FF #17

Review by: Nick Fovargue

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Story by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Nick Dragotta
Colors by Chris Sotomayor
Letters by Clayton Cowles
Cover by Mike Choi, Guru-eFX, & Gerald Parel

Size: 0 pages
Price: 2.99

Jonathan Hickman may just be showing off.

It is known that he will be leaving the FF and the Fantastic Four later this year and since wrapping up his years-long sci-fi, family epic a couple months backs these books have consisted of unique one-shots. Character studies and after maths, vignettes of family and friendship, and here an issue which puts aside action, adventure, sci-fi and super heroics to deliver a straight-up comedy. I have to wonder if Hickman isn’t taking a victory lap as he winds down on the Fantastic Four.

This issue is very much a situational comedy in the tradition of the Odd Couple … with horse people and inter-dimensional travel. The writing is sharp, witty and hilarious. Hickman is showing us yet another side to his work.

But more difficult than writing a comedy comic book is drawing a one. Much like he did in the “silent” post-death issue back in Fantastic Four 588, Nick Dragotta gives us a tour-de-force in comic book acting. The storytelling achievement here is so much more impressive than any fight scene or big flashy splash pages would be. Comedy relies on timing and subtext and Dragotta delivers that in his layouts and the expressiveness of his characters.

Like any great issue this one sticks the landing with a punch line that you will remember. I have a second theory, maybe these issues aren’t Hickman spiking the ball, so to speak. Maybe he is just amusing himself with what he can pull off and get away with.

Story: 5 - Excellent
Art: 5 - Excellent

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