Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Fantastic Four Annual #33

Some comics have to win you over, and others have my affection before I open the cover.

This Fantastic Four Annual, for example, gets that pre-purchase love from me - for several reasons.

First, it's written and drawn by Alan Davis (with Mark Farmer inking), and he's one of my all-time favorite creators. His art is terrific and his stories are clever and thoughtful.

Second, it's a Fantastic Four Annual - and it has the proper number on it, instead of the usual "Annual - 2007 - #1" designation. Yep, I'm a traditional kinda guy.

Third, it features the sadly-neglected super-team created by Davis, The Clandestine, a family of mystic / mutant / who knows what (but they sure are powerful) - I'll follow them anywhere, especially if Davis is involved.

Fourth, It features Dr. Strange - and I mean the real Doc, with the "real" costume, the Cloak of Levitation, the Eye of Agamotto, and back to being the Master of the Mystic Arts.

Finally, it stars the Thing and the Human Torch, working together in an odd, time-traveling, mystical mind-bending adventure.

It's great fun, though it's surprisingly dark and a bit twisty - but it's a meaty bit of work, and readers will have to pay attention of face the prospect of getting lost. Very entertaining and well worth the effort.

I have a couple of minor quibbles. Since it's an Annual, it would have been nice to have a few extra features in there - some pin-ups, a "behind the scenes" feature - maybe "How Alan and Mark Created This Issue/"

But that's just me being grouchy. The good news is, this is the first chapter of a three-issue crossover into next month's Daredevil and Wolverine Annuals - all written and drawn by Davis.

I can only hope they also include the Clandestine!

Grade: A-


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