War Of The Realms Gatecrashes The Party In Fantastic Four #10

by Olly MacNamee

Fantastic Four, at its best, reminds us all of the importance of family, friends and community, and what better way that to show that other than by throwing a huge Yancy Street block party for the FF to better get to know their neighbors? Unfortunately, the party doesn’t stay civil for too long, thanks to some interfering mythological interlopers, courtesy of Marvel’s War of the Realms, playing out across the Marvel universe at the moment.
Thankfully, Dan Slott has played this game before; having to squeeze in an event that could, potentially, derail the storytelling and messages Slott wants to tell in this particular issue. But Slott’s a pro and while the does have to acknowledge this cross-over event, he incorporates it into his story and makes it a strength rather than a hindrance. In this issue we recognise that being part of something bigger, but more immediate, like the community you call your home, is important, with everyone looking out for one another. Even if it means squaring up to a rag-tag band of frost giants, valkyries and the like, but at least the Fantastic Four have some great neighbors. Neighbors who might find Franklin Richards a bit too aloof and miserable at first, but who embrace him nonetheless. It’s a Norman Rockwell view of the world, sure, but it’s one that, I dare say, we all secretly crave.

What should have been seen much-deserved down time for the gang, ends up in a fist fight. But one that is as informative as it is fun. This is the street the The Thing grew up on, as plain old Ben Grimm, but it’s the neighborhood that nurtured him too, and helped him become the man, the hero he is today.
Along for the ride and giving Aaron Kuder a break, is the artwork of Paco Medina and Kevin Libranda and a style that’s well suited to this particular issue. It reminded me of the late, great Mike Wieringo’s particularly style of artwork and was most welcome by this reader upon opening up this month’s issue. It also adds to the idyllic nature of this issue. If only we could all be part of a warm and welcoming community, right? Well, we can. We just need to get out of our doors and go seek out our neighbors and make those links for ourselves.

No doubt the FF will be thrown into another universe-threatening saga soon enough, but these down-to-Earth issues, while you couldn’t build a sustainable series on such, are always special and can often deliver more warmth, humour, character insight and development than a whole years worth of comics. This is one such issue and, thankfully, by the end of it we at least don’t have Emo Franklin to worry about anymore. Phew. He was getting to be a real drag.
If this was a song, it would most definitely be Chumbawamba’s hit, Tubthumping. You’ll get it when you pick up this week’s issue.
Fantastic Four #10 is out now from Marvel Comics.

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