Review: Fantastic Four #5

Fantastic Four #5

The wedding that’s been years in the making…Ben and Alicia say “I do!”

No bait. No switch. Not a dream. Not a hoax. And we swear, not a single Skrull around. This is really happening! From the book that brought you the first, best and longest running super hero marriage in comics, we give you…the wedding of Ben Grimm and Alicia Masters!

It’s the 650th issue of the Fantastic Four and it’s a special one as Ben and Alicia get married… and they DO get married. No tricks. No fakeouts. This issue delivers on the promise that quite a few comic failed at this year. And it’s a solid delivery with three stories that capture so much of what makes the Fantastic Four… well, fantastic!

Change Partners” kicks off the issue with art by Michael Allred and color from Laura Allred. The story features an untold tale of courtship between Ben and Alicia and how Sue helped get the two of them together. There’s a lot to unpack here as it also takes on the relationship between Ben and Sue, something that comes and goes as far as importance in the Fantastic Four family. It’s an interesting story that’s a great introduction to how Ben and Alicia got together and the wedding between the two of them is used in a way so it’s not just a flashback story that’s included. It’s cute and fun and the Allred’s style takes what could be a rather messed up story (Sue really meddled a lot) and spin it into something else.

What’s a wedding with a bachelor party? We saw the lady’s night out in the wedding special comic and here the “Guy’s Night Out” is planned by Johnny Storm and goes off the rails as expected. Adam Hughes delivers the art for this and it’s just insanity. But, it’s touching too in so many ways. The story has some great moments also taking us through Ben’s history but also diving into the friendship between him and Johnny and what it means that Johnny is now the only one not married. There’s also a lot of humor and hopefully some of the aspects come up down and are mentioned in other series because there’s no way some of this is being let go.

But, all of that is a warm-up for “4-Minute Warning,” the wedding between Alicia and Ben. Writer Dan Slott, through this entire comic, has had a tough task to deliver. With two failure wedding comics this year, this one had to come through. While it plays it safe in some ways, Slott nails it with a tone that just feels like classic Fantastic Four.

The wedding itself is all about the details. How it ends, the lead up, and all of the little touches to acknowledge Benjamin’s Jewish heritage, Slott gets it right. The story feels joyous and its ending is spot on in everything it needs to do setting up what’s to come and leaving readers with a smile on their faces. Does it go smooth? Of course not! But, the bump screams Fantastic Four.

And it partially screams that due to the art of Aaron Kuder with colorists Marte Gracia and Erick Arcieniega. There’s a lot to pack into this story and a lot to get right and it just feels right. There’s two pages in particular that gave me a Kirby vibe and a wink and nod to his and Stan Lee’s legacy.

As I said, the comic plays it safe in some ways but the heart is here and it’s hard to not enjoy the complete package. The issue is a throwback in some ways delivering a special issue without angst, without negativity, it’s a celebration. It’s something to gush and awe about and just enjoy in something going right (even when it isn’t perfect). And sometimes that’s all a comic needs to be.

Story: Dan Slott
Art: Aaron Kuder, Michael Allred, Adam Hughes
Color: Marte Gracia, Erick Arcieniega, Laura Allred
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Story: 7.95 Art: 7.95 Overall: 7.95 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review