Comic Book Review: Fantastic Four #4
After a strong issue #3 for the Fantastic Four, it looks like now the first family can make a proper journey back home. While reuniting out in space was a big moment for this family, that was only step one in returning to what is considered normal to them. The world has changed in the time that they have been gone. So this is the perfect time to jump into some things that they may either have to adjust to, or set straight from their absence.
For a return to Earth, I am glad that this creative team took their time getting us from point A to point B. If we waited this long, what’s a little longer to make sure that all loose ends were tied up before moving forward? It was heartwarming to see who was ready to go back, who still had a mission out in the stars, and how much these five years have meant for these people being together all that time. The Fantastic Four is a lot of things, but endearing is one of the best qualities to bring out in the storytelling.I don’t think there was a single farewell in those moments that didn’t leave you feeling some way about the chapter that had now come to a close.
I was intrigued by the approach taken to this issue since clearly one of the things that happened while they were gone was the formation of this new team. Just from the cover, The Fantastix looked exactly like the kind of team that would try to see themselves as a replacement for the first family. Everything about their powers and appearance didn’t ignore the fact that they were looking to fill the void. How they were introduced was fun since all of this is apparently happening at the same time that everything else for the Fantastic Four is happening multiverses away. I’ll tell you what, I wasn’t too much of a fan of these new guys. Its one thing to try to make a name for yourself as an upstart. Another thing when you have to steal another team’s gimmick in order to make sure that eyes are on you in some form or another. I don’t know if they meant for us to ultimately care for these characters, but it was almost next to impossible with everything they did that you wouldn’t respect.
When the Fantastic Four finally made it back to Earth, the atmosphere quickly changed once it hit that this replacement team had already gotten comfortable in the status they were building up. You would expect that things wouldn’t go over so well when they are confronted, and you wouldn’t have been disappointed in that regard. I enjoyed the direction things were going when they were thrown out of their element. Te way this was all set up, it was easy to forget what was only being seen on the surface. How they took control of the situation screamed Fantastic Four. I was impressed that we could find this consistency in how they deal with problems in contrast other teams.
The artwork for this issue was standout for the character focus. I would have said that the third issue stood out for the effort that went into capturing the Fantastic Four and extended family in action. That was commendable for the uniformity and quality that came out of a skirmish that could have easily turned out a mess with the wrong art team on deck. This time around the focus pointed towards giving us stronger character moments. It made a big difference to feel engaged by every panel that captured the sincerity of the storytelling. The appreciation these characters have for one another, the love, and admiration for what each of them brings out in the other. Connections matter, and we got that whether it was the way these characters expressed themselves through visual queues, or the way they did this through body language. The only problem I had with the interior work was seeing the Fantastix in action. Whether you cared about them or not, curiosity isn’t something to overlook when you want to see what they are all capable of. We only got an idea of what maybe two could do in contrast to the Fantastic Four.
While I found the plot for this issue questionable at first because of the introduction of the Fantastix, Fantastic Four #4 quickly found a way to serve its purpose for closing one door and opening another. I look forward to what the future holds for this family when they aren’t simply going back to their old life. It’s all new moving forward and that is the breath of fresh air that we all need with their integration back into the Marvel Universe.