Look, if you ask me Chip Zdarsky writing and Jim Cheung drawing is all you need to sell a book. Then Marvel had to go and make it about Human Torch, Thing, and possibly reuniting the Fantastic Four. If you’re a longtime Marvel fan this is on your pull list already, but if you’re worried it might suck, don’t. This is the real deal and gives me more hope than Marvel Legacy that Marvel is going to be just fine.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
THE FOUR ARE NO MORE, SO TWO MUST DO! Something is very wrong with THE HUMAN TORCH and only THE THING can help him! It’s the Marvel Universe reunion you’ve all been waiting for (well, HALF of it, at least!). Plus: What monumental secret has DOOM been hiding since the end of SECRET WARS, and how will it completely change the lives of Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm?
Why does this matter?
A story about Thing, Human Torch, and a promise for possibly reuniting the Fantastic Four? Giddyup. Add in the fact that Disney is in the process of buying Fox, thus the Marvel movie rights and we have a perfect storm of the Fantastic Four definitely coming back. Probably. Okay maybe.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Johnny Storm is a…storm of emotions!
As the cover suggests this is very much Thing and Human Torch’s story and Zdarsky writes both characters with care, resolve, and understanding that should make longtime fans breath a sigh of relief. Thing is a loveable big lug with an even bigger heart. Human Torch has got a fire up his butt literally and figuratively. Through key flashbacks we understand the complete hell they are in due to losing their loved ones Mr. Fantastic and Sue Storm. These tender flashbacks do a lot to make us love these characters and it’s so good to have them back.
It’s not all reminiscing and sorrow however. A surprise villain shows up (his name is in the summary) who offers Thing a McGuffin, ahem, a new direction for his lost soul. That adds a bit of conflict to an already simmering internal conflict type comic. There’s a promise at the end that will resonate with fans of the Fantastic Four and that’s a promise for adventure and exploration of the unknown. By the end you’ll be raring to go even when the cliffhanger suggests our heroes might be forced to pump the brakes.
The art by Cheung is as you expect, freaking awesome. The amount of detail this man puts into Thing’s ever loving rock chunks is impressive. The fire on Human Torch? Gorgeous. The amount of emotion and heart he can instill in a close up of an otherwise pile of rocks? Impressive. The book is a delicious feast for the eyes.
I miss these guys.
It can’t be perfect can it?
If you’re looking for a character study you have come to the right place. It has that in droves. A fight comic? Maybe wait for the next issue? There’s a bit of a squabble in this issue, but really this is about setting up the journey and calibrating the heroes’ current state of mind.
Is It Good?
This is a great start to what will undoubtedly be a touching character drama about a rock and a flame. If you’ve read Fantastic Four you’re going to get the feel good vibes of that series and also a promise for more to come.
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!