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Ultimate Fantastic Four

December 24, 2010

So my husband had some friends over the other night and I mentioned to one that I was rereading Ultimate Fantastic Four.  “Why?” he asked.

That is a very good question.  The most truthful answer is that now that I work in a library, I have greater access to trades and, with the end of Ultimate Spidey, I felt a need to go back and look at the Ultimate trades as a whole, rather than one by one by one depending on what I could get to–and that trades (and manga) bump up my numbers pretty quickly.  Heh.

But I’ve found it was actually a pretty good idea to go all the way.  That way I remembered that the first three trades are great, and Mike Carey sucks.

I don’t like Mike Carey.  It seems like every time I read something he’s done, it’s got fairies or fairy-like creatures in them even if they don’t make any sense.  I’m not the high fantasy type, and I like my science heroes far from my magic-users.  But whatever.  I could deal with fairies if I thought that he was doing a good job otherwise.


So we start out with UFF, Bendis and Mark Millar.  Yes, there are some continuity errors with the Ultimate universe already, but I’ll forgive them because their ideas are solid.  Going into the N-Zone instead of deep space?  Fine with me.  Teenage think tank?  That’s pretty clever.  Everything is nicely set up.

Warren Ellis takes over and just knocks it out of the park: Victor’s arrogance, Sue & Reed’s understated romance, everything.  I’m completely thrilled.

Then in comes Carey, who has basically ignored the fact that THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE A YEAR ONE-TYPE SCENARIO and just seems to be using UFF as an excuse to write some FF adventures.  That’s not okay.  You’ve lost the mission, bro.

Then Millar comes and puts things back on track, emotionally, only for Carey to sort of derail it again with his high fantasy bullshit with God War.

The next two trades are okay, though, and now I’m reading Ghosts and that’s the last one I have until someone returns 11 to the library.

And don’t get me started on Lee & Land’s pornoriffic art.


The point is, Ultimate Spidey works because it balances universe-creation with realistic emotional responses to balancing superheroing and humanity.  FF has always worked because of the “family” feel to it.  UFF should’ve worked to build that, and yet…it doesn’t.  Not even a bit, since Carey started writing for it.



I’ve got better stuff to do than raise my blood pressure thinking about this.

Comics are so hard to keep loving sometimes.

Happy holidays, everyone!  I’ll try to get back to recapping soon; it’s really a time issue at this point, especially with the holidays.

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