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'Fantastic Four' #3 shows Human Torch needs a team to be his best
Marvel

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‘Fantastic Four’ #3 shows Human Torch needs a team to be his best

‘Fantastic Four’ #3 focuses entirely on the Human Torch.

Marvel Comics has bandied about the term “All-New All-Different” before, but when it comes to Fantastic Four under Ryan North and Iban Coelllo, it’s both different and classic again. That’s because the creators have focused on these characters’ endearing qualities, reminding us they are pure of heart, true heroes at their core, and their incredible bond with each other. And yet, it feels all-different since we haven’t seen an approach to the Fantastic Four quite like this in ages. With the first issue dedicated to Thing and the second to Sue and Reed, it’s Human Torch’s turn to get the focus.

Like the last two issues, Fantastic Four #3 is a done-in-one story. Johnny is on his own and helping folks out, even though he’s supposed to be hiding. He seems to have figured out a way to keep his identity incognito, which means clever disguises. You’d think a guy who flames on would be easy to spot, but he thinks he’s doing a great job at it. There’s his overconfidence again.

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After a heroic opening saving folks from a tornado, the story digs into Johnny’s need to help out folks at his workplace. It was the only place that would accept him without giving his info, and it seems others have done the same, and the operation boss knows he can exploit them.

Interesting elements float to the top in this issue. One is a major focus on how Johnny can control the heat of his flame, but the technicalities of that. The larger theme, though, is that Johnny belongs on a team. So much so that he must form one to defeat the evil boss. It’s made clear the roles of each of the Fantastic Four and how Johnny fits into them, but we also see he truly cares for others and can be clever. Sure, he’s a goofball, and his disguise may not work on everyone, but his heart is in the right place.

Fantastic Four #3

Neat info on tornadoes!
Credit: Marvel

It’s safe to say, after reading these first three issues, Coello is a great storyteller. The acting from every character is spot on, the fantastical nature of Human Torch’s flame looks fabulous–with great colors by Jesus Aburtov–and the drama is always in the right places. Johnny is facing a man with no powers and not even the law behind him, yet it feels like it’s a mountain at times that Johnny can’t match. That’s conveyed well with angles on the action in dramatic moments throughout.

Johnny points out that he’s not a solo hero but a better teammate, and it’s easy to see that in how this narrative plays out. He can’t quite sustain your interest in the entire issue, and that might be because the wholesome qualities seen in the other Fantastic Four in the last two issues are missing. Johnny cares, but that wholesome energy is missing. The conflict also lacks the adventure and fantastical elements of the first two issues. It’s not bad per se, but held up to superhero standards, and the standards of the last two issues, it’s less interesting.

Fantastic Four #3 continues the trend of satisfying one-shot style adventures for specific members of the Fantastic Four. With all four getting their adventure after this issue, it’s time to see what North has cooked up for the team when they’re together, and I couldn’t be more excited.

'Fantastic Four' #3 shows Human Torch needs a team to be his best
‘Fantastic Four’ #3 shows Human Torch needs a team to be his best
Fantastic Four #3
Fantastic Four #3 continues the trend of satisfying one-shot style adventures for specific members of the Fantastic Four. With all four getting their adventure after this issue, it's time to see what North has cooked up for the team when they're together, and I couldn't be more excited.
Reader Rating1 Votes
7.7
Continues to write these characters well
Satisfying story since it starts and ends here
Doesn't hit those wholesome notes like the last two issues
The conflict doesn't have the fantastical adventure feel like the past two issues
8
Good
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