The World's Greatest Comic Magazine Relaunches. In a Word: Fantastic!

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Fantastic Four 1 2018

I'll be honest with you, dear readers. I don't read that much Marvel. I love the characters, I've seen all the movies (even the Nicholas Hammond Spider-man films and the Roger Corman Fantastic Four!), I know the origins -- and I used to read a lot more of them, back in the 70s and 80s. But these days, reading the Marvel line seems less like an escape and more like a chore, what with all the Spider-men, X-People, and Avenger teams, all coming from different universes and timelines.

But a number one issue relaunch of a book we haven't seen for a little while, that's enough of an event to convince me to take a peek under the covers and see what's what. Which is how I ended up with one of the many variant covers of FANTASTIC FOUR #1 by Dan Slott and Sara Pichelli.

In a word? It's fantastic!

Reed Richards and Sue Storm -- Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman -- are gone, supposedly for good. Ben Grimm, the ever-lovin' blue-eyed Thing, certainly believes that, as does the rest of the world. But Johnny Storm, the Human Torch, holds out hope. So when he looks up and sees the Fantastic Four flare above the city, it's Flame On! But the reality is only a setup for disappointment, which leads the news cycle that night as others are interviewed about their connections to and memories of the lost team of superheroes.

For his part, Ben Grimm just wants to get on with his life. But he also feels responsible for the prank flare, and out of that we get a lost story of the team, which has a humorous center around Johnny Storm's singing talents as a superpower of their own. The whole vignette had the look and feel of the classic, optimistic era of the FF, and while Ben still believes his friends are gone, he's inspired to do something fantastic himself -- something involving his girlfriend, Alicia Masters, in one of the most romantically rendered scenes in comics in a long time.

But are Reed and Sue really gone for good?

They didn't call the book FANTASTIC TWO for a reason.

And, of course, you can't have a return of the World's Greatest Super Family without a return of someone else. All I can tell you is there's a backup story in this book, and it's set in a little country called...Latveria!

While Dan Slott is definitely bringing his A-game to this title, Sara Pichelli really blew me away with her renditions of the characters. I was especially impressed with her interpretation of The Thing, and how she was able to evoke subtle expression from a face made of rock.

If you haven't picked up this book already, run -- don't walk -- to your local comic shop get yours today.

Grade: 
5.0 / 5.0