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Royal Reviews: Fantastic Four #579

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Royal Reviews: Fantastic Four #579

Postby LOLtron » Sat Jun 05, 2010 11:26 pm

ImageRoyal Nonesuch takes a look at Fantastic Four #579, published by Marvel Comics!

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Credits & Solicit Info:
FANTASTIC FOUR #579
Written by JONATHAN HICKMAN
Penciled by NEIL EDWARDS
Cover by ALAN DAVIS
Heroic Age Variant by GEOF DARROW
THE HEROIC AGE IS HERE!
Faced with the death of imagination and growing pandemic of tomorrow fear, Reed Richards takes the future of discovery into his own hands. Think the world is a bad place, everything is going to hell, and the end times are surely around the corner? Try reading the World's Greatest Comic Magazine.
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99
In Stores: May 26, 2010


Review:
We hear all the time that The Fantastic Four are a family rather than a supergroup, but Reed Richards is the de facto leader of the team. Thus, it stands to reason that the overall direction of the book often follows whatever cloud Reed has his head in. That is usually what makes FANTASTIC FOUR so interesting. Case in point: issue #579, wherein Reed Richards declares that future planning ought to be left to the younger geniuses. Frankly, the modern day intelligentsia has gotten too panicky and keep talking about contraction when they should be wanting to expand. Overpopulation shouldn't concern us so much if we were to make the galaxy our residence, rather than just this one planet.

It's an exciting time for FANTASTIC FOUR, as it sees writer Jonathan Hickman tackle the same conceit that Matt Fraction currently is over in INVINCIBLE IRON MAN, and Grant Morrison did with NEW X-MEN, namely pushing the title's concept to an extreme but logical degree. Ideally, this would create an exciting new status quo, but this being one of the Big-2 comic book publishers, everything will indeed snap back into place. That's another conversation altogether, though. For now, we'll focus on Reed Richards and his new plan to tutor the next generation of thinkers. All the while, Hickman gives us some glimpses into a possible dystopian future (is there any other kind?) relating to Nu-World and the warning from a future Franklin Richards about the possibility of a conflict arising from four different cities on Earth.

Penciller Neil Edwards has a kind of Bryan Hitch quality to his figure work. His storytelling is dynamic enough, but there is a sequence where Franklin Richards spars with Artie and Leech that's a bit hard to follow. He does good work with framing and panel layout. The art flows well and for the most part, illustrates the script well enough.

It's always fun to see Reed Richards: aloof explorer and problem-solver. Still, this is FANTASTIC FOUR, and the biggest trick is to not make the other three into a supporting cast. This is a pitfall that so many FANTASTIC FOUR writers fall into. Ben and Johnny are on the sidelines for a kid-fight, and Sue Richards appears on all of one page, set far away from the rest of the family. There are only four characters to work with, but Reed is such a big personality that he tends to take over the book a lot. All the same, this is a compelling vision of The Fantastic Four, and it will be interesting to see where they go from here.
Last edited by LOLtron on Tue Aug 31, 2010 6:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Benderbrau » Sat Jun 05, 2010 11:26 pm

I didn't get it at all. Reed's at a conference. Then it's next week and he's talking to Alex who I assume is Alex Power from Power Pack based on the reference of the ship Friday. Although they never mention his last name or mentions anything that indicates who he is to new readers and shit like that is always good for new readers of course. Then Reed talks about how good SAT scores won't help Alex get drunk or laid which is really creepy coming from Reed. Then we're in Old Atlantis with Sue talking to the King about something but we're not told what. Then we're back at the Baxter Building seeing a scene with the Mole people. Then we're shown a scene from Nu-World (whatever the fuck that is) +17 years. Then we're shown a scene from Nu-World (still don't know what the fuck that is) +105 years. Then we're shown a scene from Nu-World (still don't know what the fuck that is or why I should care) +197 years. Then we're shown a scene from Nu-World (same problem. yawn) +221 years. Then we're shown a scene from Nu-World (so bored now) +326 years. Then we're back in the Baxter Building in present day and Franklin is practicing karate and Leech is a ninja that can show glowy schematics of things around him or disables them. I can't tell which. I think sometimes artists think their drawings are clearer then they really are. Then Reed goes and talks to the Wizard in prison and says he's going to raise the Wizard's clone to be a better person. Wait. What? Who?
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Postby Royal Nonesuch » Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:05 am

Benderbrau wrote:I didn't get it at all. Reed's at a conference. Then it's next week and he's talking to Alex who I assume is Alex Power from Power Pack based on the reference of the ship Friday. Although they never mention his last name or mentions anything that indicates who he is to new readers and shit like that is always good for new readers of course. Then Reed talks about how good SAT scores won't help Alex get drunk or laid which is really creepy coming from Reed. Then we're in Old Atlantis with Sue talking to the King about something but we're not told what. Then we're back at the Baxter Building seeing a scene with the Mole people. Then we're shown a scene from Nu-World (whatever the fuck that is) +17 years. Then we're shown a scene from Nu-World (still don't know what the fuck that is) +105 years. Then we're shown a scene from Nu-World (still don't know what the fuck that is or why I should care) +197 years. Then we're shown a scene from Nu-World (same problem. yawn) +221 years. Then we're shown a scene from Nu-World (so bored now) +326 years. Then we're back in the Baxter Building in present day and Franklin is practicing karate and Leech is a ninja that can show glowy schematics of things around him or disables them. I can't tell which. I think sometimes artists think their drawings are clearer then they really are. Then Reed goes and talks to the Wizard in prison and says he's going to raise the Wizard's clone to be a better person. Wait. What? Who?


