Two Guys Talking About Fantastic Four #602 And FF #14 By Jonathan Hickman

Glazer:
Welcome to the return of 2-Guys for 2-Guys, 2-Comics!
What are we talking today, Grey?

Grey:
Today is that special kind of day where we couldn’t just talk about one, because today? Fantastic Four AND FF both hit shelves! Two books by one writer that go hand in hand.

Glazer:
Jonathan Hickman is killing it with my favorite FF epic since, at the very least, Mark Waid.

Grey:
I agree with that completely, he’s been knocking it out of the park.
Fantastic Four is the must read franchise that it should always be and rarely actually is.

Glazer:
It’s a really hard book to write, and we can see why with how complex and how many elements have gone into this story.

Grey:
He juggles a half dozen plots per book, and really, with the exception of the Inhuman pot he’s doing a remarkable job making them all important and paced out.

Glazer:
We have the Kree, the Inhumans, the Celestials, Galactus, Doom, the Future Foundation Kids, the Council of Reeds, the Annihilation Wave, and with all that, he still manages to keep the core cast relevant and interesting.

Grey:
Everything is coming back together, All Hope Lies In Doom.

Glazer:
With that, let’s get to FF – what happens this issue?


Grey:

FF is Doom and the last of the Evil Reed’s against the Celestials while the FF tries to seal the gate and keep the Space Gods from coming through.
The book isn’t pretty by any means, but it’s a fun ride to potentially really shake things up with one of the outcomes. Also, I can’t argue with any book where we see the Ultimate Nullifier in use.

Glazer:
Ah but the FF know the space gods are going to get through, we know they just need to time it right. As usual, Valeria is the star, though Doom is pretty epic, as well.

Grey:
Valeria and Nathaniel are an awesome awesome combo. Hickman is working this whole arc around the idea that you have a time traveler and a super genius that have been manipulating everything and everyone like pieces on a chessboard.

Glazer:
While Franklin, Dragon, Doom and Alternate Reed get to be action heroes.

Grey:
Doom stands up to Mad Space Gods, his legend is written in stone.

Glazer:
Doom has stood up to Mad Space Gods for decades… Thanos and the Beyonder come immediately to mind.

Grey:
Yeah, but both would quiver before the Celestials.

Glazer:
Thanos has beaten Celestials multiple times. He’s essentially unstoppable.

Grey:
I love Jim Starlin.
Alrigtht, so the point is that Doom is, was, and always will be Doom. Written well he’s more than just an amazing villain, and that’s what he’s been in this book.

Glazer:
He’s been an amazing hero. His conversation with Valeria was the high point of the issue mostly because the art wasn’t up to properly conveying his final stand.

Grey:
Good God, the art is horrible.

Glazer:
I don’t hate it so much as I despise it for this book. It’s cartoony, but not in a good (Thor: Mighty Avenger) way.

Grey:
It worked on She Hulk, it doesn’t work here.
Val looks like a midget with a big head.

Glazer:
And the other human kids all look alike. The action is… rushed looking.

Grey:
Bobillo is the kind of guy that you use to fill in for a Skottie Young, not to replace a Steve Epting.
His style does nothing to benefit this book.

Glazer:
I’m surprised he’s on the book, honestly. It seems like the poor reviews would have taken him off, though I guess changing from that style mid trade would be hugely jarring.

Grey:
I’m guessing that they got him for an arc and didn’t feel like reshuffling after a poor reception. Same reason that some of the New 52 books are waiting for the 6th or 7th issue to debut new creative teams. You’ve got it in the can, just use it instead of delaying to get someone new.
Because really, if either of these books is delayed it hurts the other one.

Glazer:
Who would you want on the book?

Grey:
Hmmm, you know, that’s a good question…give me a minute to think it over.

Glazer:
Take your time, the readers won’t know the difference!

Grey:
This is true! They won’t see our timestamps!

Glazer:
Crap, I forgot to take those out! They might!

Grey:
I’ll delete them in post!

Well, let’s see here, Kitson is drawing Fantastic Four this arc to fill in for Epting, and that’s a great one-two combo for that book.
Wait, I got it.
Mike McKone.

Glazer:
Good call. I could totally see that. I was kind of thinking a good Spider-Artist would be good here, you know?

Grey:
I was looking for Teen Titans artists, to be completely honest. But he’s also on Avengers Academy doing a great job, and he had a Fantastic Four run a few years back that was very underrated.

Glazer:
I would be able to live with that. How about Bachalo?

Grey:
I’d buy it, though I prefer him on X-Men.
How about anybody to have drawn Ultimate Spidey?

Glazer:
That would absolutely do it for me.

Grey:
Oh! Pasqual Ferry!

Glazer:
Very good call, but I bet readers are getting tired of the artist back and forth, so let’s rate this and go on to Fantastic Four.

Grey:
Fantastic Four is what happens when all the shit in the world hits the fan….IN ORBIT!

