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Posted by: Byron Brewer

Review: Fantastic Four #1 (Robinson and Kirk)

Writer: 
James Robinson
Art: 
Leonard Kirkman, Karl Kesel
Colors: 
Jesus Aburtov
Letterer: 
VC's Clayton Cowles
Cover: 
Leonard Kirk, Laura Martin
Publisher: 
Marvel Comics
Price: 
$3.99
Release Date: 
February 26, 2014

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There have been those heavy moments, God knows, in the history of Marvel’s first family.

Who could forget that haunted Kirby splash page of “This Man, This Monster”?

Sue and Reed's pending divorce? The death (we thought) of Sue’s second child? The effect the wedding of Crystal (slut!) and Quicksilver had on Johnny? The death (we thought) of the Human Torch?

But let’s face it, True Believers. At least for me, the good times with Fantastic Four, the World’s Greatest Comic Magazine, are family times, times of discovery and wonder; of introducing and expounding on incredible characters, from the almighty Galactus to the incredibly ignored Wyatt Wingfoot; of exploring the Marvel Universe, enhancing the old and creating the new; of showing why a family can also be a super-team without becoming a soap opera. Arguments, births, rebirths, comings, goings, other universes, other alternate Earths, a silver surfer and a watcher.

None of that Lee/Kirby (or even Hickman/whoever) feel is here in this unceremonial and dismal relaunch of Fantastic Four. While Marvel would not be Marvel without a book containing its first family, this is definitely not what I was looking forward to and I doubt anyone else was.

This constant turn of doom and gloom, the beginning of a book by heralding its end (aren’t we tired of that now?), the dark without light makes the pages of Fantastic Four #1 darker than some of Scott Snyder’s Batman issues or the lowlife of Claremont’s X-Men when they were fighting shadows.

Ugh.

Writer James Robinson seems to have gotten the WGSM mixed up with DC’s Red Lanterns. There is so much red in this issue, I thought my eyes would burn out! Not that I mind the costume color change (real big DD fan here), but shades of Ye Olde Ghost Rider! Not one of these characters is from Hell that I know of, although that is where I thought I had been after reading this mess.

I loved Leonard Kirk’s work on X-Factor, but it just does not carry the weight needed for these pages. You need a Kirby or a Buscema or an Adams or an Eaglesham or a Starlin (remember when he was just an artist? lol) to carry these great and fabled characters. Sorry, Leonard; nice try. Maybe if everything were not covered by Jesus Aburtov in a thousand shades of red.

FF#1 spins out of the publishing plant a loser, as far as I am concerned. You may feel otherwise, and I invite you to the Forum at CosmicBookNews.com for just that reason.

Me? I could have used more “Clobberin’ Time!” Less “Flame On!”

Mole Man, where are you when we need you? 

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