REVIEW: ‘Fantastic Four: Antithesis’, Issue 1

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Fantastic Four: Antithesis #1

Fantastic Four: Antithesis #1, written by Mark Waid, penciled by Neal Adams, inked by Mark Farmer, and colored by Laura Martin, is published by Marvel Comics. The Fantastic Four halt an asteroid headed for Earth; however, they learn that is their old ally the Silver Surfer. The Surfer then reveals a shocking piece of news: his master Galactus is dead!

This issue is a landmark moment in comic book history, as it marks the first time Adams illustrates the Fantastic Four. Adams is best known for illustrating Green Lantern for DC Comics, co-creating fan-favorite John Stewart; here he brings his signature art style to the Four. Adams’ art has always felt larger than life, which is perfect for these characters. Reed Richards’ body feels fluid and flowing; the Thing is a hulking mass of rock and muscle.  Adams also tends to draw extreme close-ups of his characters; this can often have an unsettling effect-especially where characters like the Thing and the Negative Zone’s resident tyrant Annihilus are concerned.

This is also thanks to Martin’s colors, which bring the bright eye-popping colors one would expect from the Fantastic Four. Johnny Storm’s flames burn a bright orange; meanwhile, his sister Sue’s force fields shimmer with a bluish-white light. The best example of art and color merging together is the opening sequence where the Four battle Annihilus; it feels like a throwback to the classic Stan Lee/Jack Kirby era. Reed’s hands are surrounded by high tech devices, while Sue and Johnny pummel Annihilus with energy. The dialogue even feels old school, with Reed spouting technobabble every other paragraph.

Another reason this tale feels like a classic Four story is due to Waid’s writing. Waid wrote one of the most iconic Fantastic Four runs; as a result, his characterization of Marvel’s First Family feels like slipping on a warm coat. Ben and Johnny bicker; Reed saves the day with science, and Sue keeps the team together. We also see classic characters from the Four’s mythos, including the witch Agatha Harkness. Much like Peter David returning to the Hulk with Maestro, Waid proves that he still has his finger on the Four’s pulse.

The only problem with the story is that it takes until the end of the issue to kick off the main plot. Granted, this is probably meant to hook readers into picking up the next issue; but I also feel like it could have kicked off the story as well. The titular villain isn’t even mentioned, which takes some wind out of the sails. Given that he killed Galactus, it would have given the issue a bit more oomph if we saw him.

Fantastic Four: Antithesis #1 feels like a welcome throwback tour to the best Fantastic Four stories. This is a property where nearly anything is possible, and I hope that Waid and Adams continue to tap into that spirit. Hopefully, we also get to see Antithesis; any villain who can kill a guy like Galactus has got my attention.

Fantastic Four: Antithesis #1 is available wherever comics are sold and through Comixology using our affiliate link.

Fantastic Four: Antithesis #1

TL;DR

Fantastic Four: Antithesis #1 feels like a welcome throwback tour to the best Fantastic Four stories. This is a property where nearly anything is possible, and I hope that Waid and Adams continue to tap into that spirit. Hopefully, we also get to see Antithesis; any villain who can kill a guy like Galactus has got my attention.