Tags Matching: cosmic

100 Days of Summer… #98

Sometimes a fill-in issue wasn’t a throw away. Though the concept is rare in the here and now, the fill-in issue was an often used trick of the trade to give creative teams a break and regroup, even catch up on work.

You could never tell when they were going to come out. Back in the pre-Previews world of comic book reading, sometimes they would drop right smack in the middle of an ongoing storyline. At times disorienting, it was generally a total bummer because the content was rushed and could even discard the current character development arcs that were being developed.

BUT… this was an exception.

#98- Fantastic Four 351

A stand alone issue to give Walt Simonson a much needed rest, this issue not only features some pretty early Mark Bagley art, but a killer self contained story by Dan Panosian, who if I’m not wrong went on to write the Image book Prophet for a heartbeat before he went on to a career as a penciller and inker. Strange – because I never thought much of Prophet, but the writing in this single issue is perfect. It has all the elements a good Fantastic Four story should have – larger than life, cosmic, and yet still found the essence of the very human members of the FF. Though I haven’t picked this issue up in well over a decade, it still stays with me as a great story. Must read for any FF fan.

What’s good?

I was about to write about how this would be something on my list of “to check out” for anyone who’s been away from comics for a minute.

Then I remembered what I’m about to dive into. 

So rather, I’d like to say this is a great series for people either into comics now, or who have at some point been knee deep in comics, because the ANNIHILATION series isn’t really a starter kit to hand to your little brother.

For the casual fan, I’d say this is STILL a great read. You need to really read up to follow however. This is a definite sci-fi space adventure that while light on continuity is heavy on characters, from obscure to uber-obscure. Let’s be real – when Adam Warlock, Nova, Ronan the Accuser, and the Super Skrull are your big names, you might go over the heads of some weekend readers. (Okay, okay… this guy named the SILVER SURFER shows up for a minute too…) However I would plead that this is a well paced, nicely developed cosmic story that has a great flow – particularly the first part of this epic, the “ANNIHILATION” proper section.

 

Keith Giffen gets and deserves the credit for crafting the story the redefined the Marvel cosmic universe, and eventually passing that torch along to the creative team of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, who are the architects of all things cosmic at this point it seems. 

As a long time science fiction fan on top of the whole comic obsession, Marvel has rarely done a top notch job with their journeys into space. They’ve developed some excellent characters but outside of a really solid run of Silver Surfer from Jim Starlin and Ron Lim, there has never been a concise nook for this realm in the Marvel U. Even admirable attempts such as Operation Galactic Storm, an early 90’s Avengers crossover, failed to hit the mark. I have a lot to say about the Infinity Gauntlet, War, and Crusade, but that’s for a later post. Up until here, if you wanted a solid space odyssey, you’ll have to pull out some Chris Claremont X-Men with a solid Shi’ar appearance. 

While “CONQUEST” doesn’t really have the same power as the original series, it still a worthwhile read. I felt as though the appearance of Ultron weakened the series, but at the end of the day it still worked. I mentioned the plethora of obscure characters who appear – on top of that any number of quality new characters pop up, and that’s always a fresh breath of air to long time readers.

While each of these collections will cost you over $25 off the shelf, you can save about $10 a pop by scooping them up here. Hey, while we’re at here’s ALL of the posted books for $35. Wow.

Highly recommended. Great mix of artists work on over 1500 pages of cosmic action, with a great and mutlifaceted storyline. 

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