It’s sad to see Dan Slott no longer writing Fantastic Four, but the very idea behind David Pepose’s two-part Fantastic Four A.X.E.: Judgment Day tie-in is enough to make me forget for a little while. Pitched as Invisible Woman meets Die Hard, the Baxter building is attacked, and we get to see Sue Storm go solo. Throw in a heisty title like “The Taking of Baxter 1-2-3-4-” and we have ourselves a story that reminds us why we love comics.
You might be wondering why Invisible Woman is on her own on the cover of this issue, but Pepose does the heavy lifting to set that up and explain why the first family isn’t by her side. Fantastic Four #47 opens with Mr. Fantastic, and we quickly learn over one page he’s locking himself away to figure out how to resolve the whole Celestial-judging-us thing. Sure, it doesn’t really work from a continuity perspective since we see him rushing into battle in the main event, but just go with it.
We also get some classic characterizations of Human Torch, who is full of himself and a total jerk to Thing, and a Thing who is loveable. Both get stuck with their problems related to the Celestial running amock across the world. Once that and setting up the villain are out of the way, the fun can really begin. It’s a little slow to get to the Invisible Woman badassery, but the creators nail the concept from here on out.
We’re talking Invisible Woman using her abilities creatively, like jumping towards attackers with invisible discs or darting through enemies while invisible. You get a heavy sense she was once a spy, which fans should remember from Mark Waid’s fun miniseries. There’s something genuinely awesome seeing Invisible Woman in business attire choking a robot with her thighs before diving off a ledge to save a falling man.
Speaking of the man, Pepose does a good job establishing the friendly folks who work at the Baxter building. This isn’t a nondescript location of random folks mucking about. You get the sense they are real people, good people at that, and Invisible Woman truly cares about everyone. It’s the down-to-earth aspect of the Fantastic Four to a T.
Drawn by Juann Cabal, with colors by Jesus Aburtov, the kindness of Invisible Woman shines through throughout the issue. Thing, in particular, is cool looking, and he even gets a heroic moment that shows the world is on his shoulders, sometimes literally. Cabal is quite good at splashy moments, like the reveal of the villain who stands tall and looks evil as heck.
Fantastic Four #47 will satiate fans of the badass that is Invisible Woman, who doesn’t always get to show that side of herself off. It may take a little extra time to get things going, but it’s going to be a true spectacle to see how this story plays out next issue.
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