- Written by: Ryan North
- Art by: Iban Coello
- Colors by: Jesus Aburtov
- Letters by: VC’s Joe Caramagna
- Cover art by: Alex Ross
- Cover price: $3.99
- Release date: January 4th, 2022
Fantastic Four #3 follows Johnny Storm on a solo adventure to save retail workers from an unfair boss. Meanwhile, the incident in NYC remains a mystery… until the next issue.
Is It Good?
Oy! This issue was just plain dumb. It’s impossible to know what Ryan North was thinking by kicking off his run on the FF this way, but whatever thought process went into this creative strategy, it was flawed and just plain dumb.
If you’ve been reading along, you know an “incident” occurred in NYC that left a large crater where the Baxter Building stood. For baffling reasons only Marvel Editorial understands, issues #1 and #2 focused on everything but the incident to deliver Twilight Zone-esque side stories, highlighting individuals within the FF, separated from each other.
Now, issue #3 not only keeps readers away from the FF as a team and any information about the incident, but the issue focuses on a solo Johnny Storm story where Johnny goes head-to-head with an unscrupulous store owner. That’s it. There’s not even a Twilight Zone-ish bit of whimsy to hold your attention.
If anything, Ryan North goes out of his way to paint Johnny Storm as an idiot who breaks several laws in the course of putting a store owner in his place. Breaking and Entering, Intimidation, and Destruction of Private Property are just a few of the laws Johnny breaks to be on the side of the working people. You get the impression Ryan North is trying to make a statement about worker exploitation, but the execution is so heavy-handed and nonsensical that whatever moral position North is taking is lost.
Further, Johnny is presented as a hero incapable of enduring a fight with a regular citizen because his personal code forbids allowing a human to be burned by his flames. In other words, if somebody tries to punch Johnny, he simply lets them do it and turns off the flames at the point of impact. Baffling!
Ultimately, Johnny wins in the end by organizing the workers to break into the store owner’s house to steal papers that prove a crime that is never shown or explained. Is the owner a bad boss? Yes. Does that make him a criminal or prove he committed any crimes? Not from what’s shown here. This is “trust me, bro” levels of shoddy storytelling.
About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.
Bits and Pieces
Fantastic Four #3 dips into Unsellable Squirrel Girl levels of idiocy with a Johnny Storm solo story that serves only one purpose – demonstrate to all readers that Johnny Storm is an idiot.