Today, we take a break from rereading every single issue of the FF ever published and delve into a retelling of the group’s origin from 2006…
I’m reading the Fantastic Four comics, issue by issue, and posting a panel at a time. But when it comes to miniseries and one-shots, I’m not even trying to be a completist.
However, this one bears mentioning because it’s absolutely great.
Joe Casey went through a phase of retconning classic Marvel histories. He started with The Avengers in Earth’s Mightiest Heroes #1-8 (which I really should review here someday), and followed it up with Fantastic Four: First Family. If you’re not familiar with Casey’s work, this is a good way to get into his mainstream work. (His indie work is pretty edgy.) The retelling here adds some background and characterization we haven’t seen before, even in the well-trodden 40+ years of FF comics.
Thus, a panel from each of the six issues of this mini.
First, in #1, we see Thing first getting his name—and his heart broken at the same time!
Next, in #2, we actually are given a decent explanation for unstable molecules.
Turns out, they’re just like the F4’s own bodies! This is clearly canon–and I’m pretty sure it’s the first time this concept was introduced. I say it’s clearly canon because it just popped up as part of Marvel Now! in the new Fantastic Four book by Matt Fraction…
I love little details like that. I highly recommend Warren Ellis’ take on Ultimate Fantastic Four. He offers many creative, science fiction explanations for the things the FF can do.
#3 offers the “origin” of the Baxter Building; the team’s powers have manifested and the army folks who sponsored their first flight want to make sure the F4 stay together and master their powers, so they tell them about a building they could buy for a song.
This retcon writes out of FF history the fact that they rented the building for the first 200 issues or so. (Or maybe it doesn’t. The General doesn’t say the building is for sale, so I suppose it could be a rental.)
One does have to wonder why, if the military was so interested in keeping the FF as an asset, they wouldn’t give the team a state-of-the-art base….
And why he doesn’t want to give them one away from a major city.
In #4 we get what appears to be a soft-porn panel.
Proof that Joe Casey always, always has a sense of humor, even when retelling one of Stan Lee’s bombastic, light stories with a more somber tone.
But my favorite part of this series is the incredibly inside joke of naming the F4’s first real enemy after a founding member of the Foo Fighters. Here, he telegraphs his joke with a reference to that rock and roll band’s big hit off their first album.
And finally, in #6, we get the obligatory “rally up” panel.
If you’re a fan of the FF, and if you’re reading my blog you must be, you owe it to yourself to check out this title. I’m sure it’s available dirt cheap used on Amazon.