Marvel Comics
Fantastic Four #562
By Zak Edwards
January 6, 2009 - 21:39

Writer(s): Mark Millar
Penciller(s): Bryan Hitch
Inker(s): Cam Smith & Andrew Currie
Colourist(s): Paul Mounts
Letterer(s): Rus Wooton
Cover Artist(s): Bryan Hitch
$2.99 US



I am not a Fantastic Four expert in any way shape or form.  The only reason I started reading it is because of the reuniting of Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch, the team who brought us Ultimates 1 and 2, but not 3.  So I have been following this series for that long and I love it so far.  Yes, they have Galactus imprisoned and powering a time machine which eventually transfers the entire population of a future Earth onto an artificially constructed other Earth, but this over the top science fiction and reckless abandon is nice for some reason.  Usually I would roll my eyes at this sort of crazy over the top science fiction, but the escapism aspect of the series has hooked me, at least for as long as this team is still doing it.

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This issue itself is a sort of epilogue while being transitory simultaneously.  While many of these types of issues are disappointing, this one is very well set-up and shows Millar is able to have some emotional impact in spite of his usual violence and one-liners after beating the crap out of something.  The issue is split into sections for each of the major cast: Reed Richards, Susan Richards, their children Benjamin and Valeria, Ben Grimm and Johnny Storm.  How they cope with the death of the future Invisible Woman and move on is the focus, but Millar uses this time for some serious set-up.  Their is some jealousy and drama arising involving Benjamin and his highly intellectual sister Valeria, with Reed playing favourites.  Ben has a question for his girlfriend and Johnny’s band is about to go on tour, which should be interesting.  While things seem to be given little physical space, nothing is felt too rushed or overlooked.  Millar is thorough and even touching, understanding the dynamic such a crazy family has.  I was impressed to see this side of Millar, and it has paid off for him.

Bryan Hitch is still Bryan Hitch.  Probably responsible for the slight delays in the release of this comic book, but that doesn’t matter when the book is in your hand.  His attention to details is above and beyond what is expected.  Even people and objects in the far background are detailed and paid attention to, creating an entire panel worth looking at.   Even The Thing, in all his orange glory, never becomes simply an orange blob, no matter how far away he is from the camera.  His panelling is good as well, with a particular page of an exchange between Reed Richards and Dr. Doom standing out in my mind.  The page has a sort of symmetry with two extreme close-ups of the two characters’ eyes which makes for a great page.  Hitch’s work continues to impress me and as long as the delays never become too extreme, I will continue to look forward to engaging in his work.

8/10    Millar flexes his emotional muscles while setting up for some big events, only to be aided by Hitch’s incredible talent.


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