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Fantastic Four #1 (Spoilers)

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Fantastic Four #1 (Spoilers)

Postby Amoebas » Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:47 pm

Fantastic Four #1 (or #628 for us non-renumberists)

Future Sue writes a letter. Present day Johnny signs a contract. Present day Ben hooks back up with Alicia. Present day Sue muses on motherhood. Reed, uhm, Reed doesn't really do anything.

And there you have it. that's everything that happens (minus a fight with Fin Fang Foom that could have been any old Marvel monster). The rest is just preludes to Johnny being the new Spuds McKenzie, Ben in jail for murder, Reed becomes stupid and Sue writes a letter - and some bugs fly around.

The Good:
1) Despite some goofball dialogue, that would fit better in the 1970's, Robinson seems to fully grasp the characters.
2) In their only scenes together, they actually act like a team. This is not Reed and the Fantastic Three (which has been a huge problem for the book for a looong while imo).
3) The worst character in FF history - Valeria has been written out of the book!!!!! :smt026 Let her rot in Latveria! :-D
4) Never having been a Kirk fan, he's pretty good (could be the Kesel inks which are always appreciated).
5) The Letters Page is used by the new editor (who might just get the FF in the way Brevoort never did).

The Bad:
1) Sue can now fly - not slide or lift herself from the ground, her force-field platform is now completely mobile.
2) Ben uses the Bathtub to get around but once it's trashed, Sue has no problem 'flying' him around too (and Ben can apparently see the edge of the platform in order to hang onto it).
3) Fin Fang Foom in purple biker pants.

The Ugly:
1) The front introduction page lists Susan Richards as "Susan Storm" despite her being being married for 50 years and despite her being referred to as "Mrs. Richards" within this book. :smt011
2) Robinson is setting up for a 'worst day ever' for the Foursome and it's a failed concept before he even started. This will likely lead into solo stories as each hero recovers from the problems thrown at them until they all get back together again. This has been done (and never very well). While it's appreciated that it's not another 'losing their powers' downfall story, this direction is the one thing that feels the most wrong. Going dystopian with the team mere weeks after a sixteen issue "we're dying" story just doesn't work for me and it's reason to think I may not be in for this book in the long run. Hopefully it's over soon.

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Re: Fantastic Four #1 (Spoilers)

Postby The Old Doctor » Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:57 pm

Amoebas wrote:Fantastic Four #1 (or #628 for us non-renumberists)

Future Sue writes a letter. Present day Johnny signs a contract. Present day Ben hooks back up with Alicia. Present day Sue muses on motherhood. Reed, uhm, Reed doesn't really do anything.

And there you have it. that's everything that happens (minus a fight with Fin Fang Foom that could have been any old Marvel monster). The rest is just preludes to Johnny being the new Spuds McKenzie, Ben in jail for murder, Reed becomes stupid and Sue writes a letter - and some bugs fly around.

The Good:
1) Despite some goofball dialogue, that would fit better in the 1970's, Robinson seems to fully grasp the characters.
2) In their only scenes together, they actually act like a team. This is not Reed and the Fantastic Three (which has been a huge problem for the book for a looong while imo).
3) The worst character in FF history - Valeria has been written out of the book!!!!! :smt026 Let her rot in Latveria! :-D
4) Never having been a Kirk fan, he's pretty good (could be the Kesel inks which are always appreciated).
5) The Letters Page is used by the new editor (who might just get the FF in the way Brevoort never did).

The Bad:
1) Sue can now fly - not slide or lift herself from the ground, her force-field platform is now completely mobile.
2) Ben uses the Bathtub to get around but once it's trashed, Sue has no problem 'flying' him around too (and Ben can apparently see the edge of the platform in order to hang onto it).
3) Fin Fang Foom in purple biker pants.

The Ugly:
1) The front introduction page lists Susan Richards as "Susan Storm" despite her being being married for 50 years and despite her being referred to as "Mrs. Richards" within this book. :smt011
2) Robinson is setting up for a 'worst day ever' for the Foursome and it's a failed concept before he even started. This will likely lead into solo stories as each hero recovers from the problems thrown at them until they all get back together again. This has been done (and never very well). While it's appreciated that it's not another 'losing their powers' downfall story, this direction is the one thing that feels the most wrong. Going dystopian with the team mere weeks after a sixteen issue "we're dying" story just doesn't work for me and it's reason to think I may not be in for this book in the long run. Hopefully it's over soon.


