Review: Fantastic Four Annual #32

Posted by inferiorego (26875 posts) - - Show Bio
In this very special Fantastic Four Annual, Johnny Storm gets a woman pregnant, the team experiences the movie Innerspace, and the daughter of a famous villain attacks... and terminating a pregnancy... yeah.
 

The Good

I actually was really enjoying this book (even though the art was nothing that great) up until Psycho-Woman was introduced into the story. I thought, "Hey! This is turning out to be a decent peace about family and choices, even though I feel like I'm being hit over the head with the message." Again, then Psycho-Woman was introduced.
 

The Bad

Annuals: Throwaway yearly issues written and drawn by two random people who are not on the monthly book. To be fair, I've never really liked the Fantastic Four for the reasons which are extremely prevalent in this issue. First problem, dialogue-wise everyone is always trying to one-up each other. I know, they're all so clever, but the constant bickering is annoying. I can't stand Reed Richards. He's an emotionless robot. I'm tired of seeing Ben Grimm as the tough guy with the emotional side. Every issue feels the same, character wise. The biggest problem I had is that everyone's faces are all distorted in this issue. I did not like the art one bit.
 

The Verdict 1/5

Not all Annual books are bad. Recently, Iron Man's was very good, Superman Batman usually has great annuals, and Batman Annual 25 was better than the regular book. But overall, annuals tend to be not worth the money or effort, and to me, this issue is a perfect example of this. Am I being a little too harsh on this book? Maybe, but it really urks me to see a comic go for $5 that isn't anything special. Why should you be paying $5 for a comic that has no effect on the F4 universe and will never be mentioned in any book again? Maybe you'll see Psycho-Woman in a book again, but do you really want to? 
#1 Posted by ComicMan24 (147095 posts) - - Show Bio

Was it really so weird?

#2 Posted by CaptainCockblock (3672 posts) - - Show Bio

Fantastic Four really has been on a downward slope lately.

#3 Posted by inferiorego (26875 posts) - - Show Bio
@ComicMan24 said:
" Was it really so weird? "
It was weird because it was so low quality for a $5 book
#4 Posted by ComicMan24 (147095 posts) - - Show Bio
@inferiorego said:
" @ComicMan24 said:
" Was it really so weird? "
It was weird because it was so low quality for a $5 book "

$5? Rip-off if you ask me.
#5 Posted by inferiorego (26875 posts) - - Show Bio
@ComicMan24 said:
" @inferiorego said:
" @ComicMan24 said:
" Was it really so weird? "
It was weird because it was so low quality for a $5 book "
$5? Rip-off if you ask me. "
Indeed
#6 Posted by DH69 (4258 posts) - - Show Bio

yeah fantastic four has been pretty bad the past 7 issues, hopefully "The 3" arc will pick things up

#7 Posted by BKole (503 posts) - - Show Bio

I've actually enjoyed the Fantastic Four under Hickman for the first time in Years. McDuffie's wasn't bad, but Millar drove the series into the ground with that hyper-realism thing he does. Which isn't bad in the Ultimate Universe. I actually really like it, but everyone became cocky and arrogant and very annoying. 
 
I love the way Hickman writes Reed. He's a proper Science Badass. it's really clear that Reed is Hickman's "Main Character" and everyone else is playing Support. Good, because normally it's Ben and Sue and occasionally Johnny, and they're all in their personal arcs, and Reed is just there to be the Science Man. 
 
No more under Hickman. Reed is the focus, the locus of the FF, and that's Good. he has personality, he has guts and he uses that intelligence in forward thinking and speech as well as creating Deux Ex Machina guns. It's not like other books, and that for me, is why it's enjoyable. I'll get this Annual and see how bad it actually is.

#8 Posted by ComicMan24 (147095 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't know why but I always felt that the Fanastic Four were a bit disconnected with the rest of the Marvel Universe.
#9 Posted by inferiorego (26875 posts) - - Show Bio
@ComicMan24 said:
" I don't know why but I always felt that the Fanastic Four were a bit disconnected with the rest of the Marvel Universe. "
I completely agree with you, but I feel the same about the Avengers teams and the X-Teams.
#10 Posted by Joe Venom (1275 posts) - - Show Bio

Aww, that sucks I was hoping that this would help get the F4 out of their current slump its almost like they are struggeling to find themselves in the current MU.

