|Characters & Development:|
|Originalality & Continuty:|
|Nothing Illegal :|
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Book Information:Cover Date: Sep 1964
Characters & Groups
- Fantastic Four
- Featured Villain
- Supporting Cast
- Baron Hugo
With the Fantastic 30th issue of Fantastic Four, we had them facing off against Diablo. This mysterious and imprisoned foe is both released and captured by the Fantastic Four in this issue. Although his release may be the result of some ‘magical’ trickery on behalf of Diablo.
As the story progresses and is told over an unknown number of weeks -Months?- our heroic team is pressed with the ongoing dilemma keeping them from acting. What dilemma is that you ask, why none other then the mysterious Diablo has done nothing to break the law.
Jack Kirby’s work even at its worse -or possibly most rushed- is aways something to behold. At points, I felt in this issue, the work was lacking; yet other panels left me as impressed as aways. One such panel we have Diablo looking downright awful.
Yet earlier we have a much finer example of artwork as the Fantastic Four approach Diablo’s castle for the first time -before knowing what rests within. In this panel, we have our hero’s put up to the landscape surrounding the castle entrance and the looming castle in the backdrop. It is here we have Johnny Storm staying “This place would scare Dracula”. In this panel, in the words said upon this page, you get the first real foreboding feeling of Diablo’s castle – and this Diablo himself.
Characters & Development
The Development of our characters and world in this story seemed to go from lacking to just unconvincing. We get the continued reinforcement of the Things self loathing along with his feeling for Alicia. while the group as a collective seems weak and unconvincing compared to usual. Much of the story consist of our hero’s waiting around for Diablo to ‘brake a law’ so that they can go after him. This uneasy delay feels unnatural to the Fantastic Four and perhaps super-hero comics in general.
There may have been an intended message here; but it would have likely been lost as soon as the U.N. states that “it might be time to consider taking action” and the Fantastic Four jump too it, yet in my view still before Diablo has ‘broken the law’. What reason are we given for this?
The U.N. must wait until all the toes are in, and then submit their plans for action to special committees! But we can move now… -Mr. Fantastic
While this may state a clear view of how slow moving international politics can be, I find it an unacceptable nullification of the prolonged delay of action in this issue. More so when you consider what I have already said above.
Originality & Continuity
any points I would give for the originality of Diablo and his seemingly magic ability set, I would have to take away for Continuity. sometimes one scene can rip out even the strongest suspended disbelief. where many others have failed to gain easy access to Reed’s lab, Baron Hugo surpasses him there. He seems to have just walked in, and gained access without anyone in the team being any the wiser. worst yet, without it even being questioned. This I just can’t accept.
The overall plot of the story felt prolonged, trying to add time and tension did not help in this. As Diablo goes from world savior to saboteur in the court of public opinion, our hero’s ideally do nothing even with one of there own clearly under his spell. When you consider this with the few other comments from above this section; It is not surprising that I find this story lacking. While I know we will see Diablo again, and even here I felt he has the potential to be a great comic book villain; If this was the first issue of the Fantastic Four, it would have been likely I found them unworthy of being good comic book hero’s.