Ultimate Fantastic Four #16 Review

“N-Zone Part 4”

Written by Warren Ellis
Penciled by Adam Kubert
Inks by John Dell with Nelson and Larry Stucker
Coloring by Dave Stewart
Lettering by Chris Eliopulos
Production by Jacob Chabot
Asst Edited by John Barber
Edited by Nick Lowe

Published by Marvel Comics

I was disappointed by this issue. It’s not very good. And see, I didn’t go in wanting to dislike it. I am a Warren Ellis fan. I like most everything I read of his. I also enjoy Adam Kubert’s art usually. So I went in wanting to like this book. Plus I went in with low expectations. For months now, I’ve been patiently waiting for this book to get itself out of the rut it’s in. I don’t know if it is due to editorial mandate, Ellis’ writing, or overall poor planning, but the book has not been nearly as good as it could and should be for a long time.

I think part of it has to do with the way the arcs are structured. Here, we’re in the middle of the third six issue arc in the book. This is the second creative writer, first time with this artist and when they started, we were told it was just for a limited time. So it really seems like a work-for-hire type book. We’re not given any sort of personality for the book, and that is what makes the Fantastic Four work.

In the traditional FF book, it works best when a creative team is able to get in for a while and tell some good stories, really getting to know the characters, and letting us know them too. Sadly, in Ultimate FF, despite some cool moments here and there, it has not happened.

What we basically have in this issue is four people in the N-zone. They got there sometime within the past 3 issues. It took us 3 months to get where we are. And then they meet Nihil, the guy who runs the N-zone. He’s pretty creepy, but Reed and him have a chat about the universe and different universes. How his is old and Reed can “learn much” from it, that sort of thing.

Overall, it’s terribly boring.

Oh, and Johnny (who has been given almost nothing to do in this title) gets sick for… some reason. And his sister Sue wants them to go home so he can be taken care of. Reed doesn’t want to go yet.

And that’s it. We get a fairly uninspiring cliffhanger this month, for we know within 5 pages of the next issue, things will be just fine.

There are two more issues of this arc, and I’m willing to give them a chance to redeem the book, but it’s going to take a lot for that to happen.

Everyone here is worthy of better, that goes for the creators, the characters, and the fans of everyone involved.

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