Review: Spidey And Wolverine Make For A Great Double Act In ‘Fantastic Four’ #23

by Olly MacNamee

Cover by Nick Bradshaw

Empyre may have concluded but there’s still time for one more last hurrah courtesy of Fantastic Four #23 by Dan Slott, Paco Medina, Jesus Aburtov and Joe Caramanga. 
As anyone reading this series will already realise, the Fantastic Four featured in this issue is made up of a very different quartet to what you’d expect with Franklin and Valeria Richards partnering up with Wolverine and and everyone’s favourite neighbourhood Spider-Man, and following in the long established tradition of mashing up the Fantastic Four with new – albeit it temporary – members. For me, my all-time favourite inclusion just had to be She-Hulk back in the John Byrne era of the title, who took The Thing’s place after he decided to stay on the Beyonder’s patchwork planet from Secret Wars. I’m sure everyone has their own particular favourite reiteration, but maybe this newest could become someone else’s favourite in time. God knows, something good has to come out of Marvel’s most recent lack-lustre event.

Of course, after a decade of writing for Spider-Man, Slott is an old hand at capturing Peter Parker’s wise-assery, but he continues to excel at capturing the voices of all the various characters  in this book, all done in the usual light-hearted way that has become something of a staple of Slott’s writing, even when his players face terrible threats. A Dan Slott comic is always an entertains read, if nothing else.
Franklin, Valeria, Wolverine and Spidey are on the trail of the missing Kree child, Jo-Venn, across New York – with a little extra help coming in ten shape of Skrull child, N’Kalla –  and come face to face with the Cotati Dark Harvest. At one point it has Spidey reminiscing about that one time he was a billionaire. Again, all done with humour rather than regret. Spider-Man and Wolverine make a great double act, that’s or sure, and these scenes are a good example of Slott’s skills in the dialogue department.

Meanwhile, Paco Medina provides the requisite current favoured art style to procedures, and it’s most definitely a style I approve of. I’ve enjoyed Medina’s run on this book and this issue is no different. There are some epic shots Medina has to choreograph and with the vivid colours of Jesus Aburtov, this vividness is only accentuated. 
What started off, for me, as an unnecessary tie-in, has blossomed into a fun, three-part adventure that, for the most part, happens off-camera but allows Slott the downtime from Marvel’s first family’s regular adventuring to offer up an issue full of great dialogue and friendly ribbing between Logan and Peter. Something you don’t get to see too much of these days as Marvel’s mutants would rather play alone these days.  Once agin  Slott’s writing and Medina’s art have won me over with its warmth, humour and dynamism.  Plus, it was a great way to revisit one of the Fantastic Four’s more fan-favourite narrative tropes of offering up an alternative version of the team, even if it was just for this particular adventure. 
Fantastic Four #23 is available now from Marvel. 
Rating: 8/10

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