An extra-sized issue of Marvel’s First Family leads the way for this week’s Marvel Rundown as the growing family of the Fantastic Four faces new domestic and otherworldly challenges. Plus, Marvel debuts a brand-new Werewolf By Night miniseries just in time for Halloween! We also check in to make sure that Spidey keeps swinging and the Guardians of the Galaxy keep guardian-ing. All this ahead in this week’s Marvel Rundown!

Cover Artwork from Fantastic Four #25
Fantastic Four #25

Fantastic Four #25

Writer: Dan Slott
Artists: R. B. Silva, Paco Medina, and Will Robson
Color Artists: Jesus Aburtov and Marcio Menyz
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover Artist: Mark Brooks
Reviewed by George Carmona 3rd

This 25th issue of the current Fantastic Four series, with writer Dan Slott and artist R. B. Silva on the main story, and Slott and artists Paco Medina and Will Robson handling the art on the two backups, continues to excite me. The series has consistently captured the magic of the Fantastic Four, tapping into a nostalgic vibe while still keep everything moving forward. This issue ramps up the stakes, further opening up the FF’s universe on what should have been a fun day for them, and giving the team new uniforms with some technological upgrades and tweaks that allow for more fun in their communications and ours. 

Artwork from Fantastic Four #25
From Fantastic Four #25

This is where the book really shines with that signature balance of external threats and internal drama that is created by the thing that most of us can relate to: keeping family secrets. But Mr. Fantastic isn’t the only one this time with something to hide. And just to be clear, Reed’s secret is the main drive to this story, but it’s not the only one as we also discover the Invisible Woman’s side hustle. Add to that the new role as parents that newlyweds the Thing and Alicia Masters-Grimm have taken on in raising a pair of young aliens, as well as Franklin Richards’s embracing of Mutant culture and everything that goes with it. All of that and Dr. Doom still isn’t the biggest problem for them. 

No, for that Slott has a new Big Bad by the name of Helmsman. A mysterious Cosmic level being that has enough power to not even engage with the team, instead sending his lackey to handle the FF, Doom, and Doom’s protege Victorious. And that’s just what he does: make quick work of this combined force. 

And let’s not forget the backup story featuring the return of our favorite peeping tom, Uatu. In case you didn’t read Empyre: Fallout Fantastic Four #1, the eternal watcher of the MCU has been resurrected, springing out of the head of the Unseen, aka old Nick Fury, with a new agenda to not just sit on the sidelines as a passive observer. Uatu’s return sets the stage for a bigger story down the road.

Artwork from Fantastic Four #25
From Fantastic Four #25

I’m guessing that the new look for the Fantastic Four is due to R.B. Silva stepping into the artist’s duties for the book, as his linework combined with Jesus Aburtov’s color gives readers a vibrant bang for their buck. They make full use of their canvas, with some great designs that are loving nods to Kirby, filling the pages with a lot to look at, very few empty backgrounds, and with a bunch of two page spreads you can really dive into the beautifully rendered action. 

Final Verdict: BUY. The warmth of the characters and the quick action pace of the plot, combined with the amazing pencils and coloring, make this is a solid read and a gorgeous book to look at.

Werewolf by Night #1

Werewolf By Night #1

Written by TabooBenjamin “B. Earl” Jackendoff
Pencilled by Scot Eaton
Inked by Scott Hanna
Colored by Miroslav Mrva
Lettered by VC’s Joe Sabino
Cover by Mike McKone & Jason Keith
Reviewed by Hussein Wasiti

In what I’d consider to be a fun little October surprise, this comic caught my attention. I haven’t heard of Werewolf by Night, which apparently is a classic Marvel series or something along those lines, and I wasn’t even interested in reading this iteration because I thought it was your run-of-the-mill Marvel monster story which isn’t my cup of tea. Little did I know, this is a reinvention of that classic character into something more delicate and modern, and I really dug it.

Written by Taboo of the Black-Eyed Peas and B. Earl with art by Scot Eaton, this opening salvo does a pretty good job of introducing the character of Jake, the titular Werewolf, and his supporting cast. There’s a whole sub-plot featuring a character named Red Wolf and his partner JJ, but it seems like something the writers are slowly building up to. Jake is a pretty young character, a teenager, and the writers drop in some connection to the current Outlawed story featuring young characters like Miles Morales and Kamala Khan. Who knows; Jake just might join the Champions by the end of this series if things work out.

From Werewolf by Night #1
From Werewolf by Night #1

Eaton’s an interesting choice for an artist but ultimately it makes sense. He’s a pretty traditional superhero artist and if the intent of this story is to move Werewolf aware from his pulpy roots into something that fits within the wider Marvel universe, then Eaton’s a good fit. I just think his action scenes and pacing left a little to be desired. I’m not sure if there was an issue in the scripting process, but the aside from the opening scene the action comes across as a little stilted. The opening scene of the issue was very Immortal Hulk-esque, right down to the panelling of the action scenes, so that stood out to me.

Final Verdict: It’s not a total hit but I’d BROWSE this comic to see if you want more. If you’re clamouring for more representation in the MU, then check this out and support it. If you’re a fan of the original incarnation of the character then I’d also suggest to read it and see what you think.

From Werewolf by Night #1
From Werewolf by Night #1

Rapid Rundown

  • Amazing Spider-Man #50.LR
    • “Last Remains” kicks off in truly Marvel fashion with another case of weird numbering. It’s a decent introduction to the subplot of this arc as editor Nick Lowe explains in an essay at the back of the book. Matthew Rosenberg joins Nick Spencer on writing duties and honestly, it feels like a seamless collaboration. This was a quick-moving and fun issue but felt a little like a filler piece before the story goes big next issue. —HW
  • Guardians of the Galaxy #7
    • The title of this issue is “Let’s talk politics,” and the contents live up to that title. Thankfully I’m both a sucker for politically jockeying and fascinated by how Al Ewing is bringing that aspect of life to Marvel’s cosmic side. Marcio Takara and Federico Blee handle the abundance of talking heads expertly, as well as the multiple murders that take place in this issue (wait, did you say murders?). It’s a solid jumping-on point, especially if you followed Empyre and want to see some of the fallout from that series. —JG
  • Venom #29
    • It’s truly insane to me that a cross-dimensional story arc featuring all these different symbiotes is what I’d consider to be a “breather” before King in Black starts soon, but it’s true. This has been a fun departure from the main Knull story, and it felt like I read it in thirty seconds. It was a brisk and energetic story with some great Luke Ross artwork. —HW

Next week, X of Swords reaches its midpoint!


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