, the team of genius kids cures Ben for 7 days a year.  Which, ultimately, is what “kills” Human Torch.

thing cured for a week

FANTASTIC FOUR #579

fantastic four origin of future foundation

Reed figures out the need for a group of kids to outsmart the smartest scientists in the world.  But he could have done without being such a smug shithead.

FANTASTIC FOUR 575-578: The Prime Elements

moloids

IMG_3002First appearance of the Moloid children, who get rescued by The Ben.

In these four stories, Hickman introduces the four cities and most of the major players for the rest of his run.  Remember the four cities?  Future Franklin warned Valeria about them in #574.  You have to admire how well orchestrated this run is.

These were also Dale Eaglesham’s first issues.  Neil Edwards would return for a few issues from time to time, but it’s Eaglesham’s visuals that really define this run.

Hickman also calls back to several old F4 runs–in these issues we see Thing mutate into something looking a bit like he did under Walt Simonson, and we see the corpse of the alternate-Earth Galactus, buried deep in the Earth during Mark Millar’s run.

I really despised Millar’s run, but Hickman actually makes it look interesting in the rearview mirror.

FANTASTIC FOUR #573

fantastic four #573

In his fourth issue of Fantastic Four, Hickman establishes Valeria as a super-genius.

FANTASTIC FOUR #570-572: Solve Everything

FF570

Why is that cereal green?

Anyway, Sue’s line is funny ’cause it’s true.  He’s been with the Council of Reeds.

Jonathan Hickman’s run on the FF started with Reed making a decision: Whether to align himself with a bunch of alternate-reality Reeds and solve all the problems in all the universes, or renounce that opportunity and be with his family.  He chooses family, and that sets the tone for Hickman’s years on the title, with the group adopting and educating brilliant children from all over the universe and always, always doing it together.

FF always described itself as a “family” book, but it really wasn’t until Hickman’s run that Reed actually acted like a father and a husband.

FANTASTIC FOUR #554-569: Mark Millar

captain america robot

Anyone who tries to defend Mark Millar’s run will lose the argument because of this giant robot.

It’s an awful run.

Fortunately, what comes next is Jonathan Hickman, who brings the book back to the kind of sci-fi greatness it hit with Lee/Kirby, Simonson, and Byrne.

FANTASTIC FOUR #544-553

fantastic four 544

Black Panther and Storm take Reed and Sue’s place while they reignite their marriage after civil war.

But not really.

The whole concept for this run was that Sue and Reed needed time off to reconcile after they were on separate sides during Civil War…Except that they’re all over this run.  They never go away.

Plus, it’s just a mediocre, boring run.

So, we’re fast forwarding.

It’s a shame, too, because prior to Civil War Fantastic Four was running on all cylinders.

Berkeley Place

a little bit of BK in VA

The Speech Bubble

My thoughts on the week that was in the wonderful world of Comics! Something NEW, every single day!

RaInBoW in the DaRk

With dreary days come rainbows...

www.immodiumabuser.com

AS I TOLD THE GIRL THAT I LOST MY VIRGINITY TO, THANKS FOR LAUGHING AT ME HERE TODAY.

Lorna Phone

visual essays for a digital world

MIscellaneous Soup

Humor, Saturday Night Live reviews, and a sprinkling of just about everything!

Andrez Bergen / Little Nobody

a wayward soapbox for the expat Australian, Tokyo-based journalist/author/DJ/muso/hack writer & crap comic artist also known as Little Nobody.

Comics Grinder

comics, pop culture and related topics

Book Hub, Inc.

The Total Book Experience

Audio SeXXX

Eargasms found here!

Rob's Blog

"A mystifying haven for anyone interested in all manner of things from films old and new to comic books or even actual books." - Rob's Mum

Le Blogue de Frank Loon

Un curieux regard sur la bande dessinée 2.0.

caintheconqueror

The greatest WordPress.com site in all the land!

Hollis Plample

draws comics

Edilio Ciclostile

I buzz into your head

Great Lives!

Lives of great men [and women (duh)] all remind us we can make our lives sublime! -- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Mister G Kids

A daily comic about real stuff little kids say in school. By Matt Gajdoš

The Neighborhood

society online's social conscious

REBELL RED ARTS

Abstract to the Nth Degree. Red + Words.

Art by Ken

The works and artistic visions of Ken Knieling.

Nerdettes Headquarters

We're girls, We're nerdy and we're here to take over.

constantfrustrationandfearandsoforth

More or less comical short picture stories focused on all the trivial troubles.

tankengine recording

London Recording Studio

Bad horror, Good times

Reviewing the best of the bad!

misentopop

...ovvero il pop non è un'esaltazione del nulla

Read and Hear

Recommended listening to the music lover!

Jack Flacco

THE OFFICIAL SITE

On the Pile

What We're Reading and Why We Like It. Or Don't.

shadowkill city

From the upcoming book: "Shadow Within the City"

mauGRYPH

Blog of artist Dean Scheppel

Steady Flow

A blog about our shared experience...

Elli 's design and illustration blog

latest design work, illustrations and things I find interesting about modern design

eCharta

The blog

life is VERY weird

Cool stuff on the web is often SILLY and ABSURD.

wwayne

Just another WordPress.com site

The Comic Stretch

(Harsh Language Encouraged)