January 18, 2013

Hickman's Fantastic Four

Usually I try to review a specific graphic novel so that a reader can get a snapshot of one guy's opinion of one particular story.  Not this time.  I am just going to recommend the entirety of Jonothan Hickman's run on the Fantastic Four straight up.  

Hickman's Fantastic Four has to be enjoyed as a whole work in order to be fully appreciated because the story builds on itself over dozens of issues.  The story is set variously in New York, alien worlds, Atlantis and a variety of other distinct and colorful locations.  The bookboasts the best ensemble cast in mainstream comics-Dr. Doom, Spider-Man, Black Bolt and the Inhumans, Namor.  A true nerd will notice that these characters are staples of Kirby and Stan Lee's best work.  Hickman has lovingly utilized these characters

These stories portray the Fantastic Four not as a super-team but as a super-family.  The relationships are just as important as the cosmic adventures they go on.  Mr Fantastic and the Invisible Woman's children play an active part in the story and are well written and believable characters who contribute to the plot and have distinct personalities.  This is rare for super hero stories where children are typically either window dressing or used as a plot device (murder/kidnapping) to spur a hero into a revenge fantasy.  The Thing and the Human Torch have the best bro-mance going in comics.
The most lovable and believable child characters in comics.

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