10 Thoughts Review on Fantastic Four Annual #32 by Joe Ahearne and Bryan Hitch

1. Ahearne and Hitch tell the story of a woman impregnated by Johnny Storm due to the manipulations of the Psycho-Woman, getting Psycho-Woman out of The Human Torch’s head and figuring what’s up with the baby.

2. Ahearne is a relative newcomer to comics, having written the forgettable Fantastic Force, but being known for writing some Doctor Who. He isn’t really hitting any new territory of doing fantastic character work, but this is a well-structured story that maintains interest with everyone acting in character.

3. Bryan Hitch, on the other hand, knocks it out of the park with everything from facial expressions to action. You’re shocked I know.

4. I love that Marvel put this relatively unknown writer with Hitch here. Hitch is a huge name and should sell the title, giving Ahearne more exposure. I’m not sure he’s more than competent yet, but we’ll see.

5. The only part of Hitch’s art here I don’t like are the robot probe things that attack the team. They just look silly with all of those holes and lights all over them.

6. Johnny’s baby-moma here is your stock competent woman. She just wants him to know he has a kid, is independent, and so on. It’s better than her being a fawning fan or a moron, but more should have been done with her.

7. The team spends half the issue figuring out that this is a Psycho-Man/Microverse issue, which only works because Psycho-Woman was playing with Reed’s brain. Good call.

8. The figuring out if the baby is Johnny’s is done awesomely ludicrously. Not only do characters have to be shrunk down to get tissue samples, but they also end up looking back in time to see how the baby was originally conceived.

9. The issue of abortion is utterly ducked here, with the woman going back to potentially stop the pregnancy from ever occurring rather than dealing with the issue of an abortion now. It’s kind of a shortcut, though I guess at the end of the day abortion isn’t really an issue I want at the end of my Psycho-Woman in the Human Torch’s brain to make a super-baby army story.

10. Rating: 6/10 – A perfectly solid, if forgettable Fantastic Four adventure raised a notch above by Hitch’s gorgeous art. This might appear better, but at it’s $4.99 price point it’s not really a success in comparison to the brilliant Iron Man Annual or Jonathan Hickman’s most-recent issue.

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