Sunday, 2 September 2012

Review: FF #21 - Ronance

Jonathan Hickman continues the process of tying up his loose ends with issue 21 of FF, as the battle between the Inhumans and the Kree is brought to a close.
Following on from previous issue's set up, Black Bolt and Supreme Intelligence have brokered a peace which requires one concession, the return of Inhuman's Crystal's new husband of Ronan the Accuser. But the Accuser must return alone. As a result, Reed and Susan (with Johnny and Spider-man in tow) are called in to (individually) persuade Ronan and Crystal respectively that their parting is what must be done. Meanwhile, as this story is told, flashbacks tell the story of the meeting between Black Bolt and the Supreme Intelligence and shows us how this agreement was reached.
Jonathan Hickman continues to tie up the loose ends from his run, with plenty of throwback moments which reference to the previous issues in the series. This obviously includes the main story, but also reminds us of Johnny Storm's time in the Negative Zone as well as Johnny's apartment share with Spidey. However, despite these moments of continuity, the issue felt pretty boring for a Hickman book. With no big adventures, this book feels more like general housekeeping before the creative teams departure and the launch of Marvel Now. Despite that, I did enjoy the flashbacks which unveiled the point behind the story as it went along, which gave greater focus on the dynamic between the leaders of the Kree and the Inhumans. I continually find myself engrossed by Hickman's depiction of Reed Richards, who continuously feels like the hero every book should have. Genius, Envoy, Leader. I totally love the way this characters has been written in this run.
Nick Dragotta's art work in this book at first glance felt rather child like and wrong for the book. But more I look at it the more I realize that it suits. The panels look very pastoral and soft and indeed child like, but given what this book follows, a super class of genius children, it doesn't hurt to look like that. It feels like a throwback to the early years of modern comics (the two pages of dialogue between Mr and Mrs Richards stick in my mind) which inspires this awe of wonder which the book deserves. Not all the panels are perfect, depictions feel off for a couple of panels, but overall it's an ok job.
Unlike the big sister book of the Fantastic Four, which feels like it's trying to end as big as it began, FF gives me the impression of ending with a whimper rather than a bang, with issues focused more on clearing up rather than telling a story. Hopefully, with two issues left the title following Marvel's first family will prove me wrong.

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