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Review of Fantastic Four 560 (4 stars) October 3, 2008

Posted by lotrking in Comic Book Reviews.
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Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars

With this issue, we get a rather interesting twist. It turns out that the New Defenders are actually from the future. While this plot device has been used countless times, their reason for coming back in time isn’t one you see too often: they haven’t come back to change the past and “save the future,” nor have they come to conquer primitive beings to recreate a world under their rule. Instead, with the Earth dying, the New Defenders are simply refugees trying to build a time machine big enough to bring people from the future back. But for an as yet unexplained reason, they need Johnny, Doom, and Galactus to power the machine.

Hitch delivers more of his great artwork, and some of the best scenes are that of the future. Between the views of utter devastation, and the massive spread of the heroes of the future, the opening pages are a treat for the eyes. One could look at the “heroes page” for minutes, simply to discover who in the future has been influenced by past heroes, and also figuring who future heroes were influenced by.

The second half of the issue focuses on an attack on the Baxter Building (and the rest of the FF) by none other than … the nanny, Tabitha Denevue! (Never trust the nanny.) She disables the FF quickly, and we learn two things about her: one, she is the leader of the New Defenders, and two, she is Susan Richards from 500 years in the future. … Don’t ask me to explain how Sue lived to be 500 years old, I’m sure (I hope) that Millar has an adequate explanation. But at least I may have finally figured out what will be the cause of the “death of the Invisible Woman.” Earlier in the issue, Doom swears to kill whoever it was who plotted his capture. When he discovers that it is a future version of Sue, he may simply kill the “current Sue” to prevent it from happening. Or I could be completely wrong, at least we’ll see next issue. (And hopefully Millar will do something to surprise us. I mean, why give away the ending of an arc by making it the title? Hopefully, Sue’s death will not be the biggest event to occur.)

-LOTRKing

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Review of Fantastic Four 559 (4.5 stars) August 15, 2008

Posted by lotrking in Comic Book Reviews.
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Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

My review can be found here.

Quick spoilers: Ben and Debbie attend Johnny’s band’s opening night concert. Johnny is running late, and is then attacked by Lightwave and captured by the New Defenders. Alyssa reveals to Sue that the Earth-Trust is building Nu-World only for politicians and aristocrats. In addition to capturing Johnny and Doom, it is revealed that the New Defenders have captured Galactus.

-LOTRKing

Review of Fantastic Four 558 (4.5 stars) July 2, 2008

Posted by lotrking in Comic Book Reviews.
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Following trend of this announcement, my review can be found here.

-LOTRKing

Review of Fantastic Four 557 (4.5 stars) May 20, 2008

Posted by lotrking in Comic Book Reviews.
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Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

With this issue, Millar and Hitch have brought their first FF run to a satisfying close. It opens with Sue rescuing Ben from the ocean with a force field bubble, before we quickly see that CAP continues to cause destruction and evacuations around the globe. Then, we are treated to an insanely awesome piece of art as we see a full page view of Reed’s Anti-Galactus suit (so cleverly foreshadowed in FF 554). As a side note, I love Reed’s reason for the similar look to Galactus (“it looks cool”). Reed uses the suit as bait for CAP, who “bites” and tests his hunch that he is also on CAP’s “do not harm” list. Reed, as always, is right and beats the crap out of CAP. This scene is made all the more awesome by Hitch’s aforementioned phenomenal artwork. Truthfully, I can think of several artists that I like more than Hitch, but Anti-G’s “pwning” of CAP was by far some of my favorite artwork yet to appear in FF.

In the aftermath, we see that the world’s governments are going to cover up the destruction, as they still believe that the Earth Trust’s work is essential. Personally, this was the only thing the disappointed me in this issue is that we didn’t get more resolution of this plot thread. (Plus I really want my theory about Earth Trust being sinister to be right!) Hopefully, this will be resolved later in the Millar/Hitch run.

Next, Alyssa tries to convince Reed that they both married the wrong people and once again tries to woo him but Reed explains that while Sue may not be his intellectual equal, he still loves her, and Alyssa can never change that. The story then transitions to Reed and Sue’s anniversary dinner as Reed reveals that the reason he had to travel to the other end of the universe two issues ago was to obtain a microgalaxy to fashion his own ring for Sue. He further reveals that the location of their dinner is in a restaurant right by where the first re-met as adults. Sue’s gift is only “Bob Dylan’s new CD,” but they both understand and enjoy each others gifts. Stuff like this (along with the following the scene involving Johnny and a certain seductive super-villainess) proves that Millar simply “gets” the characters of the FF, and shows why his writing is so strong.

In the final scene, we meet a potential new nanny for Franklin and Valeria (call me paranoid, but I suspect there is something wrong with the nanny too!) before Doom barges in and commands that Richards be found immediately. Being a huge Doom fan, I’m eager to see what trouble may have befallen him to require Reed’s help so soon. His prescence here leaves a bit of a question though, the footnote on the intro page explains that this takes place after Mighty Avengers 11, in which Doom is placed in jail. Doom escapes in Secret Invasion 1, but the arc cannot take place during Secret Invasion (otherwise the Baxter Building would be in the Negative Zone), so does this take place after SI? If so, are we meant to assume that the real Spider-Woman was fighting alongside our heroes? This really does throw somewhat of a wrench into continuity, so if Millar made sure to throw that footnote in, I’m hoping we’ll get some explanation of where this fits chronologically later. Nonetheless, this issue was extremely enjoyable and a great ending to the first arc.

-LOTRKing