Archive for the ‘Artie Maddicks’ Category

FF #23

January 4, 2014

FF 23Jonathan Hickman // Nick Dragotta
December 2012
****

In a sense, Hickman’s Four was Mr. F, his dad, & the time-tossed kids. #611 bade goodbye to Reed, Nat, & Val; #23 focuses on Franklin. In this coda, he tutors his child-self in imagination, their superpower. It’s a bit sentimental, but it values creativity over intellect—in comics & in life.

last issue: FF #22
continued in The Fantastic Four #1
continued in FF #1

also indexed for Dec. ’12
The Fantastic Four #611

Advertisements

FF #21

December 31, 2013

FF 21Jonathan Hickman // Nick Dragotta
October 2012
*****

The epitome of a Hickman FF issue, w/ smart nonlinear storytelling & epic SF political melodrama. The Kree & Inhumans broker a peace, built upon undoing a space-opera Romeo/Juliet romance! Check how Dragotta not only nails the Kirby costumes, he makes the title team’s b/w costumes look cool!

last issue: FF #20
next issue: FF #22

also indexed for Oct. ’12
The Fantastic Four #609

The Fantastic Four #608

December 28, 2013

Fantastic Four 608Jonathan Hickman // Guiseppe Camuncoli & Karl Kesel
September 2012
***

I suspect this Wakanda arc should’ve been one issue, like many in Hickman’s run. The tale’s suitable, as Black P faces an oracular cat-god & becomes king of a necropolis, but the payoff’s dispelled by the length. Plus Camunc. & Kesel’s art looks rushed & fails to capture the epic epiphany.

last issue: The Fantastic Four #607
next issue: The Fantastic Four #609

also indexed for Sept. ’12
FF #20

FF #19

December 27, 2013

FF 19Jonathan Hickman // Gabriel Hernandez Walta
August 2012
***

FF accompanies the mothership to Wakanda for a safari field trip. The kids make a friend (a Wakandan wünderkind) as they outflank an African tribe of water-thieves w/o resorting to violence. A charming, kid-friendly adventure that’s way too rare in modern Marvel, a bit like classic Power Pack.

last issue: FF #18
next issue: FF #20

also indexed for Aug. ’12
The Fantastic Four #607

The Fantastic Four #607

December 26, 2013

Fantastic Four 607Jonathan Hickman // Guiseppe Camuncoli & Karl Kesel
August 2012
**

Last ish was post-Vernean SF; #607 (& #608) revisits the mag’s Lost Civ. Wakanda, the home of Black Panther, has been weathering raids from Harryhausen skeletons—footsoldiers in a war w/ the Egyptian God Anubis! Camuncoli’s art (cartoonlike, workmanlike) adds nothing to an ish that’s all set-up.

last issue: The Fantastic Four #606
next issue: The Fantastic Four #608

also indexed for Aug. ’12
FF #19

FF #16

December 20, 2013

FF 16Jonathan Hickman // Nick Dragotta & Steve Epting
May 2012
*****

If all of John H’s FF run had Nick D on art, it’d be second only to Kirby/Lee! See a heavenly moment of adult Franklin & Galactus viewing sunrise from orbit. This ish, post-grand finale, centers on Hick’s best char: supersmart toddler Val. Even her adult self mistrusts her! And in a coda, Doom.

continued from The Fantastic Four #604
last issue: FF #15
next issue: FF #17

also indexed for May ’12
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #9 of 9
The Fantastic Four #604

FF #15

December 18, 2013

FF 15Jonathan Hickman // Nick Dragotta
April 2013
*****

#15 dovetails w/ #603, even ending on the same panel. The focus is Franklin, whose “imaginary” friend (a white silhouette) guides him thru a cataclysmic attack by science-gods, then reveals his ID as adult Franklin! Welcome back to Dragotta, whose talent for “acting” warms Hickman’s cerebral tone.

see also The Fantastic Four #603
continued in The Fantastic Four #604
last issue: FF #14
next issue: FF #16

also indexed for Apr ’12
The Fantastic Four #603

FF #12

December 12, 2013

FF 12Jonathan Hickman // Juan Bobillo
January 2012
****

Hickman’s run goes biweekly; F4 follows the original Four while FF features the Richards children & pals. Val, a delightful schemer, teleports the team’s HQ to Latveria, where she & Grandpa Nat ally w/ Doom & the evil alt-Reed. Bobillo’s art is rough & scratchy but big eyes add a cute feel.