A lot of what you're not getting (Alex Power, the intelligent Moloid kids, the Wizard's clone) is explained away in the recap page. Franklin is sparring with both Artie and Leech (Artie's the one who can project images). That sequence, as I said in the review, was not as clear as it should have been.

As for Nu-World, it's left over from Millar's run, which I didn't read. I think it's a new planet co-created by Mr. Fantastic in that run as somewhere for humanity to someday move to in order to alleviate the problems of Earth. I think it's still out there somewhere.
The witness said Mr Brown then called out to Ms Hay's adult daughter: "Look at this, I'm tittie-f***ing your mother!".

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Postby avengingtitan » Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:21 am

I'm not really liking Hickmans FF run. A lot of his stories dont seem to end right.
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Postby S.F. Jude Terror » Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:29 am

I've been toying with jumping on this, as I crave something new to read in the Marvel Universe. Is this book friendly to people who haven't read a lot of FF?

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Postby Royal Nonesuch » Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:41 am

Jude Terror wrote:I've been toying with jumping on this, as I crave something new to read in the Marvel Universe. Is this book friendly to people who haven't read a lot of FF?


I haven't read a lot of FF, and I'm doing ok with it.

There are spots where it deals with some run-off from the Millar run, which I did not read, but I can get through it ok.
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Postby thefourthman » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:02 am

Reed's ex girlfriend's husband built Nu-World as a place for the rich to go to escape the mounting problems here. Reed and gang (along with the Fantastic Force - a FF from the future - with Old Man Logan and Banner's kid in the team) stole the planet from them and gave it to refugees from the dystopian future the Force came from.

No, Hickman's issues have not been ending, they have sort of stuttered and I was growing weary until a couple issue ago when he started pulling all these seemingly loose threads together. This was more of the same, if you have not been following at least since Hickman took over, it is not going to be the most coherent comic ever, he is doing an interesting thing with the book. Whether or not it works has yet to be seen, only time will tell.

No, Jude it is not something you can jump in the middle on. If you can go back to the beginning of Hickman's run (or honestly a better place is Millar's run) then it is pretty friendly to new readers as both writers do a good job of showing where the team is at the beginning of their runs. Millar's kind of got boring quick. Hickman is doing some kind of weird experimental storytelling and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't on an individual basis, but the title has seemed to be gaining some momentum finally recently.
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Postby thefourthman » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:06 am

Royal nice review.
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Postby Benderbrau » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:08 am

Jude Terror wrote:I've been toying with jumping on this, as I crave something new to read in the Marvel Universe. Is this book friendly to people who haven't read a lot of FF?

No.
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Postby Benderbrau » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:09 am

avengingtitan wrote:I'm not really liking Hickmans FF run. A lot of his stories dont seem to end right.

Or they end with a page giving a wrap up in the form of some sort of datapad entry. WTF? Artist too lazy to finish drawing the story or something?
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Postby avengingtitan » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:22 am

Benderbrau wrote:Or they end with a page giving a wrap up in the form of some sort of datapad entry. WTF? Artist too lazy to finish drawing the story or something?
Exactly. It seems like its about to have a cliffhanger, which is expectable, and then there's a datapad entry. Its very confusing and I dont like it.
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Postby S.F. Jude Terror » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:26 am

thefourthman wrote:Reed's ex girlfriend's husband built Nu-World as a place for the rich to go to escape the mounting problems here. Reed and gang (along with the Fantastic Force - a FF from the future - with Old Man Logan and Banner's kid in the team) stole the planet from them and gave it to refugees from the dystopian future the Force came from.

No, Hickman's issues have not been ending, they have sort of stuttered and I was growing weary until a couple issue ago when he started pulling all these seemingly loose threads together. This was more of the same, if you have not been following at least since Hickman took over, it is not going to be the most coherent comic ever, he is doing an interesting thing with the book. Whether or not it works has yet to be seen, only time will tell.

No, Jude it is not something you can jump in the middle on. If you can go back to the beginning of Hickman's run (or honestly a better place is Millar's run) then it is pretty friendly to new readers as both writers do a good job of showing where the team is at the beginning of their runs. Millar's kind of got boring quick. Hickman is doing some kind of weird experimental storytelling and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't on an individual basis, but the title has seemed to be gaining some momentum finally recently.


You know I would never start in the middle of a run. I would have to go back to the beginning.

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Postby Benderbrau » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:30 am

Jude Terror wrote:You know I would never start in the middle of a run. I would have to go back to the beginning.

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Postby JL_Amato » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:41 am

I really liked this issue.

Hickman's Fantastic Four is obviously a slow burn. I can't wait to see where it's going.
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Postby Victorian Squid » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:45 am

Jude Terror wrote:You know I would never start in the middle of a run. I would have to go back to the beginning.


You pretty much have to read Millar's run to have any idea what's going on here.

I had high expectations for Hickman's FF, but have felt the run is underwhelming to say the least.

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