NEW: 2019 (January)

January 6, 2019

NEW: 2019

Issue 6: Herald of Doom (***)

Fantastic Four Headquarters is a site that looks back at the history of the comicbook, so a full look at 2018/2019 will be done more with the benefit of hindsight. However, just for fun, a "first day take" of the year's issues will be added.

Issue 6 of The Fantastic Four isn't exactly bad, but there's a growing sense of ennui with the title. However, it's not for jaded readers to move on... new readers wouldn't have a clue what's going on as the book once more reheats its own backstory. So it's a title that gives fanservice to long-term readers only, but would disengage many as it presents something they've already read many times before.

It's hard to calculate exactly how many times Galactus has been to Earth now.... in fact, he's visited Earth so frequently in recent FF issues that it'd be easier to work out when he wasn't in orbit. His first clash with Doctor Doom occurred 25 years ago, which is fairly fresh by the standards of this title. The art is variable... some panels (particularly many of those with Galactus) look great, but others have an unusual "take" on the main foursome. Bonus material in the issue suggests that it was written partially "Marvel Plot", to an extent, with descriptions rather than a full script breakdown given as part of a bonus features section.

This is particularly notable as a vulnerable Sue needs Reed to carry her to safety in parachute form, as if it's the 60s all over again. Yet in the description that Dan Stott gave to Aaron Kuder, he describes Sue as "reeling from the psychic pain of her force field being blasted apart!" While Sue does express pain in the art, it's not made clear that this is the reason she needs help being lowered to the ground.... this could be my own, obtuse and disinterested reading of the issue, but, while readers should never be "spoon fed", the lack of clarity in this scene is a concern.

The dialogue between the regulars is full of post-modern meta referencing, which only serves to remove any sense of real danger, and Johnny's tiresome "sex pest" routine grates, almost as if he thinks that #MeToo was an invitation. It sits badly in 2019, though as it's a comic based around 50-year-old plots, it's no small wonder it seems so far behind the times.

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