Marvel’s First Family Take A Trip Down Memory Lane In Fantastic Four #14

by Oliver MacNamee

If there’s something us comic book readers can all agree with its that we often look back at our past through rose tinted glasses and often reminisce fondly through a haze of nostalgia. And, the Fantastic Four are no different as they take a trip down memory lane, in Fantastic Four #14 after their original space ship, the Marvel-1, takes its rightful place in the Smithsonian Institute. Of course, they all have their own memories but not everyone is that fond to remember the fateful day they were bombarded with cosmic rays and transformed into the Fantastic Four. Ben Grimm – still called a monster from time-to-time by some – is none too happy. Even more so when he discovers that this public appearance has Reed thinking of recapturing some of that old magic a second time.

It’s another issue that’s short on action, but big on warmth. Slott’s juggling of family melodramas against a backdrop of cosmic scale madness has been a delight to read and for every Galactus sized threat, there is so much more to enjoy about this book. With so few married supes around, it’s great to see a family that is so unified, even of they do have the odd disagreement. But, ultimately they’ll always be there for one other, even if it takes a trick or two to get the grumbling Grimm on board with their plan this rime round.

Dan Slott writes wonderful, light and comical dialogue that draws you into this family and enjoy their company. He’s already given us the marriage of Alicia Masters to Ben Grimm, given the family a new home on Yancy Street, and a real community around them too. All in just a handful of issues. And still had time to bring in both Doctor Doom and Galactus. To think that the Fantastic Four were out of favour once upon a time. But then, Slott has been blessed with a revolving door of outstanding artists and Paco Medina is fast become a firm favourite of mine. A little bit of the late and great Mike Wieringo about it – as I’ve noted before now – and what he brings to the book is a joyfulness and freshness with a keen eye for dynamic layouts. In what is essentially a dialogue heavy issue with little action whatsoever, still grabs your attention. This reiteration of the FF, with its heart, family squabbles and more, will hopefully be around for a good long time yet. I mean, Slott wrote Spidey for over a decade, who know where he’ll take the FF?

Fantastic Four #14 is out now from Marvel.

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