Writer: Mark Waid
Art: Neal Adams, Mark Farmer, Laura Martin, and VC’s Joe Caramagna
Release Date: August 26th, 2020
The first FANTASTIC FOUR story ever illustrated by the great Neal Adams has finally arrived! Combine that with the legendary Mark Waid and you have yourself a stellar team ready to blow the doors off Marvel’s First Family. However, as a relentless meteor of unspecified origin propels itself from hyperspace, the Fantastic Four plunge themselves into a would-be solution in order to uncover a way to prevent it from slamming into Manhattan and killing millions! Can the Fantastic Four save Manhattan in time? And, is their more to this story than meteors falling from the sky? Let’s jump into FANTASTIC FOUR: ANTITHESIS #1 by Mark Waid and Neal Adams to see what’s really going on with this meteor shower from hyperspace.
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Readers, it’s not that FANTASTIC FOUR: ANTITHESIS #1 was bad by any stretch, nevertheless, it just didn’t have the impact an opening issue should in order to drive fans to the issue. Immediately out of the gate, Reed and his Fantastic Family are thrown into action against a common foe only to quickly sweep up the confrontation and move on to the purpose of the series with three or so pages to go. My biggest concern is that seventy-five percent of issue one (mind you of a five-issue mini) was wasted on a story to get readers’ feet wet. Mark Waid’s take was certainly characteristic of his prior run with shades of humor sprinkled in between the family BUT his narrative this week just didn’t have the effect this reviewer was looking for from an opening installment.
Now, as disappointing as the use of pages was to this reviewer, the ending was far better than the beginning. There are some big Fantastic Four villains and players throughout the comic but the true grandeur of the issue happens at its conclusion and honestly had its sails taken away by a certain comic from last week (… cough cough… THOR). It’s just extremely ironic how timely this issue fell in conjunction with THOR. So, to those who have no idea what I’m talking about or chose to not read solicits for FANTASTIC FOUR: ANTITHESIS #1 (or look at the dang cover), the ending will truly be a big surprise. However, the bagpipes were out of the air before the story began and the release of this issue simply fell at an inopportune time leading to the wind taken from the sails before the boat left the docks.
Additionally, the art definitely gives issue one a classic feel but some of the Ben Grimm and Reed Richard images were weird, a bit distorted, angry, and somewhat frightening. Actually, the faces of many of the characters were set up in awkward positions and gestures causing overreactions in a variety of places that just didn’t work for this comic fan. However, that does tend to be Neal Adams’ artistic style and flare at times. So, I guess it’s expected.
As inaugural issues go, Waid’s opener was a bit too quirky and lacked the weight, merit, force, and punch associated with a number one issue. As a Mark Waid fan, I know it will get better. Plus, reading Waid’s prior FANTASTIC FOUR run (amazing omnibus BTW) makes this critic feel confident that the story will definitely pick up. Furthermore, I can see the promise that’s ready to explode from the pages. Nonetheless, FANTASTIC FOUR: ANTITHESIS #1 just feels like Waid held back too much for a five-issue story. Now as disappointed as I am after reading issue one, I’m still on board. My hope is that the remaining four issues will focus on the true meat and most interesting aspect of this narrative. That said, I would still recommend keeping this series on your pull list merely for the potential this series has alone. However, I’d put it on a short leash. If FANTASTIC FOUR: ANTITHESIS #2 goes nowhere and mutters to another standstill, it will most certainly be time to bail.
If you’re interested in FANTASTIC FOUR: ANTITHESIS #1, click HERE to get a copy! If you’ve been really digging Slott’s FANTASTIC FOUR run, click HERE to get your hands on related trades, volumes, and issues. Lastly, if the FANTASTIC FOUR are your all-time favorite hero team, click HERE to snag some of the very best issues and trades from this fantastic team throughout the years. And finally, if you’re looking for something else to read, check out my Amazon Online Comic Shop by clicking HERE. Thank you all for the read and continued support. Stay safe and stay healthy.
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