Review: ‘Fantastic Four’ #43 Ups The Pace, The Drama And The Ante
by Olly MacNamee
The Reckoning War continues to consume the Marvel cosmos with multiple characters doing their best to hold on. ‘Fantastic Four’ is a pacey, punchy issue that ramps up the action and the stakes.
As we race towards the grand final of the Reckoning War in Fantastic Four #43 once more we are serves a series of dramatic and, oft-times large scale, scenes featuring the expanded cast of characters the Fantastic Four have amassed over this story arc. We have Cormorant attacking Washington D.C. and then Doctor Doom in the Florida Everglades, while Reed and The Thing, alongside She-Hulk and Jack of Hearts stuck in The Barren, and so, so much more. With so many various scenes and story threads playing out it can becoming quite confusing where this is all heading. Writer Dan Slott is certainly juggling large number of storylines at this point. I imagine a lot of a spreadsheet were used in plotting this epic.
The one thing I do know though is that it’s Doom that steals the issue with his actions. And stands to win much more than that too. He is at his wicked best when taking up a prize he has had his eye on, later in the issue, caring not one iota of the true identity of the antagonist who has, up till now, possessed it. Even if the reader would be more than happy to know this salient piece of information. Typical, arrogant Doom.
And adding to the sense of epic scale action are artists Rachel Stott and Andrea Di Vito, who once again pack a great deal I to each page and bring Slott’s script alive. The use of a good number of low angle shots helps create and sustain a sense of majesty and magnitude to the story and really drives home what is at stake here. A real sense of awe is created across the whole issue which presents a veritable who’s who of Marvel’s biggest cosmic characters all aiming to stop the Reckoning. A species who have been kept busy developing and evolving Watcher technology while the selfsame Watchers have stood stagnant.
It’s a hectic, quick-paced issue, thanks to the quick cutting between the various players resulting in an issue with a lot to take in, but collectively it creates a certain desperate pace that implies the heroes are still very much on the back-foot in this war. As it should be in these kind of space-spanning sagas.
Fantastic Four #43 is out now from Marvel.