FANTASTIC FOUR #1
What did the
Art by Mark Bagley & Mark Farmer
Colors by Paul Mounts
Letters by Clayton Cowles
Cover by Mark Bagley, Mark Farmer, Paul Mounts, Dave Johnson, Joe Quesada, Danny Miki, Richard Isanove, & Skottie Young
Size: 0 pages
Matt Fraction has some very large shoes to fill taking over FANTASTIC FOUR from Jonathan Hickman, whose run was characterized by very epic, high concept science fiction action. However, if FANTASTIC FOUR #1 is any indication, I don’t think there is much to worry about. At one point, Fraction outright has Reed Richards state his intention of taking a step away from action and move more towards adventure. It’s a choice that I think will benefit this incarnation of the series, as I’m not entirely sure anyone could top what Hickman did as far as action.
While Fraction moves into trying a different direction with the series, this feels like more of a return to form for Mark Bagley. His work here feels more energetic and polished than it has since the heyday of Ultimate Spider-Man a decade ago. I particularly enjoy his work with emotions, as evidence by his depictions of Reed Richards, which I will avoid delving into further lest I start giving away spoilers.
I’ve mentioned Reed twice and I must again, because if there is any weakness in this issue it may be the plot that Fraction is developing with his character. Though I am hesitant to call it flawed this early in the game, there may be readers who find his characterization a bit off base. However, I am choosing to look at it as him trying to to cause a panic amongst his loved ones, at least until I am proven wrong.
Many may be put off by the idea of this series changing direction ever so slightly, but I have to admit that I really enjoyed this issue. With a new direction and some pretty high stakes to look forward, I will definitely be back for a few more issues and, should this keep up, the long haul.
Art: 4 - Very Good