Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Fantastic Four #587
Hickman, Epting, Magyar, Perkins, Mounts & Wooton
The death issue is here. A lot of build-up, a day early sale and a plastic bag all adds up to an issue that is sure to disappoint. However, I found myself not only enjoying the issue, but I actually thought about these characters beyond this issue. Despite the fact that I don’t really care for the Fantastic Four or even that I knew which character was dying prior to reading the issue I think this means the contents between the covers is something to pick up, read and be very entertained. If you haven’t read this already I recommend grabbing a copy.
I’ll be keeping this review as spoiler free as possible. I realize that the bulk of comic readers have either already read the issue or know who was killed off but I am still not going to mention which character dies.
The component of this issue that stands out is the manner in which the story presents how it could literally be any (or all) of the four characters that meet their demise. I can’t even say that the three remaining characters escape danger, but this particular story plays off the fact that the reader knows that one will definitely die. Without that knowledge up front (or the plastic bag) I’m not so sure the build up would have been as effective.
The other aspect of this issue that works well is how the character dies. Sure, the death is not explicitly clear, but going off the assumption that the other character’s reaction speaks to the death they witnessed makes the off panel death fairly powerful visually. The final few pages where two characters interact, knowing one will die, was both moving and fitting. The final interaction also revealed an interesting twist I felt.
When the two characters are determining which should sacrifice themselves one tricks the other into safety. At that moment the character that is about to die utters the phrase, “unbelievable” as that character witnesses something. Is this a feeling of regret that they are about to die seeing a possible alternate solution? Or is this just a state of shock of what they just observed? The other angle here is why both characters didn’t stay together to the end. Why was it that only one could make the sacrifice?
The artwork was good but I didn’t feel a ton of tension until the very end. This isn’t to say that this was the sole responsibility of the art team but I can’t help but feel the light inking and colors took away from the drama in some way. It’s a strong overall effort but I’m not sure it matched the epic ending.
The only downer with this issue was the fact that the plastic was impossible to open. It was as if Mr. Fantastic himself wrapped around the issue. That aside I enjoyed the contents so much that I will most likely stick with the series (and relaunch) beyond this issue. This entire arc has been a fun story and if you couple that with the great things I’ve heard about Hickman’s run in general I’d say this is an issue you don’t want to miss from a creator who is at the top of his game.
4.5 out of 5 Geek Goggles