Friday, June 25, 2010 - 16:18
FANTASTIC FOUR #580
FANTASTIC FOUR #580
Alan Davis, Mark Farmer & Javier Rodriguez
Neil Edwards & Andrew Currie
VC’s Rus Wooton
Bless the beast and the children.
That paraphrased song title would sum up the important part of this issue, and we will get to that later. I promise.
What I want to discuss first is our feature villain, Arcade. Remember all those Chris Claremont-scripted stories on Arcade, all the clever and inventive death traps he set for Spider-Man and later the X-Men? Remember how he was a breath of fresh air amid the X-angst that started creeping into Chris’ scripts about the time X-artist Dave Cockrum departed for the second time? The key word was “fun,” and that is what the Frank-tastic Four (Johnny, Frankin, Leech and – from an early “What the D’ast?” column – the Impossible Man!) have in this issue!
Oh, there aren’t many of those “thwapps!” and “sflangs!” that used to be housed in Arcade’s funhouse, but their spirit is here and it gives us a chance to see Frank without Val and to see how he is handling the secret return of his powers. (I know a kid with a ticking time bomb isn’t that funny, but you gotta love that stuffed dinosaur!)
Totally rejected as a marketable success by the two kids – who are not
a part of Reed’s new Future Foundation, BTW – Johnny Storm redeems himself as a super-hero and as a babysitter (Reed’s working with Val & Co., ignoring his eldest again) at a toy fair -- being held by Arcade, promoting a new line based on the Impossible Man!
The emerald alien “pop” star is his usual humorous self, although he seems to be more world-wise than the last time I saw him. (I was out of comics from 1995-2005), but it was still marvelously naïve of him to go into partnership with Arcade to become a public (re: marketable) super-hero. But recalling Impy’s ventures of the past, said deal is right in character for the cosmic chameleon.
After the fun, the meat of the issue (really a subplot) is what project the Future Foundation kids selected as a first assignment. The choice was made by the Moloid youngsters rescued by Ben if that is any hint, and it is something Reed Richards has been trying to do since the days the mag was penned by Stan and drawn by the King.
And it makes sense, if you listen to them spin the spiel. I just hope there is no disappointment and angst ahead. We get enough of that in the X-books.
Since Jonathan Hickman’s arrival, this book has gone in no direction but up. The one-and-done pacing into a larger jigsaw arc requires patience of readers, true, but thus far everything has been worth the wait. Although artist Dave Eaglesham will be missed, Neil Edwards did a bang-up job this time around.
Fun, fantasy, hope and the Impossible Man! What more could you ask for?
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