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Another Terrible Future

January 19, 2010

     The latest issue of Fantastic Four is a rather lighthearted one, as it is the story of Franklin’s birthday.  The entirety of Power Pack, as well as Artie and Leech, his two friends from Generation X, are there.  Plus, Spider-Man makes an appearance as a part of the entertainment.  Mr. Fantastic invites both Artie and Leech to live with the F4, since they aren’t entirely happy living on Utopia, and Valeria made Artie a machine that makes up for the loss of his mutant power, allowing him to communicate once more.  That night, a mysterious intruder does something to Franklin and then tells a very cryptic story to Valeria with odd crayon drawings in the background.  Valeria reveals that she knows that the mysterious intruder is Franklin from the future just before he leaves.  Later, Franklin discovers that he has regained his mutant powers.

     Well, so many people wonder just how big an effect bad art can have on reading a comic book.  Depending on how bad the art is, it can have an amazing effect.  Neil Edwards’ art in this book was absolutely atrocious, to say the least.  Why Katie Power’s tongue is sticking out as she hugs Franklin, I don’t know.  Everyone’s facial features look oddly scrunched up, and Leech’s head is far larger than it should be.  A lot of his poses, like Franklin at the end of the issue, are also very awkward looking.  The story itself is fine, and at times, it’s rather touching (Reed’s offer to Artie and Leech).  Sure, I’m pissed off at another instance of using an alternate timeline to indicate that something bad is going to happen, but the fact that Franklin has his powers back has me intrigued.  But the art is just terrible.  I’m also sad that the editor for this book clearly wasn’t paying attention, as Artie, who cannot speak, is saying something in one of the panels (look at the speech bubble in the panel about “that’s not Spider-Man).  So it’s a cute issue with bad art and some rather clichéd portents that could be very interesting.  Jonathan Hickman’s previous issue wasn’t so good, but since the opening arc was so stellar, I’ll just hope that he’ll handle the future well.  But please, no more Neil Edwards.

Plot: 8.3      Art: 4.2      Dialogue: 8.5      Overall: 8.3

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