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411’s Comic Reviews: Fantastic Four #1, Extermination #1, More

August 16, 2018 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
Fantastic Four 1

Hello and welcome to 411mania’s weekly Comic Book Review Roundtable! Each week we’ll be serving up a warm dish of reviews from Marvel, DC, and anything else that captures our interest. What did you pick up this week? Let us know in the comments.

Want to write a review? If you can write at least one review a week, consistently, email me at [email protected]!

Yesterday we discussed Best Female Supervillains!

Now on with the show!

Midnight Mystery #1 of 4

Preview by Stephen Gustafson

Follow the strange adventures of detective Zeke King as he goes from case to horrifying case. In this issue: King’s latest case goes from freaky to fatal when he’s hired to find the lost son of a deceased horror host! The mystery begins in this new supernatural horror series!

It Came Out On A Wednesday #3

Preview by Stephen Gustafson

This Halloween Spooktacular is all “treat” and no trick! In this issue: a zombie-infested ghost town, baby dragons, space adventures, futuristic monsters, other-worldly demons, and a deadly trick-or-treat surprise! The best up-and-coming creators are featured in this, and every issue, of It Came Out on a Wednesday!

Fantastic Four #1

Review by RobF

Dan Slott is known best for his Spider-Man run and is a strong candidate to revive Marvel’s First Family. While this first issue functions more like a prologue rather than a true first issue Slott and artist Sara Pichelli start off strong with the promise of more to come. Slott teams with Simone Bianchi and Skottie Young to help establish the FF universe once again.

We begin our story pretty much where we left off: Reed, Sue and children are still missing,
presumed dead. Ben is sure they are gone, Johnny still in denial. A thievery perpetrated by some Yancy Street kids gives the Torch false hope on the return of the Richards clan. Johnny is clearly suffering from the loss; his mood swings provide the evidence.

Ben, on the other hand, has moved on. He reminisced of a happier time, ending with a long overdue proposal to Alicia. The happy couple want to share the news with Johnny, but he rebuffs them, angry that Ben has given up hope. Johnny rages to the skies, begging for a
sign, and just then, like a beacon from the heavens, a ‘4’ appears on the moon.

The backup story by Slott and Simone Bianchi returns Doom to his rightful place in the Marvel U as a top villain after a short dalliance as a hero. The final story, by Slott and
Scottie Young seemed like a throw-in.

I can be honest in saying that I didn’t miss the FF nor was I looking for their return. I am a fan of Slott’s so I decided to give it a shot and I can say I was pleasantly surprised. I want to see if Slott can revive the FF like he did Spider-Man.

Rating: 7.0 out of 10

Superman #2

Review by John Pumpernickel

Brian Michael Bendis’Superman #2 delivers a real punch in terms of action, characterization, and pacing. Bendis and his art team, Ivan Reis, Joe Prado and Oclair Albert, go full tilt in a story that deserves a couple of reads to let it marinate in the mind.

Superman finds the planet in The Phantom Zone and it’s a race for answers. The Man of Steel takes charge and Bendis really let’s it go. No spoilers but this issue gives the audience its money worth and more.

I’m digging the direction Bendis is taking Superman because he’s not afraid to put a lot out there and fit all the pieces together in a cohesive manner.

Ivan Reis’ draws some beautiful pages and keeps things moving in a clear manner. Crisp lines and moves the story from scene to scene with ease.

If you’ve been on the fence about Bendis’ Superman, do yourself a favor and pick up this issue.

Rating: 9.0 out of 10

Extermination #1

Review by Jeremy Thomas

Marvel events — indeed, comic book events in general — have generally felt pretty ho-hum in the last few years. Civil War II, Secret Empire, Convergence, Darkseid War, Inhumans vs X-Men, Monsters Unleashed, Robin War, and even Infinity Wars (so far) have felt like they have nebulous stakes at best and no stakes at worst. There are exceptions, of course. Secret Wars was a rare success for Marvel, and Dark Nights: Metal was compelling in its own way.

Extermination feels like it’s off to a good start in hanging with the latter two. To start with, the first issue of Ed Brisson’s X-Men crossover feels like the better X-Men events. There has been a lingering question hanging over the X-Men line since Brian Michael Bendis brought the original five X-Men to the future as teenagers: when do they go back? All-New X-Men and X-Men Blue were and have been thoroughly enjoyable reads, as were solo books like Jean Grey, Iceman and Cyclops. But the proliferation of duplicate X-Men in the main Marvel Universe has only expanded since then, and Brisson seems poised to scale that back significantly in Extermination.

The storyline kicks off with a charming date night before things really kick in. Issue #1 is full of a lot of what you might expect in the launch point of a crossover: lots of mystery, set-up and shocking moments whose implications aren’t yet fully explored. But Brisson’s writing makes these moments feel real and important. Extermination builds on previous continuity and recent events well. The culmination of events like Rachel Summers’ recent remanifestation of her Hound markings and the Original Five’s preparing to go home are effectively built upon and seen through. Brisson makes it clear that he isn’t taking any prisoners and unlike Infinity Wars, the big plot moments don’t have Reality, Soul or Time Stones hanging around to make them feel unimportant.

Brisson’s script is particularly enhanced by Pepe Larraz, who provides the art. Larraz’s work includes some very dynamic fight sequences and character expressions that really sell the emotional weight of what’s happening. He also gets to show Cyclops cutting loose with his optic blasts, a rare but always-badass moment, and his artwork sells the destructive power of the First X-Man well.

There’s still a lot of questions coming out of Extermination #1. The motives of the antagonists isn’t clear yet, and the final page drops a bit of a bombshell that may frustrate some fans. But Brisson and Larraz are off to a great start here, much to my pleasant surprise.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

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