Ultimate Fantastic Four #23 Review

“Crossover” Part 3

Review by Tim Sheridan

Writer: Mark Millar
Pencils: Greg Land
Inks: Matt Ryan
Colors: Justin Posner
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Production: Brad Johansen
Assistant Editors: John Barber & Nicole Wiley
Editor: Ralph Macchio

When this storyline was first announced, it seemed like the Ultimate Universe was going to meet the “Marvel 616” one. This got a lot of people excited. This also got a lot of people angry. Personally, I didn’t want to see the two universes meet. But I thought that if it was a good story, then it was worth seeing.

Mark Millar’s story is not satisfying no matter what side you fall on. The parallel universe that Ultimate Reed Richards journeys to looks and feels like the 616 we know, but is not. Instead, there are zombies. And boring zombies at that. It feels to me like this story is a good idea, and that’s it. Like someone at Marvel thought it would be great to tease readers with the idea that the universes would be meeting, but to ultimately, not. In terms of marketing, it’s a good move. But as a reader, I do feel a bit cheated. Because as a story, aside from all the marketing moves, it’s not a very compelling one.

I am a fan of Millar’s writing, so I was more than a little disappointed with the first arc of his “return” to this title. I have faith in him as a writer and creator, so I am hoping that he turns this around. He is far more talented than this story has shown.

The art, however, is a different story. Greg Land’s work in this book is outstanding. The first time I saw his work was many years ago in a Nightwing annual. Even back then, I knew he was a very talented artist. I’m glad he is getting good projects to work on, and I hope his popularity continues to increase. His work has the best balance of realism and fantasy, on par with John Cassaday. The art is touching when it needs to be, scary when it needs to be, and always excellent. His layouts are great: inkeeping the pace of the story, and never letting style overtake the substance.

In my past reviews of the this comic, I have commented on the lack of direction it seems to have. I still think it is due to the creators not being around for very long. All the writers and artists who have worked on Ultimate Fantastic Four have done great work elsewhere, and never really stick around long enough to do great work here. I hope Millar and Land give themselves and the book enough time to really shine.