Ultimate Fantastic Four #14

Title: N-Zone (2 of 6)
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Writer: Warren Ellis
Pencils: Adam Kubert
Inker: John Dell
Colors: Dave Stewart
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Editor: Ralph Macchio
Publisher: Dan Buckley

Warren Warren Warren… what have you done? Apparently not write much lately. We’ll get to that in a moment, let me just lay out where we are in the story first…

STORY!

Reed has discovered the truth about his childhood belief that there is a counter universe to ours that he’s labeled ‘The Negative Zone’ or the ‘N-Zone’ as all the kids are calling it these days actually exists. So he’s presented this to General Ross and with a little nudging towards military application and Ross is go for this. Sue, on the other hand, is not – until Reed asks really nicely, and says it might help them revert back to their former selves.

Now right at the get go there is some dialogue that is pretty decent. Ellis had originally stricken me as someone who has no understanding of how a teenager talks with the first few issues of his run, but this flows much more naturally. Good, he’s got a grasp on the characters. Now without missing a beat, the Fantastic Four choose to go into the N-Zone, remod a space shuttle, name it ‘THE AWESOME’ (greatest spaceship name… evah!) and head out into the N-Zone.

All in all, I would almost think this was some weird political statement against decompressed storytelling, as the first nine pages are chuck full of storytelling, but the last fifteen pages are a max of four panels a page, minimum of half a panel. Two.. not one, but two double-page splashes. That last chunk of storytelling is them modding the ship, taking off, and ending up in the N-Zone. It comes across as lazy and poor storytelling during a week that had only four books come out (I’m exaggerating) to have a book that is barely half a book be one of those few.

Art!

I love the art in this book, and not only do I love it – I got to enjoy two full double-page splashes of it. I adore the thin lines and the very strict attention to science fiction detail. Seriously, no sarcasm, Kubert should be doing more science fiction writing as it just is, no pun intended, fantastic.

Overall!

A laaaaaazy book. It started strong, very strong in fact – but one minute you are hearing the Fant Four try and agree on ANYTHING – and after they finally do come to a mutual understanding, you blink. After you open your eyes, they’re in the Negative Zone and you feel gypped.

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