Monday, January 03, 2005

Fantastic Christmas Gift

This volume collects the first year’s worth of Fantastic Four stories scripted by Mark Waid with the majority the pencils handled by Mr. Waid’s past Flash collaborator, Mike Wieringo. The FF haven’t always been my very favorite comic, but over the course of my comic collecting life, I read them for a good deal of time. Of course what Stan and Jack is breathtaking visual storytelling and the John Byrne stories are fun. FF was one of the few Marvel titles this DC-fanboy consistently picked up. As is the case with many comic readers, I would often take time off from collecting and reading, but the addiction would kick in and I would have to return.

I took a year or so off from buying and reading and got back in late last year and soon picked up FF (a couple of months after #500) and really enjoyed what Mark Waid was doing with the series and received the Volume 1 hardcover for Christmas. From the outset, it was clear that Mr. Waid had good plans for the Richards family and specific things he wanted the family to encounter. His use of Dr. Doom is probably the best since Stan and Jack, not to take anything away from John Byrne’s good stories. Overall, this collection is one of the best I’ve read from the House of Ideas and all the DVD-type extras are really worth the price ($29.99), shit, #500 is high enough in price right now and will probably only increase as the movie gets closer to release.

Some of the extras include Waid’s “mission statement” for the FF and sketches from Wieringo, as well. Again, Waid’s mission statement is a really good indication of just how well he “gets” the FF. In the first year, Waid hit a homerun with the Unthinkable storyline and it looks as if he is going to end his run on a solid note with the current Galactus storyline. Unfortunately, as great as the Galactus storyline is, it is still sad since it is the last FF story the great Waid/Wieringo team are creating, for the time being.

The term Definitive Run is thrown around alot in comic book circles and outside of the legendary 100 issue rune by Stan and Jack, you'll be hard pressed to find any FF-runs as great as the one kicked off in this hardcover.

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