Fantastic Four Antithesis #4 out November 25 from Marvel Comics from veterans writer Mark Waid and artist Neal Adams. Joining this nostalgic ride is inker Mark Farmer, colorist Laura Martin, and letterer Joe Caramagna. This issue closes out a mini-series capturing the essence of Marvel’s First Family.
Fantastic Four Antithesis #4: Family First
Fantastic Four Antithesis #4 is definitely for fans of the Fantastic Four because Waid keeps this series simple. In this issue, readers witness the team’s pure essence, feeling less like superheroes and more like a family. The love and support they give to Mr. Fantastic as he goes through an identity crisis and an ultimate sacrifice expertly show the familial chemistry. Even the parts to get there by bouncing off different characters like Galan (a de-powered Galactus) and The Thing feel authentic. Anyone familiar with The Thing’s own identity crisis knows how complex this makes him. All of these little things converge into a wholesome conclusion that fits perfectly between different runs.
The Family Dynamic
Adams gives a dynamic flow to Fantastic Four Antithesis #4. Everything from the panels to semi-splash pages move the plot from the top of one page to the next. That’s not even bringing up the evocative and stylistic designs that show the Fantastic Four’s emotional stakes in the plot. The way their faces and body language act show a direness that affects all of their decisions. Farmer’s inking assists in bringing out the intensity by lines thickening in reaction to bigger scenes. For example, a splash page where a gigantic but vulnerable Galactus-Reed towers over the Four. The Invisible Woman ironically looks the most visible when speaking to him despite being near the scale of his ankle.
Martin’s coloring gives even more depth to these situations; the above splash page features a misty rain covering Galactus-Reed to show his growing vulnerability. All while the blue-white lightning from the same storm displays the threat the Four face from him. VC’s Caramagna complements just about everything; the word balloons assist in Adams’ flow, while the blue Kirby Krackle style word balloons of Galactus-Reed show how much power he has in the immediate situation.
Fantastic Four Antithesis #4: It’s Fantastic!
Fantastic Four Antithesis, a passion project between two veterans who respect one another, is an enjoyable romp. One that can leave readers pining for the treasury edition of this series. After reading Fantastic Four Antithesis #4, I want more series like this from Marvel. Nothing that gets in the way of continuity, just quality adventures featuring the spirit of Marvel’s biggest characters.