Review: FF#1 – Matt Fraction & Michael Allred

FF#1 ReviewWhat could possibly go wrong in four minutes?

Potentially a whole lot, as the first issue of the Marvel Now! relaunch of the Fantastic Four series deals with. Reed Richards is taking a year to travel the space-time continuum with his family, which equates to four minutes Earth-time, under the pretence of an educational field trip. As we learn though in both this issue, and in Fantastic Four #1, his motives are a lot more obscure. In the Fantastic Four’s place at the head of the Future Foundation, Richards recruits Ant-Man, She-Hulk, Medusa and newcomer Darla Deering, who will eventually become known as Miss Thing.

Matt Fraction pairs each of these new members of the Future Foundation with the current Fantastic Four, as each character recruits their replacement for when they take their intergalactic field trip. He manages to create some memorable character moments in these pair-ups, most notably from Reed Richards/ Ant-Man, and Johnny Storm/ Dana Deering, as each of these tackle the Fantastic Four’s choices of replacements believably. While the way the recruitment of Miss Thing makes sense in regards to Johnny’s character, we don’t know yet how Dana’s transformation to her Miss Thing persona actually takes place. It initially sets up for a very interesting turn of events as we learn how this will eventually come about.

FF#1, as with much of the Marvel Now! titles, is an excellent starting point for new readers, as Fraction disperses talking-heads moments with each of the children of the Future Foundation, explaining how and what this organisation is out to do. This makes for a simple jumping on point, as well as allowing fans of Jonathan Hickman’s previous run on FF a quick refresher.

Michael Allred produces some truly beautiful work in this issue, channelling 1950s pop art brilliantly, even going so far as to incorporate a “dot press” effect in one panel that invokes a classic comic book style. It complements the tone of the story well, as its camp and light-hearted nature is felt throughout the entire issue.

Fraction and Allred have succeeded in introducing us to the world of the Future Foundation, and the acting members of the Fantastic Four. FF is set up to be a series that invokes a feeling of pure pulp fun. That’s something that can be forgotten all too often, and it’s this issue that reminds us that these titles still exist.







Introducing: Comics Coverage At The Oceanic Gamer

The pride of my comic collection: a Stan Lee signed Daredevil #3 from 1964

This is a pretty exciting announcement for us at The Oceanic Gamer. A large majority of our team are comics lovers, some like me for more than 30 years. So it has always been a temptation to cover comics, even more so after the past year where comics have had such a huge impact on popular culture.

What sealed the deal was when we had someone approach us offering to write on comics – that someone being New Zealand’s own Mr Sean Robinson. You can find out more about Sean here, but I asked Sean to pen something as an introduction to coincide with the launch of our comics coverage:

Hey everyone!

I’m Sean, your new Comics Writer. I’m really excited to be a part of the team here at Oceanic Gamer, and I hope you guys will enjoy the new section as much as I know I will. I plan to bring you; dear reader, the best of what I can cover. From new releases to more classic titles, each week I plan to broaden your horizons, whether you are long time reader or new to the realm of comics, as much as my own, drawing on new favourites, picking up on titles you may have missed, and giving spotlight to some of the more independent publications. If you have any specific titles you want to recommend, or have a comic that you are on the fence about and want me to suffer through before you do, let me know on twitter @Pipes815 or via the site’s contact form!

Aside from Sean’s great work, we’ll have plenty of guest writers and I know I’ll be indulging my comics passion as well. Most importantly, if YOU have a comic / graphic novel / webcomic you’d like to write about, let us know directly or post in comments below. We’re particularly interested in covering local efforts in the comic industry, so please get in touch if you’re a creator and would like your work reviewed.

Watch out in the next 36 hours for Sean’s first two comic reviews – in the meantime, we’d love to hear any thoughts below on our decision to add comics to the site’s mix.