#11 Posted by ComicMan24 (147095 posts) - - Show Bio
@inferiorego said:
" @ComicMan24 said:
" I don't know why but I always felt that the Fanastic Four were a bit disconnected with the rest of the Marvel Universe. "
I completely agree with you, but I feel the same about the Avengers teams and the X-Teams. "

I can't say about the Avengers but I do agree about the X-Teams.
#12 Posted by brendon277 (513 posts) - - Show Bio

Like the regular Fantastic Four issues have been really just boring nothing that great i'm just waiting for the thing the future Franklin mentioned about the future must be avoided to come up so things can get exciting

#13 Edited by cbishop (8732 posts) - - Show Bio

First: annuals - if the current trend is indeed to put some random artist and writer on it, that aren't doing the regular book, then that's a poor use of the annual.  Personally, I used to like it when the annual was the yearly climax to whatever story was going just then.  Like New Teen Titans Annual #1 - "WAR!" - the culmination of their experience with the Gordanians, Blackfire, and  (if I remember right) the Omega Men.  That was awesome!  Or the way NTT Annual #2 introduced the Adrian Chase Vigilante, *and* a handful of assassins that were contracted through the Monitor - a nice, intriguing lead-in to Crisis, and a wrap-up to the Anthony Scarapelli story.
 
However, somewhere along the way, someone (and I suck lemons at remembering who and/or quoting the source, so deal with it - the day I start gettin' paid for it, I'll do my research) said, "Why do I need an annual for the climax to the story?  If I'm just going to continue the story, why not do it in a regular issue?"  And that's not an awful question, so okay, let's change formats.  Marvel, in particular, went to what I call the "shared story" format - storylines like "Atlantis Attacks," that ran through 4 to 6 of the company's annuals.  Not a bad tactic for getting you to check out other books. 
 
Then came the event stuff.  Probably the most blatant annual event was 1993's new character annuals, from both Marvel and DC.  Marvel just had individual annuals that introduced a character and came with a trading card for that character.  DC made it a storyline event with "Bloodlines," and didn't include cards.  After the new character stuff, thematic annuals seemed to rule the day, with themes like "Pulp Heroes," "Elseworlds" and "Legends of the Dead Earth."  Personally, I love that kind of thing, but it gets old after awhile, just like collecting some 35 issues for any one event. 
 
Considering the extra price, the annual should be something special.  Rather than putting some unknowns on the book, that you haven't been on the journey with the whole time, the annual should be a "thank you for sticking with us," from the regular writer and artist - an extra effort to show you that they appreciate the fans.  To me, having some other team do it just says that they wanted to put out one more book, so they could get five more bucks out of my wallet.  Forget that. 
 
I like an annual that climaxes the current story, even if that is something that could have been done in a regular issue.  However, I like for that climax to be backed up with one or two solo stories (I'm thinking of a team book here) that tells us a little more about certain members or maybe even an enemy - maybe even something that's setting up the next story.  And maybe a Who's Who (oops, showing my age!  I meant Secret Files)/ Official Handbook page or three, in the back.  That's a sweet annual. 
 
(Crud, I hate it that I can't start a new thought in a new comment window... grr - makes my rants all extra long) 
 
So, second, there's the disconnected feeling everyone was talking about.  In a weird way, Marvel's fostered that.  Going back to Onslaught, when reality got flipped, the X-Teams were in one universe, and everyone else was in the other, with the Hulk stuck inbetween (or rather, a personality in each universe).  [Come to think of it, that may go back as far as Secret Wars - were there any X-Men on the Battleworld? Hm...]  Anyway, point is: Age of Apocalypse was an X-story, and Heroes Reborn was for the rest of 'em.  Avengers were all up into Civil War and Secret Invasion, with two and three books (or more - I didn't really count - Avengers, New, Mighty, Dark, Non-Fat, etc.).  Fantastic Four always seems to get their own event-related mini-series, so that we see what they're up to while all this stuff is going on, but it never seems to me that they're directly involved.  Color me surprised that Reed Richards was directly involved with rocketing the Hulk into space.  It's like they've found some awkward way to give them all their own space, yet still have year-long, company-wide events. 
 
And I'll try not to say "all up into" or "color me [anything]," ever again.

#14 Posted by Dro (941 posts) - - Show Bio

Some annuals do tie into the main storyline. The ASM annual that came out during Secret Invasion (was it really 2008?) actually directly impacted the regular comic. But even since I first started reading comics, I've sort of known that most annuals don't actually continue the main story. Which is kind of too bad, because then I don't really have any reason to pick them up.

#15 Posted by TheShadow99 (2 posts) - - Show Bio

What ruined your review for me was when you said " Batman Annual 25 was better than the regular book". 
 
I own 35,000 books (not counting reprints), owned a comic store and have been collecting for almost 30 years and Batman annual 25 was the single worst comic I've read.  Ever.  
 

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