FANTASTIC FOUR #566
What did the
Mark Miller is an incredibly talented writer who seems to always have bad luck with artists. It seems every project he’s on, he’s partnered with a superstar artist who can never seem to get their art out on time. Wheither it be J.G. Jones, Steve McNiven, John Romita Jr., or Bryan Hitch, Miller’s stories always get kind of tainted by these delays. Thankfully, when looked at with hindsight, the Millar/Hitch run of Fantastic Four had probably the most minimal of delays, so those who still buy the monthlies can enjoy the story without the anxiety of delay, which is more than I can say for those who read Wolverine.
This issue marks the start of the final FF arc, and introduces the long teased Masters of Dr. Doom, who in the shadows have been proven to be horrifying killers of entire populations, so the debuts of them as foes was something I’ve been long awating. A majority of this issue is spent with Doom anticipating the coming of these fiends, which the entire time had me on the edge of my seat anticipating them as well. Then on the last few pages they finally appear!…and my heart kind of drops. At first I thought it was the shadows of them, since they looked rather dark and featureless. Then I read on, and realize that this is them in the flesh. I was a bit disappointed, but only because of the fact that they didn’t look than menacing. This has been part of an inherent problem with Bryan Hitch’s art this entire run. It’s not the wide and lively art we have come to expect from Hitch, or from Fantastic Four in general. It’s very dark, has more lines than a Rob Liefeld comic, and has very bland designs. Hitch has shown to be a genius at designs with The Authority and The Ultimates, it’s just odd that he’s traveling the minimalist route with Marvel’s flagship series, which thrives on out-there visuals.
This does very little, however, to detract Mark Millar’s story. Even though the Masters don’t look intimidating, they make up for it with their words. It seems Millar has crafted an imposing foe, and I’m looking forward to the confrontation with the Fantastic Four. He also continues to pay homage to Stan Lee with the non-action scenes, and writes fun scenes with the Four interacting with the public life. Millar hasn’t skipped a beat, I just hope he can finish strong as well.
A continuation of an already great run. I hope with the last few issues, Millar and Hitch can craft an explosive and exciting finale like we all know they’re capable of.
Art: 2 - Average