FANTASTIC FOUR #158-159: The Fifth Dimension Part 1

Issues #158-163 involve what the Ff call the “5th Dimension.”  Ben Grimm makes the lame joke about the band who sang “Aquarius,” so you don’t have to.  Roy Thomas is on board as writer, and the scripts are noticeably better than Conway’s were.  Thomas was pretty much Stan Lee’s right-hand during this time, and he clearly studied story beats at Lee’s knee.  The pacing is crisp, the characterizations are distinct—if overdrawn, and there’s a little too much dialog.  Thomas has a little less bombast, but he’s still into the hype and breaks the fourth wall by talking to the reader way too often.  Personally, I find that that kind of narrative is awkward.  Yes, everyone was doing it, but when the author speaks to the reader about the characters in the story, it creates distance that doesn’t need to be there.

Anyway, the team FFROOOOMs off to face a threat in an alternate dimension.  For once, the main team gets captured and rescued by Sue, who stowed away.  (Sue is a part-timer now, replaced by Medusa, because Franklin needs his mommy.)

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