What the heck. James Robinson has been hiding some core Marvel U comics in plain sight in this comic. Much like his solid work on New Invaders, this is classic Marvel U stuff here. Robinson has plumbed the depths of continuity in the DCU for decades, but he is proving equally adept at doing it in the Marvel U. I mean, this trade has the Sharon Ventura She-Thing, for heaven’s sake. I certainly never thought I’d see that character again! And she actually mentions Unlimited Class Wrestling! Mark Gruenwald would be thrilled!
The poor FF have had a rough go of it over the years. It seems they are constantly being split up, tossed out of their headquarters, and then struggling to get back together. I’m not sure who the evil mastermind is behind all of this yet, but whoever it is, they have good taste in flunkies. The Wizard, the Frightful Four, SHIELD, and even the Avengers all show up to make things miserable for the FF. Of course, Robinson uses this as a chance to show off just how powerful the Invisible Woman really is. How great is it that the character has been portrayed as so frigging powerful for the past few years?
I also really enjoy the mini-crossover Robinson’s got going on. He leverages his work in New Invaders to use the original Human Torch as a supporting character in this title. Jim Hammond has the same quiet dignity and honor in this book as in the Invaders. The Torch is in charge of looking after the Future Foundation kids while SHIELD looks at the FF’s legal standing, and Hammond’s integrity in the role is refreshing. He continually stands up to SHIELD’s bureaucracy and does the right thing. It is good stuff.
I realize I’m skipping over the “original sin” portion of the story, but frankly, that is the least interesting part of this collection. After all these years, seeing that Johnny Storm ruined one of Ben Grimm’s chances at humanity just doesn’t catch my interest anymore!
Marc Laming and Leonard Kirk are amongst the artists on this run, and they do a great job keeping the book looking like classic Marvel. Even with tweaks and updates, everyone’s costumes are immediately recognizable. The Wizard and his new Frightful Four look ready for inclusion in a Marvel Handbook.
It bums me out that sales haven’t been stellar on this run. It really is action in the Mighty Marvel Manner. Unfortunately, since I’m reading this on Marvel Unlimited, I guess I am part of the problem. It is a GOOD comic though!