A Lavish, Pop-Art Powerhouse Of A Comic Book: Reviewing ‘Fantastic Four: Full Circle’
by Olly MacNamee
‘Fantastic Four: Full Circle’ sees the team journey into the Negative Zone and enter a realm of cosmic proportions. Storyteller and artist Alex Ross stuns with a story that evokes classic FF, as told by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, as well as integrates elements of old school comic colouring and Pop Art too. A cosmic odyssey through some of the Fantastic Four’s greatest moments, this one is not to miss!
While comic book fans have marvelled at the painted art work of Alex Ross for decades now, it isn’t that often we get to see his work in a more raw form as we do in Fantastic Four: Full Circle, a tome of a book and a must-have for any comic book fan. And while he has been likened so many time to Norman Rockwell, in this issue he also infuses his work with shadows of Jack Kirby and colours that evoke not just the sixties but heavily, and stunningly, pay homage to the Pop Art movement of that era too. But not just Pop Art. In the choice of colours, this book also evokes the four-colour comics of yesteryear too. And so, the finished results is a timeless tale that is both classic and contemporary Fantastic Four. A gloriously garish, beautifully bright and joyous book that revisit a moment from the family’s past with a follow up story that sees the Fantastic Four journey into the Negative Zone and on in doing so sends then on a gargantuan cosmic odyssey that allows Ross to really shine and show off his genius-level talents. In many ways this is a story that hits all the best and iconic moments of Marvel’s first family’s heritage, woven together through a narrative that is cohesive and dramatic while still capturing the family-orientated nature of the FF that makes them so special when compared to other super hero teams.
Each page is a work of art and Ross’s mastery of layout often means each page offers something different in its panel composition. Something Kirby was also known for. So, for example, as the Fantastic Four set off for the Negative Zone, we are treated to a series of vertical panels that fan out from left to right across before throwing the team, and the raiders into a fantastical grey cosmic vista reminiscent of the collage pages Kirby himself would include.
Fantastic Four: Full Circle is a book that delights on so many levels. A great, original story and also a faithful homage to the majesty of Jack Kirby. A clear labour of love by a master of the industry. But also a book that sparkles with vibrancy and offers a different style by Ross too. A gargantuan, glorious and great story from start to finish that you will revisit often, and out now from Marvel Comics.