Marvel Review – Fantastic Four (2014) Vol. 2: Original Sin
Written by: James Robinson
Art by: Leonard Kirk
12 November 2014
Marvel/103 pages/digital copy/$15.99
Fantastic Four (2014) Original Sin as its title suggests, is a tie in to Marvel’s 2014 cross-over event wherein the Watcher, Uatu, has been murdered. Ben Grimm, as part of the team of superhumans coming to the rescue, gets blasted with a revelation of how he’d been betrayed by Reed and Johnny Storm.
After the court conclusion of Volume One, the Fantastic Four are greeted with another superteam. With the kids separated and anxieties piling up, it leads into a fantastic altercation revealing the strength of Sue Richards’ powers. The team is broken up even further with the story arc showing their individual experiences of coping with recent events.
The highlight of this Original Sin debacle is The Thing and how his situation grows more grim. The end of issue seven reveals a turning point and by issue eight, Sue’s prophesying words in series’ first issue begins to make sense. Ben ends up in a place where he’s nothing special and he’s far from top dog. Instead, he gets clobbered by the top dog who also happens to be a familiar face.
Reed Richards is in a new facility and it would be interesting to see in the following issues how he interacts with newer personalities, John Eden and brilliant assistant, Cully Moore. Johnny, powerless, is trying to build off his music career, and Sue has other plans.
An addition to this FF series is the original Human Torch, John Hammond, now an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and guardian to the FF kids. They have their own adventure as Hammond breaks protocol to rescue their beloved android, Dragon Man. He’s a welcome presence especially with the other human torch out of powers though it might confuse new Marvel readers why there are two human torches.
The only time villains are prominent in this volume are towards the end where the Wizard has assembled another of the Frightful Four and, like the first one, has enhanced powers. The hints keep coming that there must be a master schemer to all that’s happening.
The art is consistently good and looks typical of modern superhero comics where cartoons try to look realistic. Commendable is how the art looks in flashbacks in the end of issue six and beginning of issue seven. Strong colours complement a cartoonish look with exaggerated curvatures and emphases bringing a modern-day take on art inspired by comics of the sixties and the seventies. Though it’s only for the flashback segments, it would do well as the main art in a superhero series, or if the FF decide to bring back its old look.
Volume Two has its fair amount of splashes such as The Thing’s disappointed, rocky mug in the first page of issue seven, and The Thing getting his butt clobbered in the first page of issue ten. Spreads are used often be it to reveal a team of assembled Avengers, or to showcase Eden, a lab facility committed to a better tomorrow. Issue seven also has an impactful spread of The Thing clobberin’ his angst and launching his target.
It’s good to know that in the umpteenth iteration of the Fantastic Four, Robinson and Kirk are still trying new things by placing FF members in new settings with Reed working out of the Baxter Building and The Thing in a much less comfortable facility. Yet, the FF characters still maintain their likeness in terms of their dialogue and how they interact. The Original Sin tie-in was nicely done if not only touched on to provide a premise furthering the team’s inward altercation. Although the conclusion is left hanging, Volume Two has the two ingredients fans have come to expect from a Fantastic Four comic: action and family.
Reviewed by Stephen Suminguit