Wednesday, December 5, 2012

FF #1

I either love Matt Fraction’s work (Iron Man, The Order) or it is a near-miss (Hawkeye, Fear Itself). On the near-misses, the stories are almost right up my alley, with something just a tad off. It’s too soon to tell what the deal will be with this run on the Fantastic Four family of titles, but pairing up with some fantastic artists sure won’t hurt.

There is no real conflict in this opening issue. Well, no physical conflict. The main friction comes from Reed Richards’ awkward attempts to talk Scott Lang into acting as the leader of the FF while Reed is away with his family. Reed has a really hard time vocalizing any supporting feelings, Fraction writes Reed as a guy who is way out of touch with his emotions. I’m used to that, but this is really far gone. Scott Lang has long been a favorite of mine, and I don’t remember him being quite the genius he is in this issue. I thought he stole Pym’s suit, and Pym let him keep it? Am I misremembering?

I love the way the Thing and Invisible Woman approach their replacements. She-Hulk teases Ben in a good-natured way, clearly establishing the affection the two have for each other. Susan Storm approaches the queen of the Inhumans as an equal; these are two matriarchs used to bearing the true weight of leadership in their families. The Human Torch? He’s got to be drunk. He puts absolutely no effort into finding his replacement, and in fact, just hands it off to a random girlfriend. It’s a fun idea, but it really says something about the lack of maturity in the supposedly experienced Torch.

Part of what makes this issue work is the masterful artwork from Mike Allred. The characters have different body sizes and shapes. She-Hulk is not just a big “normal” lady like Susan Storm, she’s an actual female Hulk. Susan Storm’s stunning ascent to Attilan couldn’t look more impressive. Ant-Man’s new gear looks retro and futuristic at the same time. Great work.


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