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Fantastic Four #62

Posted: Friday, October 25, 2002
By: Ray Tate



"Sentient" Part One

Writer: Mark Waid
Artists: Mike Wieringo(p), Karl Kesel(i), Paul Mounts(c)
Publisher: Marvel

Mike Wieringo's artwork with Karl Kesel's precision inking and Paul Mounts vibrant colors is just awesome. The opening scene wonderfully crowded as a high budget project with a melting pot of ethnic passerby extras still doesn't lose its focus on Reed and Sue. The inventive use of invisibility, and the cuts in differences of points of view imbues the scene with an engaging sense of humor and foreshadows somewhat the versatility of Sue's power.

Reed in the story is portrayed probably the best he has been since the Jack Kirby days. Mr. Waid really brings out a sense of eccentricity derived from Reed's "big brain." Both he and the art team externally show the oddness of Reed's behavior while also conveying a sense an internal normalcy of his actions. Reed's characterization kicks off the story. Benjamin Grimm's gruff, funny commentary about "cocktail napkins" proves prophetic. On the one hand, it looks as if Reed seems responsible for the manifestation of the Sentient in the same way that the book version of the Doctor consistently endangers his companions, but on the other hand, if Reed knew about the consequences of these actions, it's likely he would alter his behavior. In other words, Reed was just being Reed.

The Sentient is a notable antagonist with some horrific powers grounded in the science fiction realms. The battle between it, Sue and Ben is heart-wrenching largely because we really care about Sue, and Mr. Wieringo generates stirring looks of pain and fear on her face.

The scenes with Johnny Storm running the family business really just seem rather dull and fail to live up to the promised potential: neither comedic or surprising. His supporting personal assistant does have an inviting personality, and it's largely she who keeps the reader from losing interest in this section of the book.



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