Fantastic Four Vol 2: Prime Elements
Writing: Jonathan Hickman, Art: Dale Eaglesham, et. al., 2010
Premise: Collects Fantastic Four 570-574, 575-578. Marvel’s First Super-Family stars in all-new adventures. In the first volume, Reed Richards turns his brain to the most intractable problem of all: everything. In the second, the Fantastic Four explore four alien cities, and struggle to make peace between Earth and different civilizations.
The Fantastic Four have been getting short shrift in the public consciousness recently. They’re a little stodgy and a little old-fashioned, and their movies really stunk. Hickman proves here, though, that there’s a lot to love about these characters. Everything that makes them really work is on full display here: their strengths and weaknesses and their rock-solid relationships with each other.
The first plot arc really reminded me what’s amazing about Mr. Fantastic, a guy often relegated to one-panel jokes in other books. The first volume only ran into trouble because the last two issues were done by a different, far inferior, artist. The rest of the art is really solid, which is good, because consistent art is often a problem for Marvel.
The second volume I liked quite a bit as well, although it’s mostly set-up for a larger plot that you can feel looming on the horizon. Each issue is still enjoyable to read on its own, though, so that’s nice.
What else... Sue is great, both badass and motherly, caring but not without her own scars, Johnny and Ben both have moments to shine, and the Richards kids! Oh my gosh I adore them! Valeria is new to me, and she is so. damn. awesome. Franklin’s birthday party happens at the end of the first book, and it’s pretty adorable, too. In case you don’t know, they’re both crazy powerful kids. It’s a great super-family dynamic of the kind that doesn’t get enough exploration in comics these days.
Both strong volumes which only continue my love affair with recent Marvel.
Volume One: 4 Stars - A Very Good Book
Volume Two: 3 Stars - A Good Book