Wedding bells are ringing for the Fantastic Four and their ever-loving Thing, who gets married in the fifth issue since the series’ return. It’s actually the 650th issue of the series which marks a milestone in itself. Running 61 pages long, this extra-sized issue takes place in three vignettes drawn by three artists.
So what’s it about?
Read our preview.
Why does this matter?
This is a marriage Marvel promises to have no shenanigans, or at the very least they’ll actually tie the knot. This story revels in the history of the characters while kickstarting a classic showdown for the next issue. It’s big, is drawn by three fantastic artists, and it’s a happy story for the ever-loving, down-in-the-dumps Thing.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue is plotted very well, cutting between flashbacks and sequences with well-timed artist changes. Aaron Kuder draws the “now” scenes opening and closing the book with fantastic art. His detailed style looks great with these characters and you can see his ingenuity and creativity with gizmos and villains. Adam Hughes cuts in for a bachelor party with lots of great twists and turns and a fantastic handle on facial expressions. You’ll feel the glee, shock, and frustration in these characters as the story unfolds. Michael and Laura Allred bring their talents to a fantastic (heh) flashback story that’s touching and memorable. Their clean and colorful style works well for this blast from the past look at Thing and Invisible Woman sharing moments together.
There is quite a bit to like in this issue. Slott has outdone himself with great ideas mixed in with sentimental moments. Mr. Fantastic is the only character that comes off as a bit cold and distant, but he is, in fact, distant from it all. In the flashback story by the Allreds, a closer look at how Ben’s life was far different before he was transformed is detailed well. It’s easy to be a bit angry at Mr. Fantastic for changing Ben’s life, but he’s ended up with the perfect woman who sees the goodness in people. The bachelorette party includes some fun nods to classic Thing activities as well as plenty of heroes popping up. What’s a bachelor party for Thing without Spider-Man creating hijinks, right?
The story is bookended well too, opening with Ben’s bride to be Alicia moving into the new Fantastic Four headquarters and ending with their nuptials. Slott writes some great vows and you can tell time and care went into making them perfect. There’s a twist or two thrown in too, and a reminder Mr. Fantastic might be distant in his work most of the time, but he still cares about his family. Mr. Fantastic even gets one of the more romantic lines in the end that ties in with an act that saves the wedding.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
Frankly, this issue is far stronger than the wedding special (it was good, but not as good as this) and has very few imperfect moments. It reveals why Thing and Alicia are so good together, revels in the party and the stress of getting married, and pulls it off too.
Is it good?
A fantastic issue I recommend everyone read. The plotting and pacing are sharp as a tack and it’s hard to put this issue down. The mix of artists is inspired with every page looking as pretty as the last. Buy this to celebrate along with the first family and to celebrate how great comics can be.