Thursday, 13 September 2012

Review: Fantastic Four #610 - The Wizard

Fantastic Four #610 continued to wind up Jonathan Hickman's incredible run, this time with the beginnings of a crossover with sister book FF featuring the return of the Hickman run's premier Fan 4 foe, the Wizard.

The issue sees AIM, who are basically Microsoft with weird beekeeping outfits, takeover a small island called Barbuda (which I suspect is another Marvel-only country) with the plan of becoming legitimate. Cue Mr Fantastic (requested by the President himself) and his fantastic entourage travelling to the new AIM island to meet with their "head of state", who makes them quite the offer; the US consider them a sovereign state in exchange for the Wizard.

In a nutshell, I loved this issue. The story has very classic feel that I remember hearing Hickman speak off in an interview prior to starting the run.  The whole issue feels like a throwback to some of the Mark Waid issues, and even the Stan Lee and Jack Kirby issues at the beginning. Sure, compared to prior arcs by Hickman, this is a very simple tale, but it still emits an abundance of over the top ideas and fantastical (pardon the pun) plot elements that just makes this book something that is more than needed.

This is made all the more clear by the art, which is, in a word, gorgeous. Vibrant, dynamic and loud, Ryan Stegman is a perfect fit for this title making the book feel as fantastic as the title suggest. The colours by Paul Mounts help with this as they just bounce off the page, making each panel just blow up in your face. Not since the initial issue with Dale Eaglesham have I been so in love with the art on this book. It's actually a real shame there is only one issue left.

If there is a downside to this issue, it is that it is part of a crossover. To be honest, I despise crossovers, why should I buy an issue of a book I don't normally buy to complete a story. It's simply another way to extort money as where would be the harm in putting out one more issue. Nonetheless, this isn't that big a problem here as I already pick up FF and the story is written in such a way that, while it's a crossover, I don't foresee it being a necessary one.

With only 1 issue left, I'm as in love with this title now as I was at issue 571 (wow, that was a long time ago). I'll be looking forward to next months finale, but I'm gonna miss it when it's over. I just wonder now if Matt fraction can meet the high bar set from this run.

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