By: James Robinson (Writer), Leonard Kirk (Artist), Karl Kesel (Inker), Jesus Aburtov (Colors), VC’s Clayton Cowles (Letterer), John Romita Jr., Tom Palmer, Dean White (Cover Artists)
If a Human Torch is de-powered and no one is really bothered, does it make a sound?
Well, OK. That was… dense. By that, I mean there was a lot going on in this issue. But by that, I mean there was a lot of expository dialogue, usually between pairs of characters, and usually which served either to talk about things that have already happened or things that might happen later. So I have another riddle in addition to my one-sentence summary above– If everything is subplot, do you even have a story?
All the scenes in this issue are in essence the same– characters explain themselves to other characters in order to tick off a plot point. Valeria has left with Doom. Sue visits an underwater refuge with the FF school and Namor looks sad. The Puppet Master looks like he’s ready to start another plot he tried before in the 1960s. The Frightful Four show up, except that it’s pretty much the Wrecking Crew, here to cause some property damage.
The main through-line is the follow-up from last issue, and Reed explains that Johnny burned out his powers. However, to summarize Johnny’s response: “Oh. That sucks. Well, see ya later,” which allows him to continue through the issue like another subplot.
I’ll give credit that Robinson is expressly aiming for a new take on one of Reed’s classic dilemmas: how can a man that’s so smart not be able to solve the problem of his best friend trapped in the form of The Thing? Whereas the Thing cannot be de-powered, Johnny may not be able to be re-powered. What’s next? The exciting tale of “This Man– This Mortal?”
I hold hope that we are on track for an interesting character arc, if Robinson truly manages to invert the formula with this story while keeping all the heavy-handed, and frankly, more interesting angst of its predecessor. There are some hints towards this direction, but so far, there don’t seem to be any great impact on the characters or opportunities to build supon the FF mythos in general or, more largely, to explore what it means to be a hero.
Filed under: Marvel Comics | Tagged: Fantastic Four, FF, Human Torch, Invisible Woman, Johnny Storm, Marvel, Marvel Comics, Mr. Fantastic, Namor, Reed Richards, review, Sue Storm, Thing | Leave a comment »