Review – Fantastic Four – Life Story #1
Writer Mark Russell
Penciler Sean Izaakse
Inker Sean Izaakse
Colourist Nolan Woodard
Letterer Joe Caramagna
Publisher Marvel Comics
Available May 2021
THE ’60S: In the tradition of SPIDER-MAN: LIFE STORY, and in celebration of the Fantastic Four’s 60th Anniversary, comes this series setting the lives of the fabulous foursome in real-time across the years! Amid the Cold War and the Space Race backdrop, a terrible accident gives the Fantastic Four great powers, a terrible secret, and entangles them in the history of their planet.
The backdrop of the 1960s is the perfect medium for the Fantastic Four as their kitschy origin sets the tone for Marvel Comics various titles to follow. The Space Race, the Cuban Crisis and the social and cultural tension in this decade should make a great story. Unfortunately, Russell uses them as stepping stones to a clunky rewriting of the FF (for the umpteenth time) origin.
The setup of Kennedy approaching Richards to win the space race would be great, the problem is then they kind of cram in the other characters in the worst way possible. the launch is cancelled and the spacecraft will be scrapped tomorrow. Reed, phones his girlfriend (Sue) while her annoying teen brother Johnnie listens in. They need a pilot and somehow Johnnie knows Ben.. blah.. blah…blah
In space a wave of cosmic rays (Jesus it’s 2021.. can they not use Super-String, quarks, dark matter etc..?) reacts with the engines and they all suddenly get powers.
The issue is a mess, the Ultimates version was bonkers, but it knew it was bonkers and leaned in. This is just, terrible.
I hate lazy artists, and in this issue Sean Izaakse makes a cardinal mistake. He has two exactly the same images within three panels of each other (see above.) I know he’s trying to show a depressed Ben Grimm but giving him a facial expression of someone wearing a dog mask is maddening.
Otherwise the art is OK, we skip down memory lane with the team ticking off all the big plots (as montages) but the lazy Galactus artwork in this issue is jarring to say the least.
This is a bit of a mess, a boring mess. The decade skipping is supposed to be fun, here it just seems forced. I hated this whole thing! I’d give it a miss unless you are an FF fanatic.
You’ve read my review of Fantastic Four – Life Story #1, but what do you think?
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