It belatedly occurs to me that I totally spaced on writing up Brian Bendis and Mark Millar’s Ultimate Fantastic Four, vol. 1 . This is probably because I don’t have much to say about it, so I’ll resort to one of those lazy bullet point entries.
- Am I the only person who thinks they fucked up the title? Every other Ultimate title loses its adjectives — the Amazing Spider-Man becomes Ultimate Spider-Man, the Uncanny X-Men become the Ultimate X-Men — and the Avengers even became the Ultimates. So you’d think that this’d be the Ultimate Four, not the Ultimate Fantastic Super-Duper Megatastic Four.
- Apparently Bendis and Millar are the designated Ultimate Writers — Bendis has done Spider-Man, Millar’s done X-Men and Ultimates, and now they’re actually collaborating on this one. I’m not complaining, because Bendis is very good and Millar’s not bad, but doesn’t Marvel have other writers?
- Oh, right, the actual content: It’s okay. For some reason, they’ve decided to make the Fantastic Four all be teenagers, which seems unnecessary (you’ve already got a passel of teenagers in the Ultimate Universe — wouldn’t it be nice to have some more grown ups?) but doesn’t actually hurt anything. Other than that, the plots are very conventionally comic booky. The characters at this point are very weakly drawn — effectively, Reed is the only person with any personality at all — and hopefully that’ll firm up.
- Overall, this is just your generically competent title. There’s nothing particularly interesting or absorbing about it, but it’s not so irritating that you’ll regret the fifteen minutes it took you to read it. Neither recommended nor disrecommended; buy it if you feel like it, don’t if you don’t.