Review-a-day: Fantastic Four (1961-1998) #48

Posted: October 15, 2014 in Review-a-day
Tags: , , , , ,

FantasticFour(61-98)48

And so we have come to the end of the very first appearance of the Inhumans as a group. With two strong issues and one I complained about enough yesterday behind us, how will this concluding issue hold up? One way or another, it’s going to get some help from a couple more character debuts.

Before we get to those new characters though, the Inhumans are the reason we’re here, so let’s see how they do this issue. There’s actually not a whole lot to say about them in this one as their story is over, at least for now, within the first third of the issue. In that first third, Maximus tries to put a new plan into action, but it amounts to nothing because humans and Inhumans aren’t as different as he thought they were (I can appreciate that sentiment, I feel like it’s be retconed out a bit over the last 50 years though), for his efforts Black Bolt gives Maximus the ol’ backhand, and Johnny and Crystal are apparently madly in love, which is why it’s tragic (or at least is supposed to be) when they are seemingly permanently separated. How are they separated? Maximus reverses his attack on the humans to make a “negative zone” around the Inhumans’ Great Refuge (I assume this was before the Negative Zone becomes a place that Reed Richard’s discovers). As a last note on the inhumans, I have to wonder if Stan Lee and Jack Kirby knew what Black Bolt’s powers would become at this point, because the narrative and dialogue throughout the arc seem to imply that they didn’t. The latter two thirds of the issue focus on kicking off the book’s next arc (which I won’t be covering here, or at least not at this time) and introducing brand-new characters in their very first appearances, Silver Surfer and Galactus! There’s not much to say about the Surfer. He looks as you expect him to look, and the issue doesn’t give much to go on about him other than that he is to be feared because he is the Herald of Galactus. And Galactus, well, all I’ve got to say about him is that he looks very different from the Galactus we know today. Another feature of the last two thirds of this issue was Sue being something of a nagging wife while Reed is being, honestly, a terrible husband (though in his defence he is being distracted by the Watcher, not really an excuse though). I have a feeling this was a thing for a long time in this book, and I could totally live without it.

One last thing about this issue, they seemed to really miss an opportunity here. There is a moment while the Inhumans are being sealed away in which Ben pulls Johnny away from Crystal in order to keep him from being sealed away too. This could have started a long running thread of Johnny having serious animosity towards Ben (and maybe it actually does) which could be really interesting, but they seem to be back on the same page by the end of the issue, which was a little disappointing. Overall, this wasn’t quite as strong an issue as the first two in the arc, but it did seem to do away with the majority of what made me hate the previous issue.

FantasticFour(61-98)48_capture

Score: 7.5

Written By: Stan Lee
Art By: Jack Kirby and Joe Sinnott
Letters By: Artie Simek
Price: $1.99 (on ComiXology)

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