- Posted by Johanna on January 14, 2006 at 10:32 am
- Category: Superhero Reviews
- CREDITS: written by Mark Waid; art by Mike Weiringo and Karl Kesel
- PUBLISHER: Marvel; $2.99 US
Fantastic Four #524 is the last Waid/Weiringo issue of the series, and it’s their best. It works well on its own, with a modern twist on a Silver Age-style premise.
The Fantastic Four have lost their powers. Their abilities are manifesting in random people, and they have to find and touch them in order to get them back. It’s a silly, fun idea that allows for surprising depth in the characters’ reactions. Especially in Ben’s case, the question “do I want them back?” gets at the core of who the heroes are.
The art is very active with lots of dramatic moments mixed into the game of tag. The four are riding around on flying sky-scooters, one of those great throwaway ideas that demonstrates just how smart Reed is, that he has these inventions lying around. Weiringo is also good with more subtle story needs. There’s one panel of Ben and Reed facing off that takes on a completely different meaning depending on whether you’re reading the comic for the first or second time, and it works exceedingly well for both.
There are lots of power uses, both by the experts and by the people suddenly given abilities they don’t understand. Plus, Waid scripts humorous dialogue that’s actually funny, expressed in different voices for different characters. The scene where Sue has to try and recapture her invisibility from a stripper is a great satire of the use of sex in supposedly mature titles featuring all-ages heroes.
This is a wonderful superhero comic that uses the genre to its fullest by two masters of the style. The multi-leveled plot allows for new insight into long-established characters. I’m really sorry to see the creators go.