"The Diabolical Dr. Santos"
Writers: Jeff Parker
Artists: Carlo Pagulayan(p), Jeff Huet(i), Sotocolor's A. Crossley(c)
Oh, yeah. Sweet Fantastic Four escapades and characterization like that with which you grew up. No decompression here. You get a single; original superbly timed all-in one story pitting the FF against Diablo.
The FF promotes science and education by serving as guests to a fundraiser for the Museum of Natural History. This makes so much sense. The fundraiser attracts rich socialites, and Diablo intends to pilfer their pockets through the use of his potions.
Why asks you would Diablo risk being in the same room with the FF? Total arrogance. That's why. This fits his characterization perfectly. Most flim-flam men have egos the sizes of small planetoids.
Alerted to his presence, the FF soon set a trap for the amoral alchemist. Does this trap call for action packed super-hero action against supernatural-tricked out villainy? It certainly does.
In between, during the action and throughout the book, Jeff Parker scripts terrific little character bits. The humorous rivalry between the Torch and Ben almost evolves until Reed--who winningly shows insights about his team and not just technology--puts a stop to the monkey business. Within a guest-star's basement, the Thing using unexpected props and without clunky exposition humorously recounts FF continuity. This once again expresses the idea that The Marvel Adventures FF are the bona fide Fantastic Four, who just happen to resemble their younger movie counterparts.
How hot does Carlos Pagulayan make Sue Richards? In this issue she wears the disguise of a nurse, but she looks hotter as herself. I'll say it before, and I'll say it again. Whoever cast Jessica Alba in the role of the Invisible Woman deserves some kind of technical Oscar. There is of course more than just hotness to Pagulayan. Diablo's comeuppance comes in the form of a Reed fakeout, and if you turn back to the scene, you can actually see Reed performing the trickery. This kind of attentiveness to storycraft in a visual sense is rare. Awesome.
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