Current Reviews


Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four #32

Posted: Tuesday, February 5, 2008
By: Ray Tate

Joe Lansdale
Ronan Cliquet(p), Amilton Santos(i), Lee Louridge(c)
Marvel Comics
"Cowboy Up"

While this issue of Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four may seem "typical" of Joe Lansdale's weird writing, it's actually pretty tame for the horror author. Remember: this is the dude who, in Captured By the Engines, created a werecar and then had it go after Batman.

In this issue The Thing gets sucked into a wormhole that manifests through a misalignment from Reed's experiments. He gets deposited in the desert near a rodeo-oriented circus and meets a charming steam-powered young sheriff.

If things seem to be thrown against the wall just to see if they'll stick, well, that's how Lansdale operates. The thing is, he always makes everything stick. It might look at first ugly and chaotic, but there's method if you follow his trail.

The Thing's attitude is integral to the story. He can't just be traded for a different character without an extensive rewrite to the story. The Thing is a meat and potatoes hero who has "seen just about everything." His unflappable behavior is needed. His monstrous appearance motivates the actions of other characters. His lovability is required for the interaction with Lansdale's steampunk lawman.

Ron Cliquet, Santos and Louridge combine forces to make this all-ages title look beautiful, far more fine than one would expect for a book that's humble, when compared to the overhyped nonsense of One More Day, Brand New Day, and The Adventures of Tony Stark, Douchebag at Large. What's more, their talent creates drama. Panels are varied. Action is given an explosive look that suits the emotions of Lansdale's tall tale. The seriously meant artwork offsets Lansdale's outrageous sense of humor.

You wouldn't think to see Joe Lansdale on such a light-hearted book, yet here he is and doing quite well. Cliquet, Santos and Louridge make it a Fantastic Four.

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