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Review of Fantastic Four 553 (4.5 stars) February 4, 2008

Posted by lotrking in Comic Book Reviews, L O S T.
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Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Given, I’ve only been reading Fantastic Four since the Civil War issues, but this is by far the best issue of FF I have read to date. Our story starts with a brief history of time travel (bad joke alert!), and while the ideas presented here are in no ways unique, they are rarely used in comics. This is the point where comics start to feel like real science fiction and not just super hero stories; this is exactly the kind of stuff I was expecting to read when I picked up FF. But this first page alone was so perfect because it draws you into the story and is somewhat reminiscent of H.G. Wells’ Time Machine and Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy at the same time.

After a bit of dialogue, we come to something interesting as the future Thing is transformed into Ben, and then later transforms back. This is a great glimpse into the future, and something I’ve always thought would make a great power for the Thing (namely changing at will). I realize that specific future timelines presented in comics are rarely touched on again, but as I said, this still gives us something to hope for.

A little while later, we get a great speech from Sue. I loved this speech for two reasons: one it just shows how emotionally and mentally strong of a character Sue is, which is one of the reasons she is quickly becoming my favorite FF member, and two, it helps to fill the gap left in my soul from the retcon of the Spider-Marriage. Reed and Sue may be no Peter and MJ, but these moments can help to touch the same chords that the Peter/MJ marriage did. Bonus LOST Easter Egg during this scene: page 10, panel two: a large number 6 is carefully hidden in the rubble, it took me forever to find this.

The fight between the Fantastic Fours was just awesome. The art was great; I love Pelletier’s art, it is a bit on the cartoony side, which I tend to dislike, but it fits Fantastic Four perfectly, similar to Lark’s graininess for Daredevil. I wish Pelletier would stay on for Millar’s run, going by the advance art previews, I think I’d actually prefer him over Hitch. The use of Torch’s white fire in this scene looked particularly cool, as did his goatee. There is something about the fiery goatee that just looked sweet; I can’t describe it other than that. (Perhaps we should petition that modern day Johnny grow one? 😉 ) Of course the splash page also looked great; Pelletier seems to have a knack for doing those.

After the fight is resolved, old Reed and young Reed have an interesting talk about timelines. Normally I would have just shoveled this away as something cool that was mentioned, but it particularly stood out to me because it is something I have actually been thinking about for the last few weeks. This is mostly due to the fact that I recently rewatched LOST season three, in which Desmond and Charlie learn that “the universe has a way of correcting itself” and because I recently read the His Dark Materials trilogy (a great read, don’t listen to the bad hype, it’ll convert you to atheism just as much as Harry Potter will make you a devil worshipper, but that is an argument for another time) which deals heavily with alternate timelines. So anyways, I just appreciated this brief discussion because it was one of the few moments when one area of fiction you are delving into coincidentally ties in to another area.

Of course, then we finally get the truth out of Doom, and I gotta say, I actually felt sorry for the creep, maybe Pelletier was too good at drawing his sad expression behind that metal mask, I don’t know. Let’s just say that I was glad that it ended up working out for everyone, including Doom. Likewise, I liked future Reed’s message at the end; it gave this whole issue a very Wellsian feel (something I approve of, as H. G. Wells just happens to be my favorite author), only with a happier end for the characters involved than Wells usually gave. So overall, an excellent issue, I will miss McDuffie (even if I didn’t agree with the way he wrote the Silver Surfer’s character), but I eagerly await Millar’s run.

Please leave comments!

-LOTRKing

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Comments»

1. dylan555 - February 5, 2008

I agree, the creative team going out had a nice run and this story arc was pretty good. I’m VERY interested to see what Millar does with the Greatest Comic… And please do keep up the blog, it’s nice to read the opinions of others out there.


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