Much like the last couple issues of Incredible Hulk, This issue of Fantastic Four, featured 2 stories. The first one, Titled A Visit With The Fantastic Four I will Review first. For The Impossible Man. Check out the 2nd review.
The issue starts, right away the top of page one with the most important bit of information, and information I believe to have been fully true, not just hype. it said, clear as day:
special Bonus to our Readers!
Presenting: The type of story most requested by your letters and post cards…
A visit with the Fantastic Four
I feel this is true, Because even I have been craving a story that gets us into the heads, history, and lives of our hero’s. This story proved to be for the whole team what I would have hoped Strange Tales was for Johnny Storm.
Before I delve into the review, let me say one thing. This story alone, makes the issue worth reading.
I am not going to go into a synopsis of this tale, if features no rival, or combat, it is just a story of our hero’s over a day, mostly responding to mail from there fan’s. we again see a variation of the origin story, as well as a bit of the Fantastic Fours past. it gives us a better understanding on how they where all connected before their spaceflight.
I can’t speak for the fan’s of 1963, but from issue 1, this is a story I been waiting to see. I love seeing the human side of hero’s. even their day-to-day activity’s. I also love the action, the adventure, but a bit of background and development here and there is good. This made up for a lot of what was needed. I hope they keep it up in future issues.
The panels really complimented the story, it was filled with deep facial expression’s and emotion. it let us dive into the characters minds as we read their words. There where so many good panels that showed the minds , the hearts and the soul of our fantastic hero’s picking what to show you proved a difficult task.
Just by it being difficult to pick what to share, shows how good, how deep and emotional the art of this issue was. Look at the panel to the right, with Sue Storm and Reed Richards talking. This taking place a bit after some back story. allowing them to work in the old to what was read.
The Thing is also one of my favorite characters to show emotion of. Perhaps because while he is physically the least human, his character perhaps has the most depth.
For example take a close look at the thing panels below, at how he looks in each frame, the first the anger as he discusses the once mentioned yet unseen Yancy Street Gang. He his angered, enraged, then forceful, then sad about his actions. The expression is so deep, yo can see it in the shape of his eyes, his cheeks, and even eyebrows.
for not being human, the expression is endless as I have shown a few times in the past.
Originality & Continuity
What is there to say, this story tied together the event of all the issues, it had frames displaying scenes from Fantastic Four #1, Fantastic Four #2 and Fantastic Four #5 , talking about sue’s feelings for Namor the Sub-Mariner; a topic that effected every issue he has appeared in so far. and the ship from Planet X!The story not only fits the Continuity, it ties a lot of the issues together in a story that we can understand.
with one paragraph saying just how great the issue is, and it is great, it does leave me to talk about the one flaw. It is not so much a flaw with this story or this issue, but with the split stories of the Fantastic Four and Strange Tales featuring The Human Torch. Theres a lack of connection and ongoing building questions caused by that.
For example in Strange Tales, Johnny makes a big deal, and scene about keeping his secret identity. Yet in Fantastic Four, none of them go to this length; in this issue Johnny and the other members are seen showing off to a group of kids whom where pretending to be them.
It’s this lack of connection, given being done by the same people, that bothers me the most. something that is overlooked over and over again.
It would be irresponsible of me to ignore this simple fact when considering any time Johnny is seen in any book showing off until he is out of the identity closet!
Though I spend a lot more text mentioning the one largest flaw, I will say once again, that this issue is great in continuity, far greater than anything we have seen to date so far.
Characters & Development
This was covered heavily above, I wont spend too many words talking about it again, but in a story dedicated to a day with the team like this one, to responding to fan mail as this one was. It was a great character development story. It likely gave lots of fan’s just what they wanted, while giving our four hero’s a bit more depth.
In this story they did not go into too much development for Johnny, lets keep our fingers crossed that some development in his own tales is coming our way soon.