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Re: Fantastic Four #1 (Spoilers)

Postby guitarsmashley » Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:44 pm

I'm hoping this doesn't last long, this will be the last issue I read of Robinson's run. It was totally flat after what? 3 years of really good FF books(which I read in the last year)?Yeah not good. And why is Val in latveria? Also Val is awesome and the FF book was amazing like I said, last issue till this one runs its course.
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Re: Fantastic Four #1 (Spoilers)

Postby Grayson » Fri Feb 28, 2014 4:29 pm

I don't know, this issue wasn't bad by any means but it also wasn't good either. The entire issue was rehashing all of the information that we previously knew about this book since it was first announced, like Ben going to jail for murder but told from the perspective of the Invisible Woman writing a letter to Valeria. It feels like I just paid $3.99 to read what I have read on the Outhouse for the past 6 months.
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Re: Fantastic Four #1 (Spoilers)

Postby Punchy » Sat Mar 01, 2014 11:35 am

Despite my misgivings about the FF now having red costumes (I could handle the white and black we’ve had for the last few years, but red? That is, like, the opposite of blue, it’s ridiculous!) this was a good opening issue from James Robinson and Leonard Kirk that simultaneously gets the Fantastic Four back to basics after being in state of flux recently, as well as setting the stage for tragedy to come. So even whilst you’re enjoying the old-school fun of the Fantastic Four taking down a giant monster, there’s a little extra to it. This issue really was mostly set-up, but I don’t mind that, as it gave us a sense of how good a handle James Robinson has on these classic characters, before he brings them down, and generally, I think he does get Marvel’s first family.

The issue begins in a flash-forward, with Sue writing a letter of apology to Franklin and Val, and giving us a teaser of what bad shit is going to happen to the team throughout Robinson’s tenure. Reed is now a broken man, unable to do any science. Ben is in prison, awaiting trail for murder… and he’s there on Reed’s testimony. As for Johnny, his party-boy lifestyle seems to have now caught up with him, and it’s implied that he’s now an alcoholic. Sue herself is all alone, flying over the ocean and weeping.

So, we’ve seen the FF after their fall, but how does it happen? Well, it begins innocently enough with the team stopping an attack on New York by none other than Fin Fang Foom. This was a pretty basic, old-fashioned FF scene, you had Reed the genius with a special weapon telling the rest of the team what to do, Ben and Johnny bickering and Sue holding things together, but it was a lot of fun, especially because, as I said, we haven’t really had the classic Fantastic Four doing stuff like this for a long time. Hickman killed off then brought back Johnny, and then Fraction sent them off into time and space. The FF defeat Fin Fang Foom, but it might not be as routine and classic as I thought, as Reed realises that a mindless rampage like this is not normally Fin Fang Foom’s M.O. Could this be a clue about where things are heading? I was also surprised by the Fin Fang Four reference Robinson slipped in here, he really has been doing his research!

Back at the Baxter Building, we see that not everything is back to normal, as Valeria has moved out, angry at her parents for lying to her during Fraction’s run, and gone to live in Latveria, this causes a bit of a domestic between Reed and Sue, but it doesn’t last long, as they reconcile, and are soon interrupted by the rest of the Future Foundation kids. I’m really glad that Robinson is keeping these characters around, as with there now being only 1 Fantastic Four book, I thought that perhaps they would be dropped, but nope, they are still here, and still a lot of fun. Bentley-23 building a death-ray that turns things into chocolate is just great.

After this, we see Ben out, reuniting with Alicia Masters and getting back together in a very touching scene. There’s a reason writers keep going back to Ben and Alicia, it’s just a classic romance. We also see Johnny’s new status quo, and it’s that he’s now become a rock/pop star (perhaps inspired by his ex, Darla Deering?), and his agent calls him telling him that, for the good of his music career, he can’t go on any vacations like he did recently. He can still be a superhero, but he has to stay Earth-bound. Which, for the FF, might be an issue. I know a lot of fans bristle at every writer reverting back to immaturity for Johnny when they take over, but at this point, I guess we have to accept that it’s not bad writing, it’s just a character trait, he’s an immature person that might grow up at times, in serious situations, but he’ll always want to have fun first and foremost.

