Marvel Maven Marc Buxton is reviewing all the #1s and .Nows in the All-New Marvel Now! initiative. Here’s this week’s wrap-up, with a look at the First Family.
By MARC BUXTON
Fantastic Four #1. Writer: James Robinson. Artist: Leonard Kirk. Inker: Karl Kesel
Been a bit of controversy surrounding Marvel’s First Family lately, no?
Let’s put that aside, because sometimes a book comes along that is the perfect writer/artist/character combination and the results become historic. If the first issue of the new Fantastic Four is any indication, writer James Robinson and artist Leonard Kirk are going to deliver a FF run for the ages. The new book is pure FF, big, brash, bold fun, with a family vibe that makes the characters sing in that way only the Fantastic Four done right can. Robinson gets it, the team members’ voices, their quirks, and their warts. Kirk knows what an FF story should look like and fans, both old and new, will delight in the way he renders the team battling Fin Fang Foom.
As fun as it is, there’s more to this new take on the FF than just the banter and the high adventure. Robinson foreshadows a time of sorrows for the team through a first- and last-page bookend and through Sue’s first-person narration in the form of a letter to her estranged daughter, Valeria. There is a feeling that things will soon go south and the FF the reader loves so much, the team they just saw take down a dragon, will soon be altered in some profound way.
There may be some FF controversy in the wind these days, but not in this book, which is a winner.
And a book that slipped through the cracks last week …
Nova #13.Now. Writer: Gerry Duggan. Penciler: Paco Medina. Inker: Juan Vlasco
Cosmic is hot right now, and Marvel is trying to turn the cosmic hype into dollar signs by supporting as many space-faring heroes as they can. Nova is a fun book, with a retro, Silver Age feel, and if fans can accept Sam Alexander as the current bearer of the Nova legacy, then they will find a nice, clean read with very grounded characters all playing a part in a sweepingly cosmic tale.
Nothing new here, but Gerry Duggan does the classic super-hero pastiche with flair. Some of it is a little clichéd; I mean is it possible for a teenage hero to not have his own personal bully? But it’s fun to experience the Marvel Universe through Sam’s eyes, to witness characters like the always-welcome Beta Ray Bill through the eyes of a neophyte hero just learning the extent of his powers.
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