Rating: 4.5/5- The FF are back in blue and stronger than ever!
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Gabe Bustamantez.
The Fantastic Four have always been the cornerstone of the Marvel Universe. They were the first comic book to usher in the Silver Age of Marvel Comics and they established the Marvel shared universe, where all the Marvel characters lived in the same world and could have adventures together. They’re known as “Marvel’s first family”. Over the years, like any family, the Fantastic Four have gone through many struggles and crises only to emerge as a stronger family and and a stronger team. Not that my family has had to deal with world a domination scheme from Dr. Doom, or have ever been lost in time before, but I would like to think if we did we would be stronger because of the experience. That’s what this new series of the Fantastic Four has been about, a family being broken apart by uncontrollable situations and then coming back together to tackle their problems as a team.
James Robinson has spent a lot of time and issues putting together a Fantastic Four story that is both intriguing and touches on long time Fantastic Four lore. Each member of the Fantastic Four have suffered a heavy blow that has affected them deeply and emotionally. The foundation of the team has been broken and each member of the team is forced to deal with their problems alone and without the aid of the rest of the team/family. What the current story arc of Fantastic Four has slowly been doing is reforming the Fantastic Four after being torn apart by a mysterious mastermind. Issue 13 puts one of the final pieces of the team back in place and sets the stage for a big scale attack. This issue hits hard with the action scenes and features a hefty amount of guest stars that showcases how deeply ingrained the FF are to the rest of the Marvel Universe.
Robinson has really dug his fingers deep in the world of the Fantastic Four mythos during his run on the book. Every issue has made some type of reference to previous Fantastic Four stories, and he’s made the Heroes Reborn universe interesting again. Robinson and Kirk make me want to go back to my comic boxes and reread all the Heroes Reborn era issues again and see if I can figure out any clues to this story. That’s something I haven’t wanted to do in a long time. As a long time Fantastic Four reader I’ve been very impressed with his treatment of the team. Robinson has a strong grasp of everyone’s personality and what makes them who they are deep inside. With that information, Robinson has been able to effect each member with something that has been more emotionally scarring. Artist Leonard Kirk has really come around with his rendering of the Fantastic Four members and has been able to put his own visual spin on the characters, which is really hard to accomplish without upsetting FF purists. You can see some influences from previous great Fantastic Four artists in Kirk’s work. His style is very similar to Stuart Immonen’s simple yet energetic art style, and I see a lot of of the late great Mike Wieringo in Kirk’s Invisible Woman.
With this great and well put together story that Robinson and Kirk have been set up it’s sad to know the series will soon be ending again (but for how long?). Even with an end in sight, it does not take away from the excellent work that FF fans have been getting in the pages of this current series. Even with elements from Original Sin shoe-horned in Robinson has been able to keep his story on track not allowing it to become a mess. All the special guest stars helped to add to the story in delicate ways and were not forced in for the sake of special appearances solely to drive up sales. I think this issue is by far one the best issue of the series so far and one of the best issues of Fantastic Four in a long time. All the set up that’s been building up is finished and the pieces are moving into position as the mysterious main villain has been revealed. Marvel fans could be missing out on something special if they skip this title because there are still unanswered questions. What is the motive behind the villain’s master plan? What is the deal with the Heroes Reborn universe and it’s connection to the Fantastic Four falling apart? My interest level remains high in seeing how Robinson & Kirk close out this volume in the history of the Fantastic Four.
Reviewed by: Gabe Bustamantez
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