Fantastic Four #588
By Zak Edwards
March 2, 2011 - 16:33
Writer(s): Jonathan Hickman
Penciller(s): Nick Dragotta
Colourist(s): Paul Mounts
Letterer(s): Rus Wooton
Cover Artist(s): Alan Davis, Mark Farmer, & Javier Rodriguez; Variant by John Cassady & Laura Martin
I have to say, this whole death in the Fantastic Four series never really excited me that much, and after last month’s issue did away with the obvious choice of Johnny Storm, I was tempted to just give the series up in favour of an extra four dollars a month to spend on something else. Only Jonathan Hickman’s writing is keeping me around, being one of the more talented writers working for Marvel right now, if at the expense of his independent works. This issue wasn’t really changing my opinion, but the final arc of the issue made up for the silent first half and gave me hope for the Future Foundation series coming.
But the art in this issue was a major drawback. I can understand artist Nick Dragotta attempt to replicate an older art style that is fairly iconic for the Fantastic Four, but the emotional resonance of the silent half of the issue is inconsistently potrayed, with some moments working very well while others are distracted by extremely heavy lines or strange proportions or perspectives. Susan Storm especially suffers from heavy lines, large foreheads, and a sort of static movement, all of which detract from the emotional resonance of the issue. Dragotta’s art works best at a distance rather than the close-up, and the Thing’s encounter benefits from this, but other moments suffer from a lack of expression. An exception is the close-up of Reed Richards near the end of the silent section, which shows a quiet stress fairly effectively. The more melodramatic moments, however, are not captured as Dragotta struggles with extreme emotions. When the characters’ emotions, however, are less pronounced, Dragotta seems to convey the resistance to emotional outbursts fairly well. The section with Franklin benefits greatly from this, but it also helps that Spider-Man has a full mask.
Grade: B Well written, inconsistent art, but hopeful for the future (foundation).
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