continued from The Fantastic Four #600
last issue: FF #11
next issue: FF #13

also indexed for Jan. ’12
The Fantastic Four #600

The Fantastic Four #600

December 11, 2013

Fantastic Four 600A-story: Jonathan Hickman // Steve Epting
B-story: Jonathan Hickman // Carmine Di Giandomenico
C-story: Jonathan Hickman // Ming Doyle
D-story: Jonathan Hickman // Leinil Yu
E-story: Jonathan Hickman // Farel Dalrymple
January 2012
A-story: **** // B-story: ***** // C-story: *****
D-story: **** // E-story: *****

A king-size #600. The A-story picks up the threads of FF, pitting every NYC superhero against a pair of alien invasions; a surprise twist has the late Johnny Storm break the Annihilation Wave! Then Hickman shows that Torch did die in #587, only to be resurrected in a gladiator scenario. That piece has a Euro look that meshes w/ the bug-‘verse setting; like all the back-up pencilers, it puts Epting to shame. Much of the art is “ugly” yet lovely, accentuating how creative JH’s whole run is.

continued from FF #11
continued in FF #12
next issue: The Fantastic Four #601

also indexed for Jan’ 12
FF #12

FF #11

December 10, 2013

FF 11Jonathan Hickman // Barry Kitson
late December 2011
****

Two alt-Reeds serve as biomass for a rebooted Kree Intelligence, who mounts an invasion of Earth—concurrent w/ an incursion from the Negative Zone! Luckily, the real Mr F calls his pals, incl. the Avengers, to prep for battle. Kitson only pencils breakdowns; the loose art keeps #11 from *****.

continued in The Fantastic Four #600
last issue: FF #10
next issue: FF #12

also indexed for Dec. ’11
FF #10

FF #5

December 4, 2013

FF 05Jonathan Hickman // Barry Kitson
August 2011
****

The prophesied war ignites! First the doppel-Reeds & Mole Man destroy Old Atlantis, then they face the Inhuman space-city at the strange Forever City. And kudos to Kitson: tho’ his Reed is bland, his Thing is expressive &, even rarer, his Sue is a strong presence, matching Hick’s portrayal.

last issue: FF #4
next issue: FF #6

also indexed for Aug. ’11
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #6 of 9

FF #4

December 3, 2013

FF 04Jonathan Hickman // Barry Kitson
late July 2011
****

Can Sue stop alt-Reed from building a planet-wrecker?! Kitson relieves Epting, an incremental step up in quality since his bright, flat style (akin to C. Swan) mirrors this mag’s optimism. He’s also better at monsters, which means (a) a better Thing, & (b) a great face-off btw Atlanteans & Moloids.

last issue: FF #3
next issue: FF #5

also indexed for Jul. ’11
FF #3

FF #3

December 2, 2013

Jonathan Hickman // Steve Epting
FF 03July 2011
****

The first symposium of the Future Foundation, hosted by Dr. Doom, asks “How to defeat Mr. Fantastic?” The enemy: the Council of Reeds, trapped on Earth. Various foes pick one side or the other, as the Reeds devise an Earth-shattering gateway home using the fantastical cities of last year’s issues.

last issue: FF #2
next issue: FF #4

also indexed for Jul. ’11
FF #4

FF #2

December 1, 2013

FF 02Jonathan Hickman // Steve Epting
June 2011
****

The gang helps Doom, suffering from brain damage, with a cerebral software patch. In return, he joins the Foundation! JH continues to surprise w/ twists. Epting may be his strongest regular partner so far, but that grungy photorealism fits poorly w/ the title’s weirder elements—esp. his Ben Grimm.

last issue: FF #1
next issue: FF #3

also indexed for Jun. ’11
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #5 of 9

FF #1

November 30, 2013

FF 01Jonathan Hickman // Steve Epting
May 2011
****

Effectively #589, but the new title marks a shift to the team post-Johnny. His slot is given to Spider-Man, who fits in better here than on the Avengers—after all, he attempted to join back in ASM #1! The bigger surprise is Doc Doom, who’s been invited to the Future Foundation by goddaughter Val.

continued from The Fantastic Four #588
next issue: FF #2

also indexed for May ’11
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade: Young Avengers #1 of 1

The Fantastic Four #588

November 29, 2013

Fantastic Four 588A-story: Jonathan Hickman // Nick Dragotta
B-story: Jonathan Hickman // Mark Brooks
April 2011
A-story: ***** // B-story: ****

