Family is important. That is definitely the big takeaway of ‘Fantastic Four’ #24 in this fun-filled new issue. Iceman comes a knocking and that leads to hot-head Johnny Storm taking umbrage, leading to the telling of an untold tale in the FF’s history. A tale illustrated by Paco Medina and adopting just the right amount of Jack Kirby influence. All in all, a faultless book and one of the best in Dan Slott’s run so far. Highly recommended.
With Empyre all sown up, the Fantastic Four are adapting to the aftermath and welcoming in two new members to their ever-extending family. Alien children Jo-Venn and N’Kalla (now nicknamed Jo and Nicki respectively) have been adopted by Ben Grimm and Alicia Masters and getting used to their new life on Earth. Meanwhile, Johnny Storm’s soulmate from the stars, Sky, has also only recently been welcomed into the family, in an issue that acts as a reminder to readers of the importance of family. It’s always been the backbone to the Fantastic Four’s ongoing saga and this issue is one of those one-off timely reminder of this. And a great read from start to finish too.
Fantastic Four #24 is a time to take stock as well as regal readers with a fun tale of yesteryear and the untold story – until now – of Iceman’s brief time on the team. And, another chance for Dan Slott to cut loose with some friendly back-and-forth banter between friends and family.
The open couple of two page spreads are a masterclass on exposition as well as a reminder of how great a talent artist Paco Medina is at Marvel as he lays out two very engaging double pagers that just drags you in. We quickly catch up with the affairs of all the family members after a great deal of change that’s come about not only because of Empyre but also due to the events of the recent X-Men/Fantastic Four mini-series too. It’s been a very busy few weeks for the Fantastic Four, so some quality time with family is much needed.
And, with the amount of dialogue Slott packs into this issue I have to give a spacial shout out to letterer Joe Caramanga who never makes a page look too busy with dialogue. Each page is beautifully balanced as a result and never at the expense of the art.
And, with the catch-up with Marvel’s first family done and dusted, we sit back and look in on a tale from the past, that Medina nails with a winning combination of Jack Kirby inspired art and pop-culture colourings that evokes the old Silver Age comics, but with a very contemporary spin courtesy of colour artist Jesus Abartov, who must take extra credit on this issue for a job very well done. Excelsior, even! As for Medina’s art? Well, when artists homage Kirby’s style it’s often at the expense of their own style, but Medina is one of those rare artists who pours in just enough Kirby influence into his work but not at the expense of drawing out his own style. The results are remarkable and one of my favourite single issues thus far in Slott’s fun run.
Iceman helps out the Fantastic Four on a number of missions, but that’s not enough for Johnny, who’s hot-headedness is of full display in this issue. Although these days, Johnny has done a great deal of growing-up and so I don’t think I’m spoiling anything by saying that it all ends well, with a ringing endorsement for family in all it’s diverse forms.
All in all, Dan Slott’s run so far has been a nothing short of a stellar success. Even the Empyre tie-in won me over quickly and it’s still one of the first books I read whenever it comes out, and one of the very few Marvel comics I pick up. This one, I’ll be rereading again because it was so much fun! And, isn’t that what comics should be all about?
Fantastic Four #24 is available now from Marvel Comics