38OCT
 

Fantastic Four #31
The Mad Menace Of The Macabre Mole Man!

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4.25 Stars

Review Ratings:

Characters & Development: ????½? 
Originalality & Continuty: ?????? 
Story: ????½? 
Art: ????½? 
Overall: ????¼? 

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Book Information:

Cover Date: Oct 1964

Characters & Groups
Locations:

    Having just read, and as I sit down to write my comic book review Fantastic Four #31, I find that I let the action, and all the promises made fly though my head.  First and foremost, this tale signals the return of the Mole Man last seen in Fantastic Four #22. Then as if that is not enough, the cover offers the promise of a s surprise character seen only briefly, but who’s identity would shock us.   Then, on the opening page, we get yet another guarantee; the Fantastic Four will stand against the Avengers in this issue as well!

    But then all stories have a beginning,   this one starts out with an unexpected earthquake in New York. From there we have the Fantastic Four, less sue storm going out to investigate, and learning of a missing city block. Sue on the other hand, got distracted by something she spotted in a newspaper as the earthquake happened.  Instead of joining the team, she is off to police headquarters for unexplained reasons.   it is not that many pages further in that Mole man captures Sue, and threatens the Fantastic Four against interference. Beyond that, he is going to hold them accountable for the actions of all, leaving them to stop the avengers whom are about the set out on an investigation of their own.Fantastic Four Vs Avengers

    Characters and Development

    Mr Fantastic and Human Torch look defeatedIn this issue we have the avengers guest appearance which turns out to be little more than an interlude, with little action, threat or substance and equating to little more them filler.  In fact they are first shown mid way though page 13, then the first panel of page 15 the avengers are gone for the rest of the issue. This leaves me to wondering the point,  was it just to take up some space, to remind the readers of Marvels other titles, or to add to the scene of the shared universe, not letting the Fantastic Four act without accounting for the avengers in some way?  It matters not, their appearance is hardly needed, and not meaning full to any of the avengers in their continuity.   In the end I am thankful the avengers where only mentioned on the first page, and not given acknowledgement on the cover.  however, I would have just assumed turn the page and see them their by surprise then have their less than meaningful appearance foretold.

    That rant aside this issue really did have a solid development for our cast of characters,  offering in the very man  Sue Storm read about in the newspaper, and went to the police station about.  the escaped convict, and his connection to Sue and Johnny is the real development for our cast here,  one that makes this issue significant for both of them, as well as the mystery character.

    Originality & Continuity

    Mole Man Steals City Block In Fantastic Four 31The Mole man and his methods , his assaults, and even his views remain constant.  From offering up scientific genius of his own, to the ability to steal large areas from the surface of the earth in his attempts to gain rule over the surface that rejected him.   he proves to be a character as enjoyably flawed as any…  This tale featuring the Mole man, fits this established continuity, by offering what is expected, but in a new different way it makes for a compelling read.

    Story

    In the end, everything comes together, both the tale of the Mole Man and the stranger are resolved. The stranger  proves to be able to save an injured Sue, helping save the day at the end of the issue, and tie up the one large loose end offered from the first page.  His mystery ongoing though the issue, being a huge bonus to the otherwise average adventure.

    Art

    Thing It's Clobberin' Time Fantastic Four 31the ongoing action, the constant motion,  and even the amazing gadgets. The work of Jack Kirby in this issue left me wanting for nothing,  offering the Fantastic Four at their best, and the world around them even better. of the two panels I wish to share, the first  leaves a big impact is  of the thing, clobbering like only the thing can…  but then earlier in the issue we have a tired Mr. Fantastic and Human torch… the fatigue, near defeat… I can almost feel their exhaustion. the both, show this volume at its best, but then, also look to the image posted above of the Fantastic Four and the Avengers face to face.


    Categories: Marvel , Fantastic Four Vol. 1 (1961)
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