Ultimate Fantastic Four #35 Review

Title : God War : Part 3 of 6
Writer : Mike Carey
Art : Pasqual Ferry
Colors : John Rauch
Letters : Randy Gentile (VC)
Editor : Ralph Macchio

The mainstream Fantastic Four title has often been known for its galaxy-spanning, cosmic stories. The Ultimate version is beginning to take the same route, with recent stories about alien invaders, alien zombie invaders and this story-arc, which shows friendly alien invaders, hostile alien invaders, and then the Ultimate FF invading an alien dimension (!).

The story is so cosmic in scope it becomes a little difficult to follow, although it is easy to relax and simply be swept along for the ride. In essence, the misunderstanding between the FF and the initial visitors has been ironed out, but at the end of the previous issue the hostile forces had made themselves known, and the true lines of conflict had been drawn.

Mike Carey has certainly come up with a striking and arresting cast of characters, and the alien civilization is a creation to be proud of. However, the plot line of ‘powerful-overconfident-supervillain-meets-comeuppance’ is certainly not a new one, and Carey only adds a limited creative shine to a well-worn story.

Carey is also, in my opinion, still finding his feet in terms of giving life to the individual voices of each of the Four. Yes, Reed is intellectual, Torch and Thing joke around and so forth, but the interplay between the characters isn’t all that it could be. JMS, for all his other faults, has really tapped into the souls of the characters in his current run on the main FF title, especially that of Reed.

I’m in the minority, but the art of Pasqual Ferry has never grabbed me, although his cartoony style is certainly suited to the cosmic nature of this story-line. Aliens hardly need to be drawn ‘realistically’, as long as they look sufficiently ‘alien’ and grotesque. Its interesting to contrast Ferr’s soft lines with the firmly drawn hyper-photgraphic style of Greg Land, who’s art features in the Ultimate Power preview in the middle of this book.

Although this issue ends on a quasi-cliffhanger, its not like we’re in much doubt that the FF are going to save the day. The fun is seeing how that will be accomplished. This team’s work only makes that journey moderately enjoyable.