"Meet the Parents"
Writer: Fred Van Lente
Artists: Cory Hamscher, Lee Louridge(c)
A comedy of errors freshens a classic Fantastic Four story done in Marvel Adventures style. The utterly hilarious cover clues the reader to the story. Johnny has finally met Crystal, the Inhuman. He however does not know about her elemental abilities, nor about her family.
The cover's mostly symbolic. The Inhumans are not objecting to Crystal's and Johnny's relationship. Rather they're here to get Reed's help. Karnak is ill from the pollutants in the city air.
Meanwhile Black Bolt's crazy brother Dickie Bolt--no, it's Maximus, I'm kidding--has sent an enforcer to take down the Inhumans. Leaving their city Attilan under his rule is a crime.
Let the fun begin. Van Lente first distinguishes his story from the recognized continuity by making the Inhumans a little closer knit. Crystal isn't the sister to Medusa, she's the daughter of Medusa and Black Bolt, which is a nice twist excusing the title and plot.
Van Lente as well reveals some previously unknown items about the FF. Sue sucks at cooking. This is humorously conveyed in a Thanksgiving flashback. Ben Grimm however is the Rocky Chef, neatly contrasting his gruffer personality.
The dinner sets up a brilliant Johnny Storm fueled night of misunderstanding. Battles between super-heroes usually depress me, but the fights between Inhuman and the FF are quite fun and joke-filled. For instance, there's a great sequence of comedic timing involving the word "Clobbering Time." Corey Hamscher's odd big-eyed, square designs have been growing on me, and nobody can dispute his handling of humorous set-ups for the big falls.
Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four is a satisfying meal with plenty of meat to the story and the artwork. Tasty characterization and tangy variations to continuity add flavor to the repast. Simply delicious.
What did you think of this book?
Have your say at the Line of Fire Forum!