New Doc Ock Hits Spider-Man
Have you seen the new Doctor Octopus, designed by fan-favorite artist Humberto Ramos? Click to dig the Doc.
Marvel Hires New Publisher
Following such rumors, Marvel today announced that Bill Jemas has been replaced as Publisher. Now read who took his job.
CrossGen's Solus #7
CrossGen thinks you'll love George Pérez's new issue of Solus. And to prove it, here's a five-page preview.
Marvel Searches For She-Hulk
Writer Geoff Johns and artist Scott Kolins reunite for Marvel's Avengers as they search for She-Hulk.
Virtex Returns For Digital Webbing
A comic about a cybernetic cowboy that hunts outlaws riding dinosaurs? Where do we sign up? Read on and find out.
Marvel's Mutants Gains New Penciler
Marvel's New Mutants has a new artist onboard, and we've got a five-page preview. See if he's got the chops.
Image Rocks Out With Shangri-La
Are you ready to rock and roll? Image is, with their upcoming graphic novel Shangri-La. Read the details here.
Marvel Teams Up For A Good Cause
Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk team up for charity in a special December one-shot. Read all about it.
Davis' Marquis Returns In December
Guy Davis' sin-slayer is back in The Marquis: Intermezzo, coming from Oni Press. Read all about it.
Marvel Unveils '04 FF Plans
Marvel plans three Fantastic Four series for 2004, and we've got the details and preview art. Check this out.
2F2F DVD Contest
The hit street racing film 2 Fast 2 Furious is driving to DVD players near you. Win a free copy from Slush and Universal.

Comic Review:
Fantastic Four: Unstable Molecules #3
By Matt Martin


Marvel Comics – James Sturm (w); Guy Davis (a)

I can’t say it enough times: this is exactly the sort of thing that I wish Marvel would spend more time publishing. They certainly should’ve devoted more time to promoting it, because I haven’t seen a more worthy project from them in quite a while.

Last time, Sturm’s re-imagining of Marvel’s first family focused on Sue Sturm. Therein, the more idyllic, adventurous life that she’s been known to live in the Marvel Universe was contrasted sharply by the harsh reality of the 1950s, complete with sexual repression and societal oppression. It ended sadly, with the famous team’s matriarch feeling like more than a bit of a failure, particularly in regards to the job that she had done raising her brother, Johnny.

This month’s issue follows the next logical step, not only centering on the teen angst-ridden Johnny, but also dealing with the culture of rage and rebellion that manifested amongst the youth of that era. Specifically, the issue introduces the followers of the Beat Generation authors (Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, et. al.) and Johnny’s reaction to their wild, uninhibited style of life.

And it completely works. I was just…well, enthralled, once again.

I find it increasingly hard to summarize plot details of this book, because frankly, there aren’t a lot of them. This issue, for example, doesn’t have a real cut-and-dry conflict; it’s all internal, mostly in Johnny himself, though it is filtered through the perspective of his worshipful best friend (whose obsession with Johnny borders on the homoerotic). The man that we know better as the Human Torch, a character who practically exudes self-confidence, is instead portrayed as a confused, directionless teenager, lashing out at his upbringing and place in the world.

Article continued below advertisement

If any complaint could be made about this book, it’s that the use of the superhero versions of the characters’ powers as metaphors for their personalities is a bit heavy-handed. Last issue, the fact that Sue Sturm feels unnoticed was a bit too overt. Yes, I understand that she’s a different form of “Invisible Woman.” I got it on my own; I don’t need to be beaten over the head with it. This issue Johnny’s temperament is clearly the parallel to his Marvel Universe version. The problem is that Johnny Storm’s power was always used as a stand-in for his disposition and lack of restraint, so there’s really nothing new being brought to the table by showing that he’s a fiery-tempered teenager; that’s just typical for his age.

That having been said, I’m still eagerly awaiting the conclusion of the mini-series in a couple weeks. Given the fact that I bought this book based solely on loyalty to James Sturm and expected very little more than a poor man’s Elseworlds version of the FF, I would call it an unqualified success, as it’s turned out to be so much more than its solicitation led me to believe.

Final Score: 4/5


E-Mail Author  |  Archive  |  Tell A Friend



Sword of Dracula
Slush launches our Halloween countdown with the first in a series of spooky reviews. First up? New series, Sword of Dracula.
John Byrne's IMO
This week John points out that fans cannot read the minds of creators, although you wouldn't know that by listening to some of them.
The Dead Zone
Flesh-eating zombies battle the last remaining police officer in Image's new series, The Walking Dead. We review the first issue.
Steve Niles Interview
Slush interviews Steve Niles, the acclaimed writer of 30 Days of Night, who tells us about the relaunch of Fused.
A Spidery Preview
Have you seen the new Doctor Octopus, designed by fan-favorite artist Humberto Ramos? Click to dig the Doc.
Kill Bill Review
Slush reviews the first installment of Quentin Tarantino's kung fu slasher masterpiece, Kill Bill.
Viper Interview
Slush takes a look at new publisher Viper Comics, and interviews the guys behind two of its hottest books.
Peanuts Collected
Cartoon fans rejoice. Fantagraphics is reprinting the entire collection of Charles Schulz' Peanuts. Read on for details.

CHANNELS:  Features | Columns | Reviews | News | Film & TV | Forums | Slushfactory.com

Copyright © 2003 Slush Factory Entertainment (E-mail)
All Rights Reserved : No portion of Slush may be reprinted in any form without prior consent