Hick finally gets a partner who matches his calibre: Dragotta, who apes Kirby’s dynamic grunts but draws a Sturm-like indie line. Silence signifies mourning as Johnny Storm’s family & friends grieve. It sells the moment w/o sentiment—unlike the B-plot, where Spidey helps Franklin mourn his uncle.

last issue: The Fantastic Four #587
continued in FF #1

The Fantastic Four #587

November 28, 2013

Fantastic Four 587Jonathan Hickman // Steve Epting
March 2011
****

A fantastic climax caps Hickman’s first “season”! Sue stares Namor down as she’s crowned regent of Atlantis. Even better, Val leads a junior team into the Neg Zone to commit science heroics. And Johnny sacrifices himself to stop an insectoid invasion. Would be ***** but for Ept’s photorealism.

last issue: The Fantastic Four #586
next issue: The Fantastic Four #588

also indexed for Mar. ’11
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #4 of 9

The Fantastic Four #586

November 27, 2013

Fantastic Four 586Jonathan Hickman // Steve Epting
February 2011
****

Hickman seems most compelled by Reed’s plot: rescue the Nu-Earth from a vengeful Galactus. Epting seems most into Sue’s arc: stop an Atlantean peace conference from becoming a civil war. But the real actions’ w/ Johnny, who must protect home & family (incl. de-powered Ben) from an alien invasion!

last issue: The Fantastic Four #585
next issue: The Fantastic Four #587

The Fantastic Four #585

November 26, 2013

Fantastic Four 585Jonathan Hickman // Steve Epting
January 2011
****

Hickman has divided the Four while accelerating his story’s pace. He’s got plenty of plots in play, from the Negative Zone death-cult to an Atlantean war of succession to a deep-space excursion w/ Galactus. That last plot brushes w/ Kirby-like grandeur, tho Epting’s prosaic style doesn’t match.

last issue: The Fantastic Four #584
next issue: The Fantastic Four #586

also indexed for Jan. ’11
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #3 of 9

The Fantastic Four #584

November 25, 2013

Fantastic Four 584Jonathan Hickman // Steve Epting
December 2010
****

For over a year, Hickman has been writing one- & two-issue arcs, which makes this multi-plot storyline all the more portentous. Reed parleys w/ Galactus while Sue escorts Namor to Old Atlantis. But the soul is Ben, who swigs his cure & clobbers the gentrified Yancy Gang, now hedge-fund financiers!

last issue: The Fantastic Four #583
next issue: The Fantastic Four #585

The Fantastic Four #583

November 24, 2013

Fantastic Four 583Jonathan Hickman // Steve Epting
November 2010
*****

When Val lets a quartet of alt-dimension Mr Fs loose on Earth, she asks for help from their worst enemy: Uncle Doom! Brilliant recasting of the hyper-intelligent toddler as equivocal, a potential bad seed. Epting’s coarse realism, tho’ v.g., isn’t the best fit for Hickman’s non-linear imagination.

last issue: The Fantastic Four #582
next issue: The Fantastic Four #584

also indexed for Nov. ’10
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #2 of 9

The Fantastic Four #580

November 21, 2013

Fantastic Four 580Jonathan Hickman // Neil Edwards
August 2010
***

While his father teaches the super-kids, Franklin foils a toy store team-up of that Silver Age imp & Arcade, the villain whose deathtraps always fail. Meanwhile, the nerds brew a serum that’ll turn Grimm human for a week. Hickman writes FF like it’s contempo TV, curving char & plot arcs every ish.

last issue: The Fantastic Four #579
next issue: The Fantastic Four #581

The Fantastic Four #579

November 20, 2013

Fantastic Four 579Jonathan Hickman // Neil Edwards
July 2010
****

Speaking at a conference, Reed trumpets a techno-futuristic optimism that’s worth serious consideration. Pinning the blame for neo-luddism on age & fear, he founds a school for super-geniuses, mole-kids, & Atlantean water-babies. The high-minded theme trumps all considerations of Edwards’ choppy art.

last issue: The Fantastic Four #578
next issue: The Fantastic Four #580

The Fantastic Four #574

November 15, 2013

Fantastic Four 574Jonathan Hickman // Neil Edwards
February 2010
***

Hickman, after a few prior glances, now focuses on the Richards kids. On Franklin’s fifth b’day, an adult self zaps in to offer Val prophetic warnings (a War btw Four Cities, trust Doom) & to restore his child-self’s mutant power. Four stars, if the pseudo-cinematic art weren’t so pedestrian!

last issue: The Fantastic Four #573
next issue: The Fantastic Four #575

also indexed for Feb. ’10