Wednesday, February 9, 2011

COMIC: Top of the Stack - Fantastic Four #587 (Review)

Written by Jonathan Hickman
Pencils by Steve Epting
Cover by Alan Davis, Mark Farmer & Javier Rodriguez

Publisher: Marvel Comics
Price: $3.99

Every book in the last week of January was already swimming against the current with the greatly hyped Fantastic Four issue coming out as well. But that didn't stop some great issues from being produced, including Secret Avengers #9 that featured a Steve Rogers vs John Steele face off, or Shazam #1 that brought the Marvel family back into the spotlight and updating everyone on their status since Mary and Billy had their powers stripped from them. But in the end, the quality of a story that evoked true emotions out of me was the tipping point in putting Fantastic Four #587 at the top of the stack.

Writer Jonathan Hickman has been a part of the Fantastic Four creative team for the last year and a half, steering Marvel's first family into a much more exciting direction that has been true to the characters and the spirit of the book, leading to the events of this issue that change the Fantastic Four forever! Or at least for the foreseeable future.

This issue concluded the five issue arc ominously titled "Three" with Sue standing up to Namor and taking on the throne of Old Atlantis, Reed's attempts to save as many inhabitants of Nu-World from the wrath of Galactus, and Johnny with Ben and the kids try to prevent the invasion wave coming from the breach in the Negative Zone. I will keep spoilers to a minimum, but I enjoyed Susan's violent reaction to Namor, and I thought the last part of the issue was reminiscent of the feature film, Armageddon, which is not a bad thing because I enjoyed that movie. Both the comic and film produced the same emotion from me.

The cover was drawn by longtime Marvel artist, Alan Davis, showcasing each member of the Fantastic Four in their current situation and their logo centered between the scenes but it is fractured. A perfect illustration for a finale that was trying to keep the ending a surprise, and outside of the mass media push I think it was successful. Interiors were done by Steve Epting, who has done some fantastic work in recent years on Captain America and while his style might not fit my preference for the Fantastic Four I thought he did a great job of capturing the emotion in the book.

I do not know what to expect from the future of the Fantastic Four now that they are down a member. Hickman seems to have a solid grasp on the characters and where he wants to take them. The series up to now has been solid and precise, and I do not see that changing anytime soon as long as Hickman is around. I always enjoyed in the past of Fantastic Four when members of the Marvel Universe would at times become members of the team to keep it as a foursome when one of the regulars are incapacitated but I have a feeling Hickman will not be doing that this time around, intent on having the readers feel the void left in this issue's wake.

Check out Geek Plate's Tumblr for today's Fantastic Four themed picspam.

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