Friday, February 24, 2012

Comic of the Week - Fantastic Four 603

Just in the past few days, I commented over on The Signal Watch's post about the Fantastic Four Season One graphic novel, recommending Hickman's run on the title(s) and then this week, Fantastic Four #603 comes out and totally backs up my recommendation. For the past couple of years, it's been building to this epic battle. And epic, although an overused term, is, if anything, and understatement here. Galactus versus Celestials. Vast fleets of starships. Inhumans, Kree and Annihilation waves, oh my. Time travel and interdimensional realities. And tying it all together, a family with character dynamics that are fun, real and relatable. A genius father with a time traveling genius father who both rely on a genius daughter/granddaughter to save the day. I'm being cryptic because I really feel this entire run should be read, going back to Fantastic Four #570, in order to really be appreciated. As I said, the story has been building, but the character work has been there from the start, and has only developed more as time has gone on. In this issue we clearly see how everything has been planned from the start and that nothing Hickman has set in motion was just a throwaway. He's been lucky to work with artists like Kitson, who keep the story flowing with every panel and can convey the subtle emotions of every character, but can also heighten the dramatic impact of cosmic events so huge they defy the imagination. For me, who never read Fantastic Four before Hickman and I'm still not really well versed in the Marvel U's cosmic mythology, putting all these elements together in not just a cohesive, but also compelling, way, is quite a feat. This is Science fiction with a capital S. It's also Family drama with a capital F. But, mainly, it's just good Storytelling. . . with a capital S.

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