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Review: Fantastic Four Vol. 1 Fourever

The Fantastic Four are back but before they get back to Earth, they need to save the multiverse! Fantastic Four Vol. 1 Fourever collects issues #1-4 by Dan Slott, Sara Pichelli, Simone Bianchi, Skottie Young, Nico Leon, Stefano Caselli, Marte Gracia, Marco Russo, Jeremy Treece, and Erick Arcieniega.

Get your copy in comic shops now and in book stores on March 19! To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

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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

Review: Avengers #11

Avengers #11

To deal with the fallout from last month’s world-shaking issue #700, the Avengers organize an international super hero summit, gathering heroes from the most powerful nations on Earth. But no one was expecting the shocking new representatives of the United States. The world is about to become a far more dangerous place. Especially for the Avengers. Plus Hulk and Thor try to go on a date.

The last issue was a big one with lots of action and this… is exactly the opposite. Writer Jason Aaron has crafted an issue focused more on the relationships and personal interactions of characters instead of punching.

The issue is broken into four parts. The new Ghost Rider, Robbie Reyes, is given an introduction as to what it means to be an Avenger by Carol Danvers. The second is a date between Thor and She-Hulk, and the third is Black Panther’s idea to find allies to prepare for the future. The fourth is all about Phil Coulson who’s back from the dead and no longer sees the superheroes for the heroes they are.

The bit with Robbie is short but is full of foreshadowing, especially when a villain is name-dropped and the other three are the bulk of the issue. The Thor/She-Hulk date is interesting and full of humor but something isn’t quite clicking about this pairing and it feels like its come out of left field in a way. Still, it brings a bit of levity to an otherwise serious issue.

The Black Panther’s meeting with other regional leaders is the more interesting bit mixing politics and superherodom together in a way that really makes it much more difficult than just going where you want to save the day. There’s geo-political forces at work and Aaron re-enforces that here.

The Coulson bit is all about character development in why he’s now working with the Squadron Supreme in a sanctioned by the U.S. government team. It’s a heal turn and features events that feel very out of character but at the same time something you could imagine when a lever has been flipped. We don’t get answers as to how he’s back but are delivered a rather shocking ending to really sell the turn from the character we’ve liked.

The art by Ed McGuinness and Cory Smith with inks/finishing by Mark Morales, Scott Hanna, and Karl Kesel, color by Erick Arciniega and lettering by Cory Petit is pretty solid. It works well with decent designs and smooth shifts between scenes. None of it is particularly jaw-droppping but it looks good and the characters are solid. There’s a simplicity about it all in a way.

The issue is all about characters removing the flashy action from last issue and delivering a focus on characters and relationships. Last issue was the beginning of the set-up and this one continues that with some intrigue.

Story: Jason Aaron Art: Ed McGuinness, Cory Smith
Ink/Finishers: Mark Morales, Scott Hanna, Karl Kesel
Color: Erick Arciniega Lettering: VC’s Cory Petit
Story: 7.85 Art: 7.65 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review