There's a lot to like about Black Bolt and FF #7, but if you picked-up the issue looking for Mr. Fantastic, the Invisible Woman, or the Thing you will be sorely disappointed.
Credits & Solicit Info:
FF #7 - "The Supremor Seed"
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Penciler: Greg Tocchini
Colorist: Paul Mounts
Publisher: Marvel Comics
$2.99 for 22pages
FF #7 has nothing to do with the FFF (Former Fantastic Four), and for me, that's okay. With the main plot of FF dealing with more Reeds than a bus load of clarinet players, Jonathan Hickman has shifted readers onto a different route explaining the return of Black Bolt into the Marvel Universe. Often times you will see these "return" stories split off into miniseries which move along with the main titles in which the characters are involved. However, Hickman has chosen to insert the "return" of Black Bolt story into the pages of FF because I assume the information needed is important to what will happen next, in the FF story.
While reading a story which focuses on Black Bolt I couldn't help but think about what an ingenious creation Stan Lee and Jack Kirby devised. The idea of a character who's power was released (projected) only when he speaks makes for amazing moments of suspense. If Black Bolt can destroy a mountain with a just a whisper, he mostly appears without dialog in comic books. So when Black Bolt does say something it becomes an "ah shit" moment. You know things are intense if the leader of the Inhumans speaks.
The best, and most challenging to get right, aspect of Lee's and Kirby's creation is Black Bolt's dialog. Since he doesn't speak often, the words he does say are usually profound or epic in some way. When pushed to explain why his Kree ruling policies have changed, and what is different about Black Bolt now that he has returned, Black Bolt replies with the destructive words, "I am awake!" And earlier in FF #7, when Black Bolt is being grappled by some space tentacles he ever so softly utters, "release me." Simple and to the point phrases keep his dialog on point and compelling. Which made me wonder...
What words will Black Bolt never speak?
- I heart lolz catz.
- What's that FX show Glenn Close is in again?
- I think I'm losing my voice.Team Jacob!
- That's what she said.
Getting back to FF #7, I must mention that the art surprised me...in a good way. I'm not sure if it is for everyone, but Greg Tocchini's pencils and Paul Mounts colors give the issue a wonderfully inhuman feel. The Tucchini ine work is more concentrated on the body positioning of characters as opposed to facial details. I think this style goes well with a non-speaking person like Black Bolt since so much of his character is defined by body language. Also, combined with Tocchini's lovely floating fluff rendering of Medusa's hair, Paul Mounts orange-red color design creates a glowing crown-like representation of Medusa's status as royalty.
The book is beautiful in it's own unique way.
While the issue is well done and entertaining for Black Bolt fans (I assume there are some. I can never really tell in forums because they are so silent...), I imagine many readers are as excited as I am to see the cover for issue #8 (as shown on the last page of FF #7) which implies a return to the main storyline. What do the many FF villains have in store for the evil Reeds, and how will Black Bolt play into the story going forward? Just like every Jonathan Hickman book...I can't wait for the next.
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Review by: Dom G