Thursday, February 27, 2014

Fantastic Four #1

  Another month, another Fantastic Four #1.

   Following a terrific run by writer Jonathan Hickman and a run by Matt Fraction that was sometimes wonderful, sometimes not, we now turn Marvel's First Family over to writer James Robinson, whose career of late has been a bit of a mixed bag.

   But as his work on DC"s Starman demonstrated, when he connects with a series, he's capable of outstanding work.

   So I approached this series with some trepidation - and after reading the first issue, I'm still not sure which Robinson is at work here. 

   There are good moments in this issue, as we see the team taking on one of my favorite monsters, Fin Fang Foom, and settling into some "back to the basics" routines - Reed and Sue back to their loving ways, Ben seeking to renew an old relationship, and Johnny is back to his partying ways - even the FF kids are part of the mix.

   But things are not going to stay calm for long, and the foreshadowing promises dark days ahead for the team. 

   I'm not a fan of dark and gloomy, but I'm certainly interested enough to hang around and see what happens next.

   I like the art by Leonard Kirk and Karl Kesel - it's fresh and energetic, with a classic approach. 

   There are a few things I'm not crazy about. I hate the new logo on the cover - it's trying too hard to be clever. I'm not thrilled with the latest redesign of the costumes - the red will take some getting used to (but at least there are no short-sleeved shirts). And I worry that the creative team is trying too hard to get the team back to its original status - some growth can be a good thing.

   On the other hand, the team members all "feel" correct - in character and back to being a family again. We'll have to see if the comic can once again earn the classic tagline, "The World's Greatest Comic Magazine!"

   Here's hoping!

Grade: A-


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