Fantastic Four #1
Writer: Dan Slott
Artists: Sara Pichelli, Elisabetta D’Amico
Colorist: Marte Gracia
Letterer: Joe Caramanga
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Review by Greg Brothers
It is always nice when the house of ideas comes up with a new and unique idea. A husband and wife, along with his best friend and the wife’s brother, head out on a mission to space. Unfortunately, there is an accident, and the family is exposed to rays that turns them into something fantastic. Sounds like a good read, right?
Okay seriously now. Fantastic Four #1 picks up where Marvel’s Two in One has been directing us. Since the end of Secret Wars, Reed and Sue Richards, along with their kids, have been lost in space. Since it is the Marvel universe half of the people expect them to return at any point, while the other half assumes they are dead. We get two false returns during Fantastic Four #1, only to get the answer near the end as to where Reed, Sue, and the family are.
From the first page it becomes obvious that Slott has the voice down for both Johnny and Ben. The picture of the team during happier times with the panels of the two talking highlights the attitude that each has right now. Even though they are hanging out with other people, it is obvious that the two of them will always be connected, a point that is driven home quickly. Part of that driving home the idea of family comes in a fun flashback that could have easily been a story truly written in the 1960’s. Throughout, Slott continues to show the contrast of Ben and Johnny and how they are dealing with their possible loss. Several times Slott is able to amp up the emotions and keep you right on the edge of tears, only to replace them with sheer joy to a major change in one-character status quo.
Pichelli’s art has a classic yet modern look. Her command of the facial expressions and body language helps to drive home the emotions that Slott’s dialogue sets up. The art flows from one panel to the other, making it an easy read. One of my biggest complaints sometimes with The Thing is the shade of orange he is, but here he is the right shade: a bright orange, but not neon, with nice deep lines making the skin look like the rock it is supposed to be.
Verdict: Check it out.
If you are a long-time fan of the Fantastic Four, then you don’t have a choice, you need to pick up this book. If you are trying to jump into the Fantastic Four, then you should check out Fantastic Four #1. Just know that throughout the book it is more like a love letter to how important the family is rather than bringing the missing members back right away. It is not a deal breaker for me, but for some the higher cover price might be a turn-off. And while we do not get the return of Sue and Reed, there is the return of a classic character that will leave many long-time fans happy.