Tuesday, April 05, 2005

FANTASTIC FOUR #524

Sic transit gloria the Mark Waid era of Fantastic Four.

I missed the first few issues, but was on board for Unthinkable (#497-500) which, along with Authoritative Action, remains my favorite arc. But despite a few (acid) trips to the wacky zone, I give a hearty thumbs-up to the run.

Before and during, Waid spoke of the importance of family to the title and how he wanted to remind folks of how powerful Sue Richards is and I think he accomplished both admirably. Under Waid's guidance, the FF snarked at each other, sacrificed themselves, snapped when things got too much, and saved the world a lot. In the process, the team gained a new respect for each other (and their powers) and reinforced their bonds of affection. Sue came out of this run stronger in presence and power; Johnny's stint as Galactus's herald was revelatory as far as the intelligent, responsible Johnny Storm went; Ben twice had to make the heartbreaking choice to return to the cage that is his body; Reed was ever brilliant, but his inability to stretch his beliefs the way he could his body shattered him and his determination to sacrifice himself -- in the N-Zone, in Latveria, in the subway with Ben -- showed that he hasn't recovered.

This last issue is a wrap-up and a review, summarizing where Waid has traveled on his tenure. Sue showed off her inner strength and Reed, impressed by that show, tried to make amends for the past by damaging his future, but Ben proved both friend and stalwart by not letting him. And Johnny cracked wise. And then they rode off into the sunset (or the microverse). Karl Kesel and then JMS have a high bar to meet.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Smitty said...

*sigh* I took FF off my pull sheet last week because I didn't want to suffer the possible disappointment of JMS not living up to my expectations for Waid. I'd rather have the fond memories than sit around wondering if I should drop the title or not. (And hey, if it turns out good, I can pick it up in trade.)

Smitty

Tue Apr 05, 08:19:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hopefully, JMS will get back to being a good writer again. Amazing has been bad for months now, and I finally dropped it.

-Rob

Thu Apr 07, 12:04:00 PM EDT  

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