Fantastic Four is one of those comic series that keep hitting my radar, then falling off for a while. I love the concept of a family working through things (and super-villains) together, but it takes a really good writer or a really fresh idea to keep everything working smoothly. Unfortunately, so many times that means a new writer comes onto a magazine and takes the characters in another direction that doesn't suit my taste or goes too far astray from the primary conceit of the series.
I haven't picked up an issue of Fantastic Four for some time. Mark Waid had a great run in the past, and the Ultimate Fantastic Four in the beginning was the bomb. I picked up #577 because of the intriguing cover artwork. The Inhumans was one of the most original things about the Silver Age Fantastic Four, and I guess I'm still a sucker for them when they're paired with Reed, Sue, Ben, and Johnny.
Sadly, I chose an issue in the middle of a story arc and ended up being somewhat confused. The writer, Jonathan Hickman, is new to me, but he does a good job of catching the reader up with past events without bogging the story down. Evidently there are some big changes taking place on the moon, and it looks like the Inhumans as readers know them may never be the same.
Dale Eaglesham's art is absolutely eye-popping when combined with Paul Mounts's colors. Eaglesham draws some pretty dramatic stuff, but Mounts puts the finishing spin on things and really blasts it out of the ballpark. I love the way the pages are broken down so they draw the eye through the story so quickly. Eaglesham has a natural flair for BIG scenes and science fiction backgrounds.
When the Fantastic Four lands on the moon and starts to explore, the art feels like stills from a movie. It's just that good, and Hickman's pacing matches that impression, allowing Eaglesham and Mounts to work their magic. This adventure just brings back to mind all the old stuff that Stan Lee and Jack Kirby did when I was a kid. The sense of awe, wonder, and — well — the fantastic is on every page.
I've gotta go back now and find the previous two issues in this storyline, then I'll be waiting for next month to see how everything comes out. So far, though, things have gotten really interesting.