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Fantastic Four #511

Posted: Monday, March 22, 2004
By: Ray Tate



"Hereafter": Part Three

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

Many folk seem to think I go out of my way to attack Mark Waid. Nothing can be farther from the truth. I want to like The Fantastic Four. The characterization for the quartet is mostly accurate, but the plots--oh, the plots.

Somewhen the child of Ed Wood and Ingmar Bergman smiles in an unholy quantum irregularity created by Greydon Clark, maker of many an Mystery Science Theater 3000 subject. The best thing I can say about The Fantastic Four is that it's over. The uncharacteristic thug lacking style and substance in "Unthinkable," the goofy, Incredible Melting Reed manipulating everybody as if he worked for SD-6 in "Authoritative Action" and this storming heaven nonsense is all over.

Is it just me or have external factors been affecting comic books more in the past two years than they have in the other various comic book eras? Even those who hate super-heroes looked up from their copies of Blankets and let their mouths drop open when they heard the plans Bill Jemas had for the FF. Part of Mark Waid's storylines were arranged to satisfy the whims of Mr. Jemas, who could have been the iceberg to Marvel's Titanic. Fortunately, somebody with a grain of lucidity stopped him cold. Unfortunately, Mr. Waid had already laid the foundation for these stupid, stupid shenanigans. Readers as usual got stuck picking up the check, but it's over.

Mr. Waid concocts what amounts to a massive reboot lacking a single shred of plausibility. I'm of two minds on the subject. Hence, the two bullets. On the one hand, the conclusion to "Hereafter" is pretentious drivel. On the other hand, none of these ill-conceived developments--Reed's pug-ugly, putty puss, the FF going broke, the death of the Thing--deserved anything better in terms of a fix.

My biggest concern is that once again, Marvel left the table without paying the bill. The reader is stuck again with the check. All of this stupidity should have been free on the internet, but it is over. So let the real adventures begin.



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