FF #4

A comic review article by: Ray Tate
A conversation about sandwiches, an encounter between the Wizard's young clone and Ben Grimm, an attack by the Mole Man and lots of meeting minutes at the Society to Take Down All the Reed Richards comprise this issue of FF. The smidgeon of action at the end and the cute sandwich reverie at the beginning gives FF its extra bullet, but six pages could have been cut and improved the pace of the story.

Those six pages consist of non-stop talking about a single aspect directed at the multiverse Reeds that have invaded Marvel earth proper, but these pages don't amount to much. Given that Valeria knows their plan already -- some technobabble about the Sol's Anvil -- Hickman should have begun this scene with her announcement. That's where the plot section begins.

The decision to cut the scene between the Thing and the Wizard clone is subjective. I don't think it added anything special, but it didn't hurt the plot either. It was just kind of there. I think Ben should have been doing something more Thing-like instead of just waiting outside the door to the conference room. However, there is no excuse for the six pages of talking. This is a comic book. I expect explosions and fisticuffs.

Ironically, the best part of the book has nothing to do with the meat of tradition. Instead, the sandwich conversation reveals where Spidey's heart lies with regard to his childlike nature and comments upon his and Sue's long history together. This is also the scene that really reveals Kitson's style.

The smile he bestows to Sue is winning, and his linework, especially on Sue's nose, is more evident in the brightly lit kitchen. The lion's share of Kitson's work however becomes swamped in shadow and covered in a color wash that smoothes over his more enjoyable "rougher" flourishes. It's rather surprising to see Kitson an artist with a softer product being swept to even more realistic extremes.

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