> McDuffie's Fantastic Four was...rather fantastic. THIS was the FF I've wanted to see: guest stars galore (Deathlok in human form, the Silver Surfer, Epoch, Starlight, the Watcher), a space mission, action, adventure, mystery.....and all in one issue! THIS single issue would have taken Bendis 9 boring issues to tell in NA.
> And this issue completely lacked the FF endless hand-wringing we've seen for the last couple of years, and stinky art.
> Great characterization throughout, though I doubt the Black Panther would have pointed the Ultimate Nullifier (another sort of 'guest star') at the Watcher without understanding what the UN is and does, nor did he seem to take into consideration the ramifications of killing the Watcher (or, A Watcher).
> Also, I doubt Storm, Johnny, and the others would demand back Gravity's body when Epoch was telling them that she/it needed his body for some truly grand, selfless cosmic reason...shouldn't they have heard her out first?
> All in all, this issue was wonderfully Marvel-inclusive and felt like a great imaginative 80s title. The Alan Davis-stye art was also terrific.
> I look forward to continuing to read this series...especially with the (Wingless) Wizard going to Saturn (somehow) to attack Sue and Reed in a few issues! Yowza! I love it!
This, to me is great news. I havent read the issue yet and now look forward to doing so. I'm one of those "on the fence types" when it comes to Civil War, it's ramifications and landscape that was left as a result. I find myself NOT liking a lot of things, yet still reading to see what happens next. As a result, i've dropped several books, and Fantastic Four is one of those books that was on the bubble (I wanted to see the first few issues by McDuffie before cutting the cord). If the issue delivers even half of what you say (and no, I am not questioning your integrity, just saying you gave it high praise) then i'll be keeping FF on my pull list.
I also agree with your take on the first two issues of the current Wolverine arc. Wolvie's solo series and Origins series met with my chopping block along with several other books.
I'm no longer going to reward Marvel (or DC, though they do it to a lesser extent) with my readership on titles that produce very little per issue and then take too many issues to tell an inconclusive, open-ended story...and the Sabretooth fight is overplayed. This grudge match lost all of it's cache when these characters started ripping each other's throats and hearts out years ago. There's just nothing interesting or new in having these two fight - well, at least in the context it's being told in.
I find myself desperately hoping That World War Hulk and Spider-Man's One more day arcs deliver, because my pull list is very thin these days, and I could really use my old reliable, fun Marvel back.
...and so gives us quite a build up for things to come.
But after BEYOND!, I think McDuffie has proven that he understands the traditional, historic MU Proper in a way that Bendis, for instance, does not, nor Ellis, nor Millar (if the last two even try to).
McDuffie effortlessly (that's the key word to his talent) brings in the Black Panther, Storm, Deathlok, Gravity (in absentee), the Watcher, Starlight, Epoch....fluidly, and in cases where the characters already know one another to some degree, we seque right into the relationship/renewed friendship, believe it, and then go on with the story, very comfortably. He did this in BEYOND! as well.
Unlike in Bendis' stilted, irrational NA, where everyone seems to suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder, trust no one, not know themselves, and have endless mucky personal problems to boot..so the 'story' gets all caught up in a bunch of superfluous, boring, tedious mucky-muck instead of getting on with a solid story.
I, too, have cut most Marvel titles, but I think things are looking brighter now that CW is over and writers like Carey, Brubaker, Pak, McDuffie, Giffen, and others are getting their due.
Brubaker and Carey's X-books, Annihilation, Silent War, Pak's Hulk, now the FF (and Yes, even Bendis' Mighty Avengers so far, on the basis of a single issue, which felt more like the Avengers to me since anything since the short Johns era) are all promising and enjoyable. Despite the death, Captain America has also been interesting under Brubaker, who brought back Doctor Faustus and the Sleeper robots.
I WANT to buy more Marvel books, I really do, and can afford to; but like you, I won't buy repetitive stuff (like 'Wolverine,' which I gave two issues to move, but it remained constipated at the end of the second issue with more weird implants/dreams, and yet another 'all-out-and'final' confrontation with you-know-who) or badly-written, 'depressing,' unimginative, neo-noirish stuff, in which I have no interest.
A bunch of heroes with endless (and I mean endless) personal problems that take over the foreground of the title--no thanks.
Peace, and enjoy the FF!