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Comics 411: Thoughts on Fantastic Four #35’s Big Reveal

September 22, 2021 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
Fantastic Four #35

Welcome back! I’m Steve Gustafson and if you enjoy discussing anything comic book related, you’ve come to the right place. Each week we cover something in the industry and I always enjoy your input in the comment section below.

Previously on…

Last time we asked Are There Too Many Comic Book Titles? Here’s what some of you had to say:

PMH: “Why would I pay 5 bucks for a single issue when I can get the whole 6 issue story in a trade, and usually in less than a year? Might as well skip ahead and just release the trades.”

Sideswipe: “Yes, I’m not interested in the pissing contest between DC and Marvel over who can have more titles, Batman or Spider-man. If I buy multiple titles of one character, that means you’re cannibalizing sales from others. I don’t magically have more money because you decided there needed to be a fifth title for one character!”

D2Kvirus: “The fact The Big Bang Theory could make an accurate joke about there being 4-5 Spider-Man titles at the same time a decade ago underlines the problem: it isn’t that there’s too many comic book titles, but too many version of single comic book titles that it becomes insufferable trying to keep up”

Mighty One: “There has always been too many titles. In the hey day of the 80’s & 90’s there were tons. Several of the same characters or teams, annuals, crossovers, special editions, one shots, etc. The big difference was that it only cost $1.50 or so each issue so I could spend my $20 per week and get almost 10 comics. As the cost went up, I bought less and less until I eventually stopped as it wasn’t cost effective anymore.
Pricing is just way too ridiculous now.”

Gil: “Call me a pessimist, but if they were to cut down the amount of titles, I feel like they’ll put the books I read on the chopping block. If they want to cut down on the Bat family books? Nightwing has a lot higher chance of being cut then the others. X-books? X-Factor is the red-headed stepchild a it recenty got cut! Flash is starring Wally West again! DC hates Wally!! Canceled!!!”
Some awesome comments last week! Go and check out the rest, if you can. Thanks for the input and keep it coming!

This week we discuss…

Fantastic Four #35

I thought we’d scale things back this week and take a look at Fantastic Four #35. There be SPOILERS ahead so turn back now or be cursed with spoils. 

As some of you may know, Fantastic Four #35 is an oversized issue celebrating 60 years since Fantastic Four #1. Impressive. The issue contains stories from writers Dan Slott, Jason Loo, and Mark Waid, with art from Loo, John Romita Jr., Paul Renaud, JP Meyer, Cam Smith, Mark Morales, Rafael Fonteriz, Scott Hanna, Marte Gracia, and Erick Arciniega.

It’s the main story I want to talk about as it deals with the main theme of the team…family. Also, Kang and his variants show up along with Reed Richards’ own father/Kang’s ancestor Nathaniel Richards. The issue ends with a major reveal that, and tell me if you’ve heard this before, will change everything!

The issue picks up after Doctor Doom’s fake wedding from the previous issue. Oh, you didn’t know Doom was even engaged. When was the last time you picked up an issue? Anyways, Doom pushed Johnny Storm’s powers into overdrive and out of control so the team brings the Human Torch hom in a bubble since he can’t flame off.

I don’t want to explain the meat of the story as I feel it’s too complex but it does make for a fun read. Pretty much we get plenty of talk among the Kang variants and meet Scion, who claims to be Kang’s final form in the future. Raise your hand if time travel stories are overdone and way too confusing and should only be used in the rarest of circumstances.

I will say that if you’re a fan of Kang, this book is a must have. Lots of detail is paid to his story and I found the character…interesting. 

We get the reveal of who Scion is (Reed Richards) and what his plan is (outsmarting the Kangs and getting his father’s device). 

The story ends with the team back at the Baxter Building and Reed finding the message from his dad meant for him. What’s the message? Ole Nathaniel Richards drops some heavy news in the form of a family secret. Turns out he had a secret, second family, including a daughter. Yes, Reed’s long lost sister, whom Nathaniel tasks the FF with protecting.

So Reed has a sister. Obi Wan was wise to…wait. Wrong franchise. 

I’ll admit I haven’t been a regular follower of the Fantastic Four for a while. Not sure why but I decided to pick this book up and I have to say I’m intrigued enough to start up again. This has been my routine with this book. I’ll read it for a while and then drop it for no real reason. Time passes and I pick it up randomly and start collecting it again. 

FF has always been about family with some of their best stories focusing on that. With Reed having a sister, it really underlines that and I’m checked in enough to see where they take it.

Are you a regular Fantastic Four reader? Why or why not?

That’s all the time I have. See you next week!