The issue ends with everyone in a good place, but of course, that won’t last long, and we see a Negative Zone (I think?) doorway in one of Reed’s labs open up, unleashing a horde of ravenous insect monsters on New York.

This was, as I said, a strong opening issue for Robinson, he showed he gets the characters and, with the flash-forward, hooked me in with wanting to find out just how the FF end up in their bad way. Leonard Kirk’s art was also very strong, I’ve been a fan of his since he was on JSA, and he’s just a brilliant, classic superhero artist, and there’s no better classic superhero team than the Fantastic Four, his line-work is strong (Karl Kesel is back on inks, he should never not be on the FF in some form or another), the characters look great and, even though he does have that classic style, he is suited to the darker edge this story will have. In fact, the only problem is those pesky red costumes. This is the real FF controversy right now, I don’t care if Johnny Storm is black, all I care about is that he’s not wearing red!

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Re: Fantastic Four #1 (Spoilers)

Postby guitarsmashley » Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:07 pm

puff piece.
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Re: Fantastic Four #1 (Spoilers)

Postby alaska1125 » Sat Mar 01, 2014 1:40 pm

As far as Johnny's return to immaturity goes, agreed. Character trait. That said, see a few of the books where there's a team-up with Spider-Man. Character growth. I'm not getting the regression every time they switch up the creative team. This is definitely a wait and see book for me. I'm just not sure which Robinson showed up here.

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Re: Fantastic Four #1 (Spoilers)

Postby chap22 » Sat Mar 01, 2014 1:41 pm

guitarsmashley wrote:puff piece.

clearly. total Marvel shill.
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Re: Fantastic Four #1 (Spoilers)

Postby Punchy » Sat Mar 01, 2014 1:43 pm

guitarsmashley wrote:puff piece.


My review or the book itself?

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Re: Fantastic Four #1 (Spoilers)

Postby guitarsmashley » Sat Mar 01, 2014 2:52 pm

Punchy wrote:
My review or the book itself?


Both, this book was totally garbage after the art. Hickman was so good, Fraction was pretty alright and the sudden need to destroy the family again just seems like a huge step back and the writing felt so tiresome and boring. I may revisit this run once it's done but, I don't see it going past issue 14.

On the other hand I finally started Superior Foes and it's a pretty enjoyable book so you got that going for you.
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Re: Fantastic Four #1 (Spoilers)

Postby Punchy » Sat Mar 01, 2014 3:03 pm

guitarsmashley wrote:
Both, this book was totally garbage after the art. Hickman was so good, Fraction was pretty alright and the sudden need to destroy the family again just seems like a huge step back and the writing felt so tiresome and boring. I may revisit this run once it's done but, I don't see it going past issue 14.

On the other hand I finally started Superior Foes and it's a pretty enjoyable book so you got that going for you.


It's not a puff piece, it's my genuine opinion.

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Re: Fantastic Four #1 (Spoilers)

Postby chap22 » Sat Mar 01, 2014 4:12 pm

Punchy wrote:
It's not a puff piece, it's my genuine opinion.

as a Marvel shill.
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rdrsfn82 wrote:Chap is right.

john lewis wrote:I got nothing but respect for [Chap]

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Ntikrst wrote:Chap's right

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Re: Fantastic Four #1 (Spoilers)

Postby Punchy » Sat Mar 01, 2014 4:14 pm

chap22 wrote:as a Marvel shill.


But according to The Bass I'm anti-Marvel.

I don't know what I am anymore.

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Re: Fantastic Four #1 (Spoilers)

Postby chap22 » Sat Mar 01, 2014 4:33 pm

Punchy wrote:
But according to The Bass I'm anti-Marvel.

I don't know what I am anymore.

What you've always been: a stooge. :P

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Re: Fantastic Four #1 (Spoilers)

Postby Punchy » Sat Mar 01, 2014 5:10 pm

chap22 wrote:What you've always been: a stooge. :P


Wotta revoltin' development.

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