HOME ABOUT SUPPORT US SITES WE LIKE FORUM Search Fanboyplanet.com | Powered by Freefind FANBOY PLANET
Comics Today's Date:

Fantastic Four #60
Inside Out
writer: Mark Waid
artists: Mike Wieringo and Karl Kesel

With this issue, the so-called "World's Greatest Comic Magazine" becomes the "World's Cheapest" one. Yes, this is the fabled 9 cent issue, and Marvel put tongue in cheek to trumpet that fact. Though the low price will bring readers flocking, Marvel seems to have missed the boat.

They also have the week's best comic with this one.

New creative team Waid and Wieringo re-unite to tackle this flagship title, too often lost behind the media glare on Spider-Man and The X-Men. Already they have sparked together to make excellence.

In press releases for the someday-to-happen 20th Century Fox film of Fantastic Four, the studio describes them as a sitcom family. Certainly after reading Grant Morrison's take on them last year, that seemed out of whack. But Waid's story here lends credence to Fox's view, in a way that doesn't compromise the high adventure and wonder that people associate with the best of this series.

Of course, everybody talks about Lee and Kirby's original run on this book, but how many modern fans (not creators) have really read it? This new team echoes the best of the masters' work, in a way that leaves readers wanting more while running to go back and read the original "imaginauts," as Waid calls them. (By the way, we're shameless hucksters. See below to go running…)

The Fantastic Four themselves also get called Imaginauts within the story, a term that fits especially well. As seems to need to happen every few years, Waid clarifies their role in the Marvel Universe, taking a hapless publicity agent on a whirlwind tour through a week in the life of the Fantastic Four. There are hints of great adventures on the edge of their lives, but first and foremost, they explore new worlds and possibilities. Every time a "revitalization" has worked (especially John Byrne's, back in the '80's), it's been under these terms.

Cleverly, the gist of the story is also the truth Waid wants to tell. These characters don't need redefinition for a new age; we just need to be reminded who they are in the first place. Through that publicist, Mr. Shertzer, we get that message loud and clear.

Already, too, Waid drops hints about character directions to come. Ben discovers he's a bit of a street hero. Befitting the current Marvel Howard Stern fixation (name-dropped this issue), Sue is being re-established as a MILF. (If you don't know, don't ask. I won't tell you.) Younger brother Johnny is a more believable younger brother than he has been in some time. And Reed…forgetting the medical spin Morrison suggested last year (possibly suffering from Asperger's Syndrome), Waid has given Reed a slightly tragic edge that suddenly explains a lot, and will clearly motivate much of this (hopefully long) run.

Beyond characterization, Waid has always been one of a handful of writers who is good with little details. A stand-out touch here is a brief description of how Reed and Ben sound when they move. Some raised on Hanna-Barbera may take issue with Waid's interpretation, but it works.

Wieringo matches every move Waid makes. Under the inking of Karl Kesel, this book looks bold and exciting. After seeing all the 'ringo wanna-bes on Impulse and a few other DC titles, it's easy to forget what a superb draftsman the guy is in the first place. This book will only add to an already high reputation.

As for the publicity stunt of selling this book for nine cents, well, it makes a better value than the Ten Cent Adventure DC launched months ago. For nine cents, we get a full-length story, complete in itself. And if it hooks you on the title, you know you're going to get this consistent team doing a bang-up job issue after issue, not launching into four or five titles a month in a sprawling and unwieldy storyline.

Selling at nine cents will get attention, but the more expensive run to follow will certainly keep it.


The Essential Fantastic Four Volume 1

The Essential Fantastic Four Volume 2

The Essential Fantastic Four Volume 3

Marvel Masterworks: The Fantastic Four

Marvel Masterworks:The Fantastic Four #51-60 (Lee & Kirby)

Derek McCaw

Our Friends:

Official PayPal Seal

Copyrights and trademarks for existing entertainment (film, TV, comics, wrestling) properties are held by their respective owners and are used with permission or for promotional purposes of said properties. All other content ™ and © 2001, 2014 by Fanboy Planet™.
"The Fanboy Planet red planet logo is a trademark of Fanboy Planetâ„¢
If you want to quote us, let us know. We're media whores.
Movies | Comics | Wrestling | OnTV | Guest | Forums | About Us | Sites