Wednesday, November 13, 2013

FANTASTIC FOREVER: Robinson, Ross And Kirk Relaunch Marvel's First Family

Just like Benjamin Grimm, Marvel sure know how to play to their strengths. Having recently scooped up writer James Robinson, a man known for being able to right hit books with a retro era flare, the House of Ideas have put him straight onto an all-new All-New Invaders series, and announced today (also as part of Marvel NOW!) a relaunch of the title that started it all, The Fantastic Four, with artist Leonard Kirk and this stunning-as-usual Alex Ross cover...

That sound you hear is a thousand desktop wallpapers all being changed at the same time. What is more, from the story over on the pages of USAToday, you get the feeling that when Robinson says he's been a fan since #99 of the original series, the guy actually means it.

Teasing things like Doctor Doom and Wyatt Wingfoot's return, the Human Torch's rise and fall in fame, and a new series of quartets calling themselves the Fearsome Four, each more powerful than the last, returning to tear Marvel's first family asunder, and you can literally read the fanboy in his voice.

Now if that doesn't scream 'It's clobberin' time!' I don't know what does.

 What do you think? 


  1. SO looking forward to this...its about Clobbering time we got a decent writer in this most beloved of books.
    We've had Millar's well intentioned but sadly maligned characterization, Waid's comedic, faithful love letter to a team that's oft forgotten in favour of other teams, and Hickman's magnum opus masquerading as a space-opera with the FF attached. Not to mention Fraction's fractious non-conformist continuity and you wonder why anyone with any sense would bother with our FF.
    Seems we have our answer...the new writer has a good history with superhero esthetics, giving us a proto-FF re the new-look Justice Society in his recent Earth 2 [one of the few, very few Nu-52 titles DC has ever deemed remotely successful] with his takes on Green Lantern, the Flash, Hawkgirl and the Atom. Now we will have his forthright glimpse at the FF and I am grateful we finally have someone who can be [reasonably[ trusted to deliver some fairly thorough scripts.
    My FFFF [female FF forum fan] Miss F has a mad-on for Reed Richards and has doubtless already claimed that Alex Ross variant cover for her own, and is also waiting with bated breath on the new look.
    The Thing on a murder charge? This oft neglected character has been in character-development hell for years now, so this sounds intriguing.
    Reed and Sue at the mercy of Franklin's powers? Old hat but the writer has the cajones to put a new twist on it.
    A new look Frightful Four? They are doing fine business in the current Superior Carnage so am particulary stoked about this - I love love love the Frightfuls...
    But the best storyline?
    The best?
    The Human Torch finally, finally gets some decent character improvement. We at the FF forum often bemoan the sad fact Johnny never matures or improves as a person, so this comes as a delightful surprise.
    The new cover with the 4 worked into the logo looks odd to me but again that's what we needed - a fresh take, a new look, a different way of doing things. The FF are seemingly forever stuck in a round robin of the same old sctick but our new saviour can make mountains out of molasses, he can deliver the goods in fine style.
    I cannot wait.
    So looking forward to this.
    Just cannot wait.
    Cannot wait.
    Cannot wait.
    Cannot wait.
    Cannot wait.
    Cannot wait,

  2. So you're looking forward to it too Kark? ;)

    I think what really nails that Alex Ross image for me is the astronaut foursome is rendered into it. That whole explorer aspect can often be let go to focus on the 'family' side of the franchise, and story-wise I don't think the family aspect is the bigger seller, even though it is a bigger point of difference.

    I think what makes me feel best about James taking over on FF is both Starman which mixed a sense of family and quirky together, but also JSA: The Golden Age. That special one shot doesn't get the attention it should, and there was a real virtue in the characters there that I think is a key aspect when writing Reed, Sue, Ben and Johnny.

    The new logo on USAToday is a bit unusual for me too, though I'm looking forward to having that view reversed when I see it in action a bit more. Also along with the characters all getting new intriguing story elements, could the team be ditching the blues for reds or is that just a lighting effect??

  3. I'm definitely curious. I hope for Karl's and other FF fan's-sake, this isn't the same Robinson that wrote Cry for Justice and that last JLA run he did. I'd rather we all see the Earth 2/Starman/Golden Age Robinson. Interesting premises though, and as Karl pointed out, finally some much needed characterization for both Ben and Johnny.

    Wait and see of course.

    As for that cover, Damn can Alex Ross nail iconic images or what? If I ever had a dvd of my life or even just a quick slip cover for my urn, I'd have Alex Ross draw it out. It'd be fucking epic!

  4. Thanks Dale - right from Marvels (and probably even earlier) Ross painted a fantastic Human Torch, and that hasn't stopped here. He actually looks like a man on fire, unlike how so many folks draw him!

    If I got that variant cover, I'd marry my comic shop owners first born. Or give them mine, not that I have one but I'm sure I could rustle up a second-hand cabbage patch kid to pass off long enough to get a decent head start.

  5. Ha ha right? Ever since Ross rendered Johnny Storm as how he should be, all other versions just don't look right anymore. I guess seeing a realistic version ruined him for the rest of us.