Current Reviews


Ultimate Fantastic Four #7

Posted: Saturday, June 26, 2004
By: Jason Cornwell

Writer: Warren Ellis
Artists: Stuart Immonen and Wade von Grawbadger

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Warren Ellis is a writer whose work I've heard a great deal about, but my exposure to it has been quite limited, as he's made an active practice of avoiding the titles that I collect, and the sheer number of titles I currently collect have kept me from seeking out his work (though the first "Planetary" trade is currently sitting in the yet to read pile beside my bed). However, I've heard the high praise when it comes to his work on science-based series, and if nothing else it should be interesting to see what he is going to do with the Fantastic Four. Now this first issue is a bit of a transition issue, as the characters are essentially getting their bearings, and slowing adjusting to their new lives, and for good measure we see Doctor Doom is lurking about in the background.

Now the new elements that Warren Ellis has made to Victor Van Damme's backstory are somewhat interesting, and I'm sure they'd have grabbed my attention more if I had dug a little deeper into the true story behind the legend of Vlad Dracula.In the end though the most interesting element of this exchange is that it gives one a better understanding of where Victor's haughty nature comes from, as his father presents the horrific behaviour of Vlad Dracula as something that Victor should admire. As for the rest of the issue, it's a fun examination of the little questions that most writers don't pay much attention to when they play with the Fantastic Four, as we learn what happens to Reed's internal organs when he's stretching his body, and Ben's ability to breath becomes a fun little mystery that I hope is addressed in a future issue. The Reed Richards/Victor Van Damme rivalry is also nicely spelled out, as both characters are convinced the other was responsible for the accident.

Stuart Immonen is a solid artist, and I'm delighted to see him back on a title that I collect, as he has a clean, visually exciting style that I enjoy. He certainly does a solid job delivering the key visual elements of the story, as Reed's twisting body makes for a striking bit of art, and I have to say I loved the highly expressive facial shots that we get from Sue as she studies the data she collects. As for the new look Doctor Doom, I have to say I'm not entirely sold, as it looks a little too much like he raided a thrift store hamper, though I imagine the look will become more refined.

What did you think of this book?
Have your say at the Line of Fire Forum!