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Fantastic Four #2 – Review

After having spent the past few years with Jonathan Hickman on Fantastic Four and FF, we couldn’t have asked for a better replacement than Matt Fraction.  His style is similar enough to Hickman’s that it doesn’t feel too discontinuous, but different enough that it doesn’t feel like more of the same.  He also has the comedic chops needed for the interaction between Ben and Johnny.  And, Reed is always great when he’s written with a dry sense of humor.  

This issue has a bit of an overlap with FF #1, but it’s not exactly easy to slot them together.  In FF each of the members of the Fantastic Four went and asked someone to replace them for four minutes while the team is gone.  There’s a funny element of Fraction winking at the audience because if nothing goes wrong and the team is really only gone for four minutes, FF is going to be a really weird book.  It also makes Reed look like he takes his job seriously to a ridiculous level.  What does it matter if there is no Fantastic Four for four minutes?  Nearly every Marvel super hero lives in NYC and almost all of them have dealt with foes on the same level as the Fantastic Four.  

From a story-telling point of view, you could probably skip this issue.  It’s a lot of fun banter between the Fantastic Four and their replacements.  But the story doesn’t really advance.  Everything in here is a repeat of something you heard about in Fantastic Four or FF #1.  That doesn’t mean you SHOULD skip it, but if you had to, you wouldn’t be missing out.  

Given that this issue doesn’t really advance the plot it’s WAY too early to comment on Fraction’s story-telling with this book.  However, there is one thing that bothers me a little.  In a manner of speaking, the entire point of Hickman’s run on the book was the chaos caused by Reed Richards when he lied to his family and tried to work on stuff behind their back.  What do we find Reed doing as Fraction’s run begins?  He’s lying to his family and trying to work behind their back.  And one could argue that this time it’s even worse because he believes his family may be in danger as their bodies become unstable.  

Mark Bagley, Mark Farmer, and Paul Mounts do an incredible job with the artwork.  My only issue is one that a LOT of artists at Marvel seem to have a problem with - making Valeria look like she’s 3 years old.  She always looks a bit too old and a bit too tall.  (There was one artist on FF that did a good job, but I can’t remember who that was right now)

I think this is definitely a book to follow and it looks like we’ll be getting deeper into the story starting with the next issue.  So definitely make sure to jump on then. 



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