Saturday, August 3, 2013

Guest Review - FF #10

Stepping into the Guest Review batting box is my pal James Cassara, who gives us a look at the companion comic to the Fantastic Four: FF.

A comics reading friend of mine (of course most of my best friends are comic readers!) says he is prepared to give up on the Future Foundation, feeling it is “just too weird.”

On the one hand I see where he’s coming from. Weird is an adjective that is frequently attached to many a Mike Allred project, and while he is providing only the art - with regular Fantastic Four scribe Matt Fraction providing scripts - somehow this title seems to be his baby.

There are so many subplots and back stories going on - even though each issue does an excellent job synopsizing the one before it - that a casual reader would have a tough time making heads of tails of this. Johnny Storm an old and seemingly insane man? Dragon Man a reptile-like version of the Family Affair’s Mr. French? There’s also a cross dressing alien named Tong and a bevy of strange characters populating the Baxter Building: it’s all a bit much and I readily admit to being at times confused as to what is what.

But there’s no denying this title is also a lot of fun, and issue 10 is no exception. Alex Power, whose parents are being held captive by Dr. Doom, is exposed as a mole.

Ant-Man continues to try and hold the group together but, fearing his criminal past might return to haunt him, is clearly losing his grip on things.

At times She-Hulk and Darla Deering (who gave up a successful superstar singing career to join the group) seem the only ones in control. They’re two of the strongest female voices in comics, which only add to the pleasures found herein.

This issue also features “guest stars” series editor Tom Brevoort along with Fraction and Allred. It brings to mind the occasional fourth wall appearances of Stan and Jack. And if you have to ask “Stan and Jack who?” you’re reading the wrong column!

Circling back to my friend’s concern I do wonder where all this is going. There’s an awful lot going on - often to the detriment of the main story line - and I don’t get the sense that things are really moving forward.

In that regards FF may just be the comic book equivalent of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks: it often seems weird for weird sake.

But I stuck with Twin Peaks to the bitter end, so, despite my reservations, as long as Fraction and Allred are on board I feel inclined to do the same here.

Still, a bit of normalcy (as normal as any comic about super powered beings can be) would go a long way.

Grade: B



James said...

You need to find smart guest reviewers. Do you owe this guy money?

Chuck said...

Ha! I'm thrilled with my Guest Reviewers - the door is always open and a light is shining in the window. ;-)