Glazer:
Wait, we need a rating!

Grey:
For FF? I’d give the writing an easy 9, but the art is going to drop it to a generous 7. Bobillo ruined some potentially amazing moments.

Glazer:
I agree completely again! We should take months off more often. It’s an easy 9 for the writing. It’s memorable and stellar. The art? Ugh. This is a visual medium and an epic, all-time great story. Bobillo must do better or Marvel should replace him (here, not everywhere, as he could work fine on another book).

Grey:
His style worked on She Hulk, it doesn’t work here. It’s just…it’s a very awkward fit.

Glazer:
And now, Fantastic Four!


The Annihilation Wave of Johnny Storm vs. the Kree with the Inhumans in the middle… and Galactus… and Mad Celestials…

Grey:
The Inhumans is the only weak part of any of it.

Glazer:
I disagree- Spidey hanging around has become less relevant.

Grey:
One thing that really amuses me is that the way Hickman is handling all of this makes it feel like he’s going out with a bang…but he’s not leaving.
He’s going super epic without it being the last hurrah.

Glazer:
Yeah, who knows how long this is going to take to actually end? Galactus vs. Mad Celestials should take months.

Grey:
I figure this arc gets a few more issues.
I imagine we’ll see the Ultimate Nullifier pop up and be used appropriately.
Spidey’s presence isn’t as awesome in this book as it could be, but his membership does wonders for stories in his own book.

Glazer:
I’d prefer he stayed with the FF as a mentor than being a fifth wheel here.

Grey:
Well, it’s not like he’s going to quit the team in mid-Intergalactic Super Conflict.

Glazer:
True, but he should have just been left with the FF to begin with.

Grey:
He was too busy saving New York.

Glazer:
Of course since the 4 didn’t know Johnny was returning, I understand, but trusting Reed’s dad without a real hero doesn’t seem right.

Grey:
They didn’t exactly know that they would be attacked by Annihilus’s followers.
Well, Val and Nathaniel did, but that’s why it happened that way.
It’s chess.

Glazer:
Right, I got that. I just think the Nate-Spidey conflict would have given Peter a reason to be in the story beyond “well, he was there.”

Grey:
I can’t really argue.
I loved Sue in this issue, she just smiles and demolishes how many Kree?

Glazer:
Sue was absolutely phenomenal. I like that Ben seems so happy to be back in his role of punching people!

Grey:
He likes things being back to normal.
No more mopey Thing.

Glazer:
I like mature Johnny too.

Grey:
He’s mature but we don’t know how he’ll be outside of combat, so it’s very possible that the big difference will be that Johnny finally learned how to not be a punkass during a fight. Not that he’ll be less fun or anything. I still expect Ben to get pranked, and for us as readers to love it.

Glazer:
I agree totally, but, well, I like seeing him as a leader. It felt a lot like a natural maturation.

Grey:
I agree, and really, I can’t wait to see his reintegration when the world is not about to destroyed by Mad Space Gods.

Glazer:
I’m going to enjoy the Mad Space God’s for now. It’s geeky but Galactus vs. Celestials is awesome and I don’t think it’s been done.

Grey:
Oh, dude, I’m right there with you. Hickman is writing the stuff of nerdgasms.
This is a message board argument, straight up, “Galactus and the Fantastic Four against Celestials”.

Glazer:
Its been built to be epic
Everyone has been shown to be beyond powerful and beyond on the top of their game.

Grey:
It has been, which is impressive all it’s own. This is the kind of thing you could throw out there with no build up and have supreme epicness, but the difference is that we’ve been seeing it coming for months and it’s finally here.
Hickman is awesome like that, he more or tells you “This is exactly what will happen, just wait” and then by the time it happens it’s just awesome.

Glazer:
It’s build up. Taking the time to make it feel important… makes it feel important.

Grey:
It doesn’t hurt that the majority of Marvel is made up of people doing their build up in the three months prior to an event.
Hickman is that rare case that will spend two years never letting you forget one thing that’s coming, and always making it bigger.

Glazer:
Exactly, so, a rating?

Grey:
The writing is a 10, as it has been for months. Hickman is shooting up my list on the top Fantastic Four writers of all time, and is currently sitting just below Mark Waid and it’s getting REALLY hard to keep him there. The art, on the other hand? Well, Barry Kitson is the icing on this cake, perfectly suited for the FF just like he is, really, any book he wants to draw.
Perfect 10 from me
. This is the definition of great comics.

Glazer:
I’m giving it a 10 as well. This is, at worst, the best Fantastic Four since Waid, and, at best, the best Fantastic Four ever, and, besides the Black Bolt return issues, Marvel’s single best book.

Grey:
It’s one of their true must read titles, and as much as I hate to say it, it’s not a giant list these days. This book, Amazing Spidey, and Daredevil are easily the best things coming out of Marvel every month.

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