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Fantastic Four #3 - First Boots On the Ground Review

5

The Fantastic Four embark on their first adventure in hopes of obtaining a cure.

The Good

The first few issues of this series as well as Fractions new take on FF have been more on the light-hearted side. The story line, up to this point, has been a little bit less complex than the stories we saw in Hickman's run of FF and FANTASTIC FOUR. This issue is where all of that changes. Since Fraction took over this series I have been curious to see whether or not he would be able to pull off a highly analytical Reed Richards in his dialogue, and he's done it. Not only does Fraction capture the complete essence of Reed Richards, but he does so flawlessly. It's not just his interpretation of Reed that is fantastic, either. Fraction captures each of these individual characters incredibly well making this a very entertaining read.

Mark Bagley does an absolutely stunning job bringing these characters to life with his pencils, and it is as if the artist was made to draw the Fantastic Four. I loved the way he captured this alien planet and the alien environment that these characters enter into in this issue. I felt his work here was extremely detailed and very creative. He had some help from awesome artists like inker Mark Farmer and colorist Paul Mounts, too, and these guys together make a fantastic (no pun intended) artistic team.

So far, Reed has managed to keep his cool, as we see here, but something tells me that this won't last that much longer. I also think that this issue serves as a sort of foreshadowing for the reader, and this is sort of emphasized in the issue's final page. In the final scene Sue Storm makes a toast with her team saying "here's to a lovely, quiet year with no more surprises." It is in this scene that we first see the guilt on Reed's face, something that Bagley captured really well.

The Bad

No complaints. Another great FANTASTIC FOUR issue from Matt Fraction.

The Verdict

I am definitely excited about this series, and really looking forward to seeing how everything develops in the coming issues. One think that Fraction does well is he sets up a story with a lot of layers that makes the reader want to continue to read. Beyond the fact that Reed has this life threatening disease, he's also lying to his family. Fraction emphasizes trust and honor, and I think that's really important to see here. If you haven't been reading, this is definitely a great place to pick up the series and start.

7 Comments
Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

The Thing man, the god damn Thing

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Posted by BR_Havoc

I am so happy about this series. Each issue is great and I love that Fraction is basing his book off of what Hickman did before him. I can't be happier!

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Posted by mattydeNero

Out of all the work Fraction has done with Marvel, the five issues in the Fantastic Four universe is my favorite stuff he has put out there. "Frank and Val" are great.

Posted by ccraft

I can't wait for this to come out in trade.

Posted by Reignmaker

It isn't Hawkeye, but it's entertaining. This will likely be on my pull list for a good while.

Posted by xialei

I'm going to get killed here, maybe. But this is just not good. I love Hawkeye and FF. But I think Fraction and the editors at Marvel made a wrong choice in regards to Fantastic Four.

Reed's motivation makes no sense to me. This is a guy who has a history of keeping secrets from this family and EVERY TIME it bites him in the ass. This new secret just feels like a unmerited plot device that will therefore draw out some fake sense of suspense and foreshadowing for issues to come. When everyone inevitably discovers the true reason for their outing, they'll get angry/resentful, but ultimately all come around and forgive Reed and thank him for finding a cure for them. No, just no. It doesn't make me get invested in their adventures. The main appeal of Fantastic Four has always been that they are a family unit. At times dysfunctional, secretive and challenging. Fine. But they're always at their best when they're all on the same page and collectively work together.

What would have been more interesting is if Reed told them what was actually going on and they collectively agree to go with him to discover a cure, with each member have his or her own differing reasons for going. Sue because she wants to keep the family together (maybe thinking this might be their last adventure if they don't succeed) and the kids are along because she really wants to import some life lessons to them. Ben going because he supports Reed, but all the while being resentful for having to once again set aside his own needs for the greater good of his chosen family (and really explore that of them all his the one that truly chooses to be a part of this family). Johnny going because since his death, he now knows how horrifying it is to die alone and if they're going to possibly die, then he's going to make sure none of them experience that loneliness (and of course this turns around into maybe life lesson for Johnny that his bachelor lifestyle is ultimately very lonely). And Reed maybe learning for the last time for all his intelligence, he's never better than when he is supported by his family -- not just surrounded by them -- and that's ultimately going to be what drives him to find a cure.

I'm disappointed here because I don't see character growth. I see reboots and restarts, with admittedly fun dialogue and gorgeous art. But the characters and the story feel stale. Here's hoping the next few issues prove me wrong.

Posted by Baberaham_Lincoln

I like the Direction of this Fantastic Four. I feel happy reading it since it's all family adventure, same with FF and hawkeye. Is Fraction's theme for his marvel books happiness?? cause i'm cool with that. The mighty Thor was ughhhh -_-