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Civil War: Fantastic Four by J. Michael…
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1313141,452 (3.26)4
One member of the Fantastic Four lies hospitalized, a casualty of the Civil War that has fragmented the superhuman community! Another member of that team is secretly helping the opposition. It had to happen! Amid the tumult and tensions, the fantastic four break up! Who will toe the line, who will join the resistance, and who will leave the battlefield altogether? Is this the end for Marvel's First Family? - from cover.… (more)



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Civil War: Avengers was an exceptional tie-in to the main event. So, I eagerly started with the Fantastic Four hardcover collection, and found that the book covers more than just that team. A large section is devoted to the Black Panther, with smaller sections for She-Hulk and the Runaways. This turned out to be a good thing as I felt the FF section was the weakest part.

The book opens with the Fantastic Four. Before Civil War had even begun, Reed Richards determined that Tony Stark was right and the Superhero Registration Act should be supported. At the end of the Illuminati one-shot, he joked that he needed to go home and spend the rest of his life arguing over it with his wife. Instead, it broke the FF entirely. After Goliath dies at the hand of the Thor clone Reed and Tony created, Sue defects to the rebels. Johnny follows, leaving only Ben undecided. The critical aspect of this tie-in is learning Reed's motivations for his support of the Act; he used a mathematical formula! I personally felt this was a cop-out for the writers, especially since they make it clear that he knows his actions are morally wrong. Ben decides to leave the country and fight bad guys in Paris, which I thought sidelined the main story unnecessarily. Sue's actions were better covered in the Avengers tie-in. There is a quick section after this which covers the Sentry visiting the Inhumans on the moon. I'm not a fan of the Sentry, and this didn't add anything to the main event.

The next section begins with Black Panther's Wedding to Ororo Monroe/Storm. This was the strongest section of the book which expanded on the Civil War event in a big way - from an "outsider's" point of view. Black Panther is the ruler of a foreign nation, and so not subject to the SHRA (Storm's status is more ambiguous). Once married, he and Storm set off on a world tour of major powers including Britain, Latveria, Atlantis, etc. The story intercuts with US officials discussing the tour and T'Challa's possible motives for doing so. The powder keg ignites when the tour comes to the US. This section had some exciting action sequences, and because Black Panther is also one of the "geniuses" he pulls some excellent gambits in support of the rebels. His relationship with Storm was also well done, touching on their newlywed status, and their strengths as a power couple. This was my favorite part of the tie-in.

After Black Panther, a small section covers the She-Hulk, who decides to help some of the New Warriors (who were responsible for the Stamford incident) to close down a hate site targeting their members. This section wasn't essential and didn't add much to the overall event but was at least more interesting than the Sentry.

Lastly, the Young Avengers go on an unsanctioned mission (meaning Cap said no!) to help the Runaways who have caught the attention of SHIELD as unregistered heroes. I am completely unfamiliar with the Runaways and only a little with the Young Avengers. Never-the-less, I found this section to be fast-paced and gripping. The teens are in over their heads, but fight for each other without reservation. This section made me eager to read the Young Avengers collection I haven't gotten to yet!

Overall, though I felt the FF section was weak, the collection as a whole was very good and expanded on Civil War in a meaningful way. Highly recommended. ( )
  jshillingford | Feb 1, 2014 |
This trade was a little uneven, mainly because the Fantastic Four splits during the Civil War and mostly go their separate ways. There are some things that could, and probably should, have been addressed here but weren't, most importantly Johnny's recuperation from his stint in the hospital (he spent the first issue in a coma in the hospital, and the next time he shows up he's walking around fine as can be).

Obviously, this is a crossover with the Marvel Civil War event, but this actually does add a little bit to the story. In the main event, while the pro-registration forces are transporting "criminals," missiles appear out of nowhere and are obviously not from the anti-registration superheroes. Those missiles are explained here. Also, it's made clear here that Tony overhears Peter's conversation with Reed about Reed's uncle, which does explain why Tony is suspicious of Peter's motives after that point. So, while the information isn't essential, it does add a little depth to the overall Civil War arc, which really can't be said for many of the other tie-in books.

Unfortunately, the 45th anniversary of the Fantastic Four fell in during the Civil War event, so it was largely glossed over, with a mediocre recap of their origins (which nearly everyone reading this book already knows) marking it. There's a story penned by Stan Lee, however, that is pretty funny. And the art is good; I particularly liked Ben's facial expressions. It's not easy getting a "pile of rocks" to emote. ( )
  schatzi | Apr 14, 2010 |
A good portrayal of the events of Marvel's epic Civil War series, from the perspective of the Fantastic Four. Sue Storm, and to a lesser extent the rest of the team, rebel against Reed's championing the government's Superhero Registration Act, and hunting down and imprisoning some of their former comrades. This leads to a breakup of the FF, and Ben Grimm's temporary sojourn to France (his adventures with another team there are the least interesting portion of the book). In all, though, this is a well-written and drawn story, and I especially liked Ben Grimm's agonizing over the proper response to the dilemma of Civil War. The Yancy Streeters were nicely presented, too; comic relief with devotion to country. The "Anniversary" story following the main event was a waste, but I liked Paul Pope's "A Day at the Races", an early look at the banter/friendship between the Torch and Spider-Man. ( )
  burnit99 | Jul 9, 2007 |
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