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!!!!

SHIT FUCK HELL BALLS!

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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: Books of Doom, by Ed Brubaker

Fantastic Four: Books Of DoomFantastic Four: Books Of Doom by Ed Brubaker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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This is a 241 special…FF and Evil Villain.

Ed Brubaker does a solid job giving us an origin story of our favourite Latverian megalomaniac. The art is decent, and definitely focuses on Victor and his transformation to Doctor (funny enough, he never actually earned that degree, because he was booted after the experiment which left his face (and psyche) scarred).
Victor encounters a lot of tragedy in his early years, his mother dabbled in the dark arts, and it cost her her life and soul; his father died saving Victor while they were on the run from the evil Baron in Latveria.

Then, he ends up in the US, at the same school as Reed Richards and Ben Grimm, and also works as a weapon/tech guy for the military. Funny enough, he thinks Reed sabotaged his work, much like Reed thinks Victor sabotaged his own work in Ulitmate FF. That being said, FF doesn’t feature in this at all.

There’s Doom’s love for his mother, and his obsession with saving her from Hell, but the only other thing approaching love is for Valeria, another girl who grew up with him. Even that ends up in heartbreak…and makes me wonder why Reed and Sue’s daughter shares her name with Doom’s only love….? (If anyone knows, clue me in!)

So there’s the inevitable building of the suit to keep himself safe from the power of the Devil’s touch (which is what scarred his face apparently) and the robots, and so forth…there’s more about his conquering people, working tirelessly, and learning to master all.

Eventually we get to how he takes Latveria and becomes ruler, and there’s a twist at the end, as the narration has all been to a reporter who wants to profile him, but the revelation leaves us to wonder…was that the real story? Or just another decoy?

It was solid, 3.5, but I just didn’t connect with it enough to rank it higher than that, and the art didn’t blow me away…but the writing was good, though you can see how Brubaker has grown since nearly 10 yrs ago on this…


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