Showing posts with label Ultimate Fantastic Four. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ultimate Fantastic Four. Show all posts

Thursday, August 5, 2004

Ultimate Fantastic Four #9 - A Review

Written by: Warren Ellis
Penciled by: Stuart Immonen
Inked by: Wade Von Grawbadger
Colored by: Dave Stewart
Lettered by: Chris Eliopoulos
Editor: Ralph Macchio
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Warren Ellis is famous for his outspoken views. Among these - and I am paraphrasing because there is no way I could ever get away with quoting the full passage from his manifesto in a family publication like this -is that superhero comics are a fungus, smothering the non-superhero comics in the industry. Well, I can’t speak for every superhero book on the market but judging by the way Mr. Ellis writes a superhero book, he’s spot on about some books sucking the life out of the genre.

Ellis took over this title two issues ago and is taking over Iron Man in a few months, despite announcement of an apparently premature retirement from comic book writing. Perhaps he realized that while there is a good deal of prestige in complaining about how horrible things are to an army of drooling sycophants on your blog, there is very little money in it. Or maybe this is all part of some cunning plan to bring The House of Ideas collapsing down like The House of Usher?

Either way, unless he is purposely trying to write some crude parody of the Fantastic Four as a joke, this book is as empty and pointless as the books Ellis has built a career on scorning. Signs of the old master who wrote Transmetroplitan are still here, such as the techno-babble Reed Richards effortlessly rattles off or the scene some issues before where the exact sciences governing the insides of a man who can stretch every cell of his body are discussed. And then we get the clumsy and disgustingly childish moments, such as a discussion about how Ben Grimm goes to the bathroom. Sadly for Brodie Bruce, we do not get an answer on if The Thing still has a thing.

At least the art is nice, with Immonen and Von Grawbadger doing the Fantastic Four justice visually. The various effects of super powers are well displayed and the image of thousands of robotic metal insects actually DOES look like thousands of insects instead of just a bunch of dots. Still, their work does seem like putting a fresh coat of paint on a car on cinderblocks: it looks nice, but it still doesn’t run.

Thursday, April 1, 2004

Ultimate Fantastic Four #4 - A Review

Written by: Brian Michael Bendis & Mark Millar
Penciled by: Adam Kubert
Inked by: John Dell
Colored by: Dave Stewart
Lettered by: Chris Eliopoulos
Editor: Ralph Macchio
Publisher: Marvel Comics

There’s an old Fantastic Four comic from the Lee and Kirby days. I forget the issue number, but I remember the moment. The Mole Man has the entire team at his mercy in his underground city and says something to the effect of “But before I kill you, let me explain my brilliant plan to take over the world!”

This issue has much the same feel as that classic moment, being devoted for the most part toward The Mole Man (or is that the Mold Man now- his minions havening been grown in a lab) explaining his plans for revenge on those who mocked him to a captive Sue Storm. Sue is quite safe from death, though. Of course, death may be preferable to eternal confinement in a lost underground city where your only companions are a group of leg-humping mold-midgets and a fat man whose proclaimed paternal affection for you seems to be more romantic than anything else.This moment epitomizes the book and how Bendis and Millar are taking the classic moments of the good ol’ days of the last 40 years of Fanastic Four and slowly reenacting them while adding a few modern touches… like leg-humping mold men.

In all seriousness, we do get to see some “famous firsts” here including the first time Reed has to wrap himself around an angry Ben Grimm, the first time Johnny says “Flame on!” to get his powers to work and the first time Sue Storm is taken hostage and is unable to do anything but gape in horror…

Well, that’s more like the “bad old” days of Lee and Kirby. Still, at least Sue isn’t thinking about how she should get her hair done and at least maintains enough presence to question her captor. I’m just worried that she is going to be stuck in the classic “damsel in distress” role and will not progress out of the quite justifiable panic that she is in now. Still, time will tell.

While the story is a bit on the slow side, you would never know it from the art. Adam Kubert is one of the best in this business and manages to portray the sheer epic scale of an underground city or a stone giant with an excitement worthy of the long history of the Fantastic Four.