Sunday, August 9, 2015

Why Fantastic Four?

Ostensibly because there's a movie out.  I guess?

It's weird (and a pretty decent problem to have), but it's been a good long while since a superhero movie has come out to pretty much universal disinterest.  Reviews seem to be lukewarm at best, downright harsh at worst.  Admittedly, I haven't seen the movie and I'm not really intending on checking it out.  It just looks to be all kinds of meh, you know?

So let's forget the movie for a second.

We're running Fantastic Four because, as corny as it may sound, they are Marvel's First Family.

And when so many comics are focused on explosions and cosmic rays (which, don't get me wrong, are admirable goals), it's refreshing to have characters who focus on that idea of family.  The ones who support you, who bug the hell out of you, who will always be there for you, and who you love more than you can fathom.  And the aspect that I dig more and more as I get older is that the Fantastic Four is about the family you're born into and the one you make for yourself.

Johnny and Sue are siblings.  Reed and Ben are childhood friends.  Sue and Reed are married and devoted parents.  Johnny and Ben are major broheims.

What's not the love?

You can also get into their storied history as some of Marvel's earliest superhero characters, their allegorical representation of earth, wind, fire, and water, or their plethora of supporting characters - and those are all excellent reasons - but I think it's the focus on relationships and their incredible importance that makes the Fantastic Four special.

That and the explosions and cosmic rays.


1 comment:

  1. So, I just finished reading Mark Waid and Mike Wieringo's run on FF on Marvel Unlimited, and at the same time, I've been re-reading Planetary, so this is kind of a weird chimera. With a little bit of 1930s noir. I don't know--I just went with it.

    Six panels by Dave Press.


    1.1: A trench coat fills a doorframe.

    CAP: They say murder works in THREES.

    1.2: A box of a man now stands in the barely illuminated hallway. His face is craggly like a mudslide—scared, burned, and has probably been in his share of bar fights.

    CAP: You would never think it would be family.

    1.3: A young PATROL OFFICER with shiny green eyes turns towards the left, looking just past the reader. He’s wearing an old NYC patrol officer uniform, from the 1930s.

    OFFICER: Detective Grimm!
    OFFICER [CONT’D]: TRIPLE HOMICIDE, first in this neighborhood.

    1.4: Close on GRIMM’S FACE, he’s chewing on toothpick.

    OFFICER [O.P]: Do you know who they are?
    GRIMM: Yep.

    1.5: Grimm’s finger points at the enclosed lab space. Inside the domed metal and glass lab is a CHARRED body, a blonde WOMAN in a jumpsuit on the floor—clutching her throat, and an OBLITERATED body sitting in a charred chair in front of a bank of devices.

    GRIMM: Those are the STORMS.
    GRIMM: And that half-human is REED RICHARDS. I grew up with them. Down on Yancey.

    1.6: Ben Grimm turns away from the lab, touching his scared face, remembering something. The Young Pup Officer looks after him.

    OFFICER: Apparently he tried some kind of elemental experiment on ‘em.
    OFFICER [2]: She ASPHYXIATED on Carbon Monoxide; he burst into flame, and Richards was electrocuted.
    GRIMM: He finally stretched himself to his limits.



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