Going Back To The Beginning With Fantastic Four #14

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]

The National Air and Space Museum is throwing a celebration of the Marvel-1, the ship that the four people who would become the Fantastic Four took on that fateful day upon which they were pelted with cosmic rays and received their fantastic powers. It’s a day of mixed feelings for the FF. Mr. Fantastic can only think of how the shields should have protected them from the cosmic rays, the Thing sees it as the day upon which he became a horrid monster, and the Human Torch yearns for that old spirit of adventure. After the celebration, Johnny and Reed come to the same conclusion: they must rebuild the Marvel-1 and finally complete the mission they put off on the day they became the Fantastic Four.

Fantastic Four #14 cover by Mike Deodato Jr. and Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Fantastic Four #14 cover by Mike Deodato Jr. and Romulo Fajardo Jr.

Fantastic Four #14 reaches back to Reed, Sue, Ben, and Johnny’s first mission, the one that made them into the Fantastic Four. It’s a comic of mixed emotions, nostalgia, and looking back to the beginning of the Marvel Age.

It’s a carefully crafted story that shows a brilliant understanding of the FF on the part of Dan Slott. It almost goes without saying that the Fantastic Four are, above all else, adventurers. However, this book shows the balance of the team in an interesting way, whether it be Reed’s curiosity, Johnny’s need for adventure, Sue’s need to watch out for those she loves, and Ben’s need to prove himself while protecting his family. 

Ben initially wants no part in this plan, and how Reed, Sue, and Johnny convince him to come along is pretty, well, fantastic.

It’s a very character-focused read, and it shows a deep understanding of Marvel’s first family of heroes.

Fantastic Four #14 art by Paco Medina, Jesus Aburtov, and letterer VC's Joe Caramagna
Fantastic Four #14 art by Paco Medina, Jesus Aburtov, and letterer VC’s Joe Caramagna

Paco Medina brings a high-energy and charming style to the comic. Each character is expressive and constantly in motion while staying true to the classic FF looks we know and love. Jesus Aburtov supports it with a bright and explosive color palette that injects another dose of energy and life into the visuals.

Fantastic Four #14 is another triumphant issue for the World’s Greatest Comic Magazine. Slott puts together a smart story that almost seems too obvious to work as well as it does. Why have the FF never gone back to complete their first mission? Who knows, but it conjures a lot of curiosity. Mix that with some great art from Medina and Aburtov, and you have a book worth recommending. Feel free to give this one a read.

Fantastic Four #14 comes to us from writer Dan Slott, artist Paco Medina, color artist Jesus Aburtov, letterer VC’s Joe Caramagna, cover artist Mike Deodato Jr. with Romulo Fajardo Jr., and variant cover artists Ryan Brown; Mike McKone with Rachelle Roseneberg; Inhyuk Lee; Tom Raney with Rachelle Rosenberg; and Christian Ward.

Final Score: 8.5/10

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