Advance Review: Fantastic Four #550

Writer: Dwayne McDuffie
Artist: Paul Pelletier

Marvel Comics

The stakes just went from cosmic to ridiculous. The Fantastic Six (Ben, Johhny, Sue, Reed, Storm and Black Panther) are in space, running from someone towards something while fixing a whatsit. Pure cosmic adrenaline rush. Then, they start calling in their guest-stars, as no less than FOUR more Marvel Heroes are called in to help them, lest Eternity is doomed!

Yeah, the stakes are huge, on paper at least.

Unfortunately, McDuffie‘s script is so super-condensed that it doesn’t let the plot breathe and the true scope of what is at stake isn’t felt by the reader. McDuffie is obviously so excited to get a short chance at the World’s Greatest Comics Magazine (TM) (before Millar/Hitch arrive), that he’s willing to get out every FF story he’s got in the back of his mind, while he has the chance. In the meantime, he might as well also feature every one of his favourite pet characters, like Deathlok and the now infamous Gravity. Slow down, catch your breath, mate!

Paul Pelletier has slowly climbed up the ladder to one of Marvel’s worthiest artists, developing a meatier style which suits the heroic material more. I hope he moves to a similarly high-profile project next.