Review: Essential Fantastic Four Vol. 5; by Stan & Jack (& the Johns)

Essential Fantastic Four, Vol. 5Essential Fantastic Four, Vol. 5 by Stan Lee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

FACK!!!! I just deleted a whole DAY of review/summary on this. GODDAMNIT!!!!



Anyhow…we see all the villains, from Doom to Annihilus.
We see Inhumans.
Space, Negative Zone, finally naming the baby.
Thing gets turned back into Ben Grimm, but quits the team and breaks up with Alicia Masters!!!!
Johnny loses Crystal, who has to return to the Inhumans or die from Earth pollution.
There’s a Magneto/Namor team up against the FF!
100th issue extravaganza!
Kirby leaves after nearly 10 YEARS!!!!and over 100 issues.
Romita Sr. and John Buscema take over, and I love what they do. Buscema’s facial work is great! almost as good as Lono’s at the Strip Club! BOOM!
Lots of cliffhangers, the womenfolk gain a whole lot more respect, and the characters all grow.

Most importantly, Reed transforms from a misogynyst bully dictator into a quasi-pacificst scientific genius family man. This means, I hope, that Stan Lee either grew up, or wrote Reed’s character to change with the times, as the later we get in the FF, the more that Stan’s writing reflects real life worries (space, Cold War, treatment of people who are different, Nuclear Apocalypse, Family life and concerns). Stan grew a lot between the 4 years covered here from Vol 4-5.

This is truly essential. Worth it. Even if you only skim it Mike.

Oh well, my other review was too long anyhow.

Adding cool pics from the book to Shallow Reader’s Group!

I had a bigger review but oh well…concise is better I think.

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Review: Fables, Vol. 6 – Homelands; by Bill Willingham

Fables, Vol. 6: Homelands (Fables, #6)Fables, Vol. 6: Homelands by Bill Willingham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So this volume collects 3 different threads, woven somewhat together for us.

1) Jack left Fabletown in an earlier volume, here we see him go to Hollywood and make it big in the movies, with stolen wealth from his fellow fables. He’s tracked down by Beast, the new Sheriff, and allowed to escape, but never to return to Fabletown. I believe this sets up the whole spin-off series Jack of Fables, which Willingham also writes. This Jack isn’t a minor screw up like the previous volumes show, this shows him being pretty savvy, and just a bit of an egomaniac. I will be interested to see his solo adventures.

2)Boy Blue took off with the magic cloak and sword, and makes his way through the original Homelands, on a personal quest for numerous reasons. Along the way we have many revelations, as well as finally, the Adversary himself! I won’t give it away, but it’s a great idea in many ways, taken sort of from another famous story…at least interpreted similarly. It’s explained very well too, and helps set up the Adversary as how he started innocently enough, yet slipped into full out evil monster by the end.

3)Mowgli arrives back in Fabletown, he was away, as a traveller of the world (a spy for Fabletown and Bigby) when he returns, we see that his best friend Bagheera the Panther is still locked up from his role in the attempted coup at the Farm. Mayor Prince Charming offers Mowgli a deal: go find Bigby and bring him back to Fabletown, because Bigby is the only one who can lead the Fables into war against the Adversary.

So I liked this volume a lot; no Snow White, not tons of fables, no Bigby was a downside, but his mere mention holds power over the book, so I don’t worry that he’s not going to be back. Beast and Charming have done pretty well taking over from Bigby and Cole, who we also don’t see.

I liked it a lot, and at this point I’ve just come to enjoy it altogether the whole series. In some ways it takes from Hellboy by updating myth/fable/etc. into reality, but not nearly as Gothic or Dark.

That being said, Boy Blue really makes a name for himself, and I’m looking forward to more Mowgli adventures.

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