Writer: Dan Slott
Artist: Sean Izaakse
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: November 6, 2019
Cover Price: $3.99
Fantastic Four has been back for sixteen issues, with a few one-shots thrown in for good measure, yet I still couldn’t tell you what the overarching story to this title has been, or even what it’s accomplished so far other than just the family being reunited. Its a book I don’t mind checking in on from time to time, however, it’s also not really something I really find a must-read from month to month, and for something that was gone for so long, that’s a bit of an issue. So let’s check in on part three of “Point of Origin” and see if this issue is finally able to suck me into this arc I’m again having trouble caring much for.
The issue begins by visiting our entire cast, in different locals throughout the planet they find themselves on, starting things off in a bit of a scattered manner, while never really spending enough time throughout the issue to really progress any of the stories much at all. I find the character-focused issues in the run so far to be much much stronger on their own, as opposed to when Slott tries to incorporate the team aspect, yet separates them not giving us the team together at all.
Anyway, I’ll stop rambling and get to the point; the Thing finds himself in an underground Monster Club fighting his way through various members until he reaches the big boss. This is the aspect of the story that seems to make the most headway, due to the simple concept, yet I find Slott gets the Thing’s voice the best, making it simple yet effective, especially by issues end.
Intertwined with Thing’s narrative we get Johnny catching up with his new ‘soulmate’, as he tries to understand how they were matched, and just how these ‘relationships’ work on this new planet. To me this is the least interesting of the three running stories and really drags the rest of the title down because the other two stories aren’t bad, again its the pacing of this book, that intertwines everything, mostly the good and the bad at an uneven pace, which really affects my enjoyment here.
Finally, the story with Reed and Sue reveals the most information to move the story forward here, but does so through a lot of dialogue-heavy scenes, until the two eventually are forced to take action. The two manage to get a FOUR signal up in the sky by issues end, hopefully with the looks of reuniting the team in time for next issue, to really progress matters here story-wise, with a little extra help coming from Things direction. So by the end, we have a pretty interesting cliffhanger setting up a pretty nice finale, it’s just that the journey and three issues used to get here, could have been handled better to build up the story in my opinion.
Overall, the Fantastic Four is a great looking issue, with a wide array of characters all getting unique designs and models, there’s even some excellent attention to detail paid to backgrounds, and the surrounding environment, you don’t see in all Marvel Comics nowadays. The problem here is we’re going into issue four of a story arc, that while setting up an interesting finale, has done so in a long-winded and not overly interesting way. The Fantastic Four under Dan Slott has had some great issues, but they’ve been largely character-focused efforts. In this issue, like a lot of the rest of his run so far, he seems to have trouble dealing with making the team problems interesting. This results in a divide and conquer mentality, contributing to pacing problems, making large parts of the issue dull.
I want to love Fantastic Four but each issue always feels like something is missing. This issue it is the family dynamic that is MIA and while Dan Slott tries to wow us in different ways, I just couldn’t get into it.