Wednesday, February 27, 2013

FF #8 - Review

A "Date" to Remember

FF is one of those smaller titles that I don't hear people talking about, and that's just really sad. If you're unfamiliar, FF (Future Foundation) was originally a companion series for the Fantastic Four that followed the adventures of the young children living at the Baxter Building and working towards a better tomorrow with Dr. Reed Richards. The cast was already very large, including the Richards' children, but now there's a new team running the show. While the Fantastic Four are out among the stars, a new team was selected to take their place. Ant-Man, She-Hulk, Ms. Thing, and Medusa are the new Fantastic Four until further notice. Not only do they have to handle any monstrous dangers that threaten New York City, but they also have to teach and care for the genius children still living in the building. Mix in the fantastic retro-styled artwork by Mike Allred and you've got a series that looks and feels like no other Marvel title.

This issue features a "date" between Jennifer Walters (She-Hulk) and her ex-boyfriend Wyatt Wingfoot while the moloid children Torg, Mik, Korr, and Tong team up with Bentley-23 to try and sabotage their evening. It's one of those fun issues that's just for character building and lets the children interact with each other and really cool gadgets. It proves that you don't need dramatized action to have a good time with characters in a place like the Marvel Universe. There might not be any life-threatening villains, but the super science moments with the children more than make up for it.

Matt Fraction has been the writer of the series, including Fantastic Four, since the Marvel NOW! launch of both titles. I haven't been following the other series, but FF has remained one of my favorite Marvel titles. He captures the same rowdy spirit that Jonathan Hickman did when he first wrote this series, but has put his own comedic spin on many of the characters. It can't be easy working on a title where there has only been one writer before you, but Fraction has stepped up and delivered a comic that is enjoyable on all levels.

Allred's artwork is always a force of nature. His unique style can make any characters interesting, but there's something about the B-List characters that makes it really charming. Ant-Man looks especially cool in Allred's style, and the light tone matches the color scheme (Laura Allred) and expressions that Allred uses for the characters. The bright pop-art renditions of these characters is reason enough to check out this series.

What it all comes down to is fun. This title has smiles by the bucket load. I could read a whole Marvel Universe drawn by Allred and many more stories featuring these characters by Fraction. If your pull-list is light, or if you're a casual comic reader who wants something they can just jump into, this is the perfect comic book for you. There's only four issues, and you don't really have to read Fantastic Four to follow it.

Rating: 9/10

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