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Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four #23

Posted: Saturday, April 14, 2007
By: Ray Tate



"Pyramid Scheme"

Writer: Fred Van Lente
Artists: Clay Mann(p), Terry Pallot(i), Lee Louridge(c)
Publisher: Marvel

In this issue of Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four, Fred Van Lente re-explores Rama-Tut, an early FF foe and he who will become Kang, if you factor in Avengers continuity. Rama-Tut wants a statue sculpted in his likeness, and Alicia Masters is one of his favorite artists. He sends his henchmen into the future to carry off Alicia into the past. Needless to say, one Benjamin J. Grimm takes issue with Tut's attempt, and where rumbles the Thing, his three friends can't be too far behind.

Van Lente's best writing for the issue can be found in the poignant moments shared between Ben and Alicia, who now thanks to "magic" can see. In addition, he involves the Time Variance Authority and keeps all the characters in good voice and good spirits. The adventure is a bit of a lark.

As fun as the story is, Clay Mann and Terry Pallot's artwork is hit and miss. On the whole, I think this problem could have been solved through the usage of widescreen panels. This is a big budget adventure done in a pan and scan format, and as a result, the artwork occasionally looks cramped. You can't always tell what's happening, and the format doesn't do the story nearly as much justice that it deserves.

Mann does convey several good ideas in the artwork. The FF look closer to their cartoon counterparts, probably a good idea given that this is currently the place most will find the classic Fantastic Four, until the second movie gets out. I also like how he has altered the scale between the Thing and Alicia, almost wisp-like in contrast, and his Time Variance Authority is decidedly cosmic with a weird look that distinguishes them from ordinary sentients who just happen to travel through time.



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