Written by: Christopher Cantwell
Art by: Filipe Andrade
Colors by: Chris O’Halloran
Letters by: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Release Date: 12/2/2020
I’m not sure if Christopher Cantwell got the memo, but Halloween is two months too late. This random over priced one-shot, disguised as a could be mini series, that should have been a “What IF” story is one big waste of time. Cantwell takes a break from Doom and Stark and takes a swing and a miss on Marvel’s First Family. So much so, that even the editor’s had to clarify that this issue takes place before certain big events that happen in the normal Fantastic Four series. Not that it helps makes sense of the story. They tired, I guess.
What could have been a fun quirky Fantastic Four National Lampoon’s Vacation, quickly turns into a Brian K. Vaughan wet dream. But to be honest Brian K. Vaughan could have made more sense out of this book. Cantwell does everything he can to prove he knows nothing about the Fantastic Four. Relationships, characters, it’s all surface level with a side of extra Reed Richards being an A-hole.
As the First Family travels to the Grand Canyon it’s revealed by Reed that in part, this “vacation” will give him the chance to study a meteor crater. This of course causes all sorts of madness throughout the story. Cantwell, made this interesting with Ben’s reaction to the meteor particles, it had precedent in Ben’s story in Slott’s current run on Fantastic Four. Unfortunately, Cantwell just couldn’t leave it at that. Things started happening to every member of the Fantastic Four except for Alicia, due to her being “normal”. Of course that would mean that Val would also be unaffected by whatever was happening, but no, Cantwell again shoehorning a new theory that she is in fact some sort of altered super being.
In the midst of the chaos Val poops herself, Sue loses a liver, and a random park ranger runs into their rental home screaming at the top of their lungs to help Johnny Storm who was in the book for a total of maybe six panels. This story was nonsense, the progression was nonsense, and not a single character learned a lesson by the end of the issue. A poor waste of thirty two pages.
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Cantwell needs to stick with Iron Man, it’s not great, but it’s at least a little better than this. This issue from cover to cover was not fun. If you’re a fan of old school horror comics or current indie horror, you may enjoy the art, but you’re not going to enjoy the story. Because it just doesn’t make any sense.