Sunday, March 13, 2005

ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR #16

And the trip through the N-Zone continues, with some predicted (and some unpredicted) events.

This is another one of those Warren Ellis Gratifying His Inner Geek issues, which is totally the point when you've got two certified scientific geniuses as half of your quartet. We had astronomy, multiverse theory, sociology as it applies to outer space colonies, biochemistry, and the quest for the unknown.

Not to mention the snarking. Ben not only has the biggest fists, but he consistently scores the best lines -- has since the Bendis days.

I will admit to reading this and thinking back to the JLA issue where the team gets shrunk by the Atom to visit the colony in the little boy's tumor; there are a lot of common elements. But while that issue was supposed to resonate with Krypton, what we have here is a little more traditional sci-fi serial, with the thrill of First Contact being cooled by the realization that the new society isn't what it appears to be -- it's actually a lot worse. Sue's going to have to bail everyone out again, methinks.

This remains my favorite Ultimate title, by quite a longshot. The sales haven't been great -- have, in fact, been falling -- and I don't understand why. Warren Ellis is perfect for this book with his love of science and science fiction; he has worked up a Reed Richards and a Sue Storm who are scarily brilliant and whose knowledge doesn't seem fake or forced. Ellis took over for Brian Bendis and I think that may have put people off a bit at the thought of Ellis, a man most comfortable writing mature-label stories, taking on a kid-friendly book. But the simple fact is that Ellis is not writing Transmetropolitan at the Baxter Building; his FF are not preternaturally mature -- they're a universe better than Mark Millar's take on the Ultimate X-Men. Reed and Sue are geniuses, but you've still got three college-age kids and a high-schooler -- and Ellis's dialogue out-Bendises Bendis at times with the laugh-out-loud banter.

The trades:
v1 The Fantastic (Bendis)
v2 Doom (Ellis)
v3 N-Zone is out in July

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Curiousity question, but what did you find unexpected in this issue?

I myself have no knowledge of FF history, so this is all new to me.

Jason (Jrwells at LJ)

Mon Mar 14, 12:24:00 AM EST  

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