Sunday, May 10, 2009
Fantastic Four: World's Greatest TPB
I know a lot of people have a problem with Mark Millar's style, but I've always liked his work. His stories are full of pop-culturey references and everyone is too cool for school, but I'm ok with it. Especially when that cool attitude actually works and updates a super-hero institution like the Fantastic Four. Millar is pulling out big ideas here, like Invisible Woman's idea of a super-charity, which makes sense for the character plus lets cool super-celebs like She-Hulk and Wasp hang around the Baxter Building. I also loved how Millar made Mr. Fantastic the focus of the trade. Reed is the least cool member of the team, so seeing him do cool super-heroics and be a huge pimp in his personal life was quite neat. Who else can take his wife on a date in time so that they can witness their first meeting 13 years before? That's a tremendous idea.
The main plot involves the world's elite setting up an artificial Earth now that the original is damaged beyond repairs. This lets Millar bring in Alyssa Moy "Mrs. Fantastic" another neat character that really sings when Millar writes her dialogue. She's over-confident and grating, but only when played against nice-gal Sue. Human Torch gets some nice development when he starts sleeping with a super-villain instead of arresting her, and things go downhill for him from there. The story involves lots of time travel and pseudo-science, big ideas and crazy resolutions. So exactly the type of thing I want from my Fantastic Four comics.
Bryan Hitch is a great artist, but he's also lucky that he works with writers who give him the chance to show what he can do. There are a few panels in here that really knock your socks off (like the reveal of the power source for the Defenders) but he also does a great job on the minor scenes. His design for CAP is neat enough, and I did like how Sue, She-Hulk, and Wasp had different builds.