Jan 11, 2016
The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 321: Fantastic Four v.1 #340, May 1990
I find myself a bit dazed with the news of David Bowie's death. Of course, all things must pass, and numerous musical heroes of mine have moved on in the last few years. Bowie showed me that it was always cool to be current, to be a pop star. He showed me that sexuality and gender are fluids, not solids. And he sang and wrote some of the most beautiful, intelligent, and catchy music ever. A sad day, but hopefully he's hanging out with friends, having a drink, and being generally fabulous, wherever he is, if only in our minds.
So, sad news aside, welcome to a couple of weeks of dollar bin comics. (Actually, these are really Quarter Bin comics, as I've found a few places of late that actually sell comics for 25 cents!) It's an economic thing, really, as I've spent so much money on them in the last week or so that I can't really afford any more comics for a little while. But that's fine, since I'm making my way through some Walt Simonson Fantastic Four at the moment. I think that, once my "On the Run" series about The Flash is done (whenever that might be), I'll be doing a look at Simonson's tenures on The Avengers and Fantastic Four. The stories cross into one another, and he's certainly not afraid of taking on giant, somewhat confusing, cosmic tales.
First, the art. You don't need me to tell you this, or if you do, just go and find some of his stuff. Simonson's got one of the most distinct styles in superhero comics, and I have to say that having 5 issues of this run in which he actually handles art chores as well, he's even better than I'd previously known. He understands this medium so well. You're never questioning whether the characters are moving or still, never trying to figure out what order to read panels and bubbles in. It's some really masterful storytelling, and makes me want to read his Thor and everything else he's done. But that'll have to wait for a windfall of cash somewhere along the line.
It's cool to see the FF teamed up with Thor and Iron Man. I mean, if you're going to boogy on into the future to defeat a Celestial, you may as well take two of the most powerful Avengers with you, because, honestly, why wouldn't you? Though I've found Iron Man to be a bit underused in the last few issues. And, actually, speaking of underused, if I have to level on critique at this run so far, it's that Sue Storm seems to be reduced to a supporting character who says "Darling" a lot. I'm far to used to contemporary super-badass Invisible Woman, so this characterization of her is simply not sitting well. Maybe it'll get better as things move on, but, to be honest, Simonson's not on the title for that long. Sue needs some character, stat!
I'm going to keep reading this run, though not necessarily blogging it. I really would like to keep a proper assessment of it for the longer "On the Run" posts. But Art Adams does some of the upcoming art, which is ridiculously exciting. Maybe that one will have to have a "40 Years" entry.