This whole death of the Human Torch has gotten me to pick up both old and new Fantastic Four comics. In my research for last weeks review, Marvel Masterworks FF Volume 1 and Amazing Spider-Man Volume helped me out a great deal. As for the more recent work, I dove into my collection and plucked out the recent release of Fantastic Four: The Resurrection of Galactus Marvel Premiere Classic – (Variant Volume 53). The comics collected here are FF Annual 2001 and (Volume 2) #46-50 (aka #475-479) and for a guy who has never really been a fanboy of the Fantastic Four, it was a bit confusing but once the story got going I was able to follow along. If you know the major players you should be able to sit back, relax and prepare to go on another cosmic ride.
Right off the bat we get the dead head of Galactus crashing into Manhattan; it’s also the cover, so it’s not much of a spoiler. The Avengers offer to help but Reed sends them away stating that this is not to be a concern of theirs. I’m willing to bet money that this early cameo was instated just to show that Iron Man and his gang of merry men are inhabitants of New York, too and so guys like me won’t badger a guy like Joe Quesada at Comic Con with continuity questions. Anyway, Nova, the Frankie Ray Nova, also shows up and after they all have quick visit to the moon to ask the Watcher was is going on, they find out that the universe (or multiverse) is all out of whack. Uatu, himself, has no memory and is mentally imbalanced. Johnny and Frankie set out to find the ultimate nullifier and restore everything back to normal. Along the way the space time continuum has been disrupted and familiar heroes and villains have morphed into echoes of themselves. This includes a homeless Namor and even a few panels given to a gent in a the yellow Daredevil costume called Battlin’ Jack. Fun stuff. But only if you like these types of time traveling alternate universe stories, if you don’t then don’t bother. As you can guess, our favorite purple martain does come back but as far as who the bad guy is, you’ll have to read the comics (or wikipedia) to find out.
I do have one complaint when it comes to the Premiere Classic Editions. I would like to have an updated introduction in the same manner that Marvel does so with their Masterworks. I’ve harped on this before in previous podcasts but my requests have gone unnoticed. If Marvel is going to promote this as one of the greatest story lines of all time, then they should at least explain why it is so important and possibly a few upcoming plot points. And I’m sorry, but repurposing an intro from a 15 year old, previously released, trade paperback edition does not count. A new audience deserves and new introduction. That said, the extras here are pretty thin, no introduction but we do have the covers (yeah!) and the script to the silent anniversary story from Fantastic Four #50, an issue that is better then all the other issues collected in this book. Can Resurrection of Galactus be called a Classic? I’m not sure. But if anyone was to ask me, “where should I start with the Fantastic Four?” I would send them Jack’s way.
Fantastic Four: The Resurrection of Galactus Marvel Premiere Classic (Variant Volume 53)
Written by Carlos Pacheco, Jeph Loeb & Rafael Marin
Art by Carlos Pacheco, Jeff Johnson & Tom Grummett
Covers by Carlos Pacheco
$24.99, 200 pages, Marvel Comics
Collects Fantastic Four Annual 2001 and (Volume 2) #46-50 (#475-479)