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Fantastic Four Vol. 1: Imaginauts by Mark…

Fantastic Four Vol. 1: Imaginauts

by Mark Waid

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I'm not a big Fantastic Four guy. Never read them growing up. But after reading Mark Waid's run, I realized how amazing they could be at their best. Waid writes old school comic book stories, where the heroes actually feel like they're in danger and they manage to get out of it in exciting ways. This is what comic books really ought to be.

And the art by the late Mike Wieringo is perfect for it. It's easy to underestimate Wieringo, 'cause at first glance he looks so solidly...comic book-y. But his art is so clear and dynamic...you know how Plato said there's a perfect form for everything? Wieringo is the Platonic ideal of comic book art.

This is one of five books I keep on my show-off living room shelves for when people say, "I've never read a comic book...are they actually sometimes cool?" ( )
  AlCracka | Apr 2, 2013 |
The gold standard for invigorating a dull-ass superhero franchise without changing a thing: drop the soap opera and make it about the overproduction of concepts. Waid brings us into the FF through the lens of an image-management flack hired to make them celebrities again because Reed Richards feels bad about weirding up their lives, and if that doesn't quite hold water, it's cool, because the re-envisioning as "imaginauts" that flack and writer simultaneously carry out is so much fun. Killer equations stalking Mr. Fantastic. Corporate skulduggery, unstable molecules and the creepiest death scene I've ever seen in a comic that manages to keep it this light. Constant novelty by the by, like the "datavore" and shit. The impending presence of eeeevil (see vol. 2). There are some dialogue misfires, where sitcom chatty turns sour on the palate (I pray no future writer thinks it's clever to refer to the Human Torch as "Bic-head"), but in general, bravo.

Because, like, through it all the FF maintain that sense of loveability and good-natured suprise and pleasure at how their lives are turning out. It's hard to pull off, but off it is pulled. Lots of chuckles, a couple gasps, and even the bonus story about Ben's Jewish roots comes across touching not groanworthy. Imaginauts! Excelsior! ( )
  MeditationesMartini | Nov 18, 2009 |
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Volume 1 softcover (Imaginauts) is a different work than the Volume 1 hardcover, which collects multiple softcovers.
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