FF #6 review

When a book is eye candy to the extent that FF has been to date, a bit of grit really stands out. The grit on Joe Quinones and Laura Allred’s luscious FF #6 pages is the dream Scott Lang has of murdered daughter Cassie, a grey squall on a tropical sea. The images stay with him all day (click on image to enlarge) just when Scott – aka Ant Man, head of the Future Foundation – can’t afford to wallow in some anti-reverie, given that Medusa and Bentley-23 have vanished, and Darla Deering is being harassed by the Yancy Street Gang.

But Scott’s a hero learning to be a leader, and he pulls it together enough to attack both problems. He puts one over on the Yancy Streeters – no longer street toughs so much as cyber rats – with his own superior smarts, playing them at their own game in a way Reed Richards never would. And he sends She-Hulk and Medusa’s son, Ahura, to ask the Inhumans if they know where their queen is. We don’t find out what strong and silent Black Bolt tells his son, but he gives him a clue, along with teleporting dog Lockjaw.

Back at the Baxter Building, meanwhile, detective Dragon Man has discovered telltale strands of Medusa’s living hair by disabled security H.E.R.B.I.E.s. And an unseen Impossible Man – I’m guessing, but who else has a ‘POP’ sound effect? – provides a decent cliffhanger.

Also this issue, an exploded splash page shows the current configuration of the Baxter Building, we meet the slimiest hack in town and Moloid Tong announces that she identifies as a girl, not a boy, and starts sporting dresses … and why not, did anyone actually view the Mole Man’s minions as gender specific in the first place?

Writer Matt Fraction continues to do a terrific job writing the FF cast both as individuals and members of a group. You couldn’t find a more motley crew, but there’s a real feeling of being in it together. Thus, when Scott sorts Darla’s Yancy Street Gang problem – they hate the idea that as Miss Thing she’s usurping Ben Grimm’s position – it doesn’t feel like the woman having to get help from the man; it feels like one teammate helping out another. I’ve no doubt that Darla can repay the favour, but at the moment Scott is the experienced hero, and she’s the ingenue, smart enough to accept assistance without feeling slighted in the slightest.

Darla is also my favourite character in the book, her brash image contrasting with her quiet sincerity. Individual panels by illustrator Quinones – filling in for regular artist Mike Allred with equal amounts talent and good grace – and colour artist Allred are heartbreaking. Equally chokeworthy is Scott saying good morning to a photograph of Cassie on his smartphone – my Dad greets my late mother the same way.

And how’s this for a clever bit of cartooning, as the Yancy Streeters put Darla off during a new songs showcase – check out that snapped stave.

Mike Allred produces the typically striking cover – another Darla I just want to hug, and I love how Laura Allred swatches the logo background to match Darla’s pink barnet.

It’s a shame we don’t find out what Medusa is up to – last time we saw her take Bentley to see donor dad the Wingless Wizard and what passes for the Frightful Four these days. Still, we get an issue of excellent character and subplot development, ensuring that as the bigger story beats hit, we care more about our cast. Grade: FF – frankly fantastic.

16 thoughts on “FF #6 review

  1. I'm reading a bit of Marvel Now, but this is the only one I'm buying month to month. It's just a lot of fun and great comic to read after a month of nothing but dark, deep, and or heavy material in my comics (with the exception of Ame-Comi Girls).

    Though, next month I'll be picking up Brian Wood's X-Men comic. He's sort of hit or miss for me, but with a cool and awesome cast like he has assembled, I'm in for checking out the first few issues.

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  2. hey mart if you love mark waid try his free webcomic insufferable on thrillbent it finished it's first arc after 33 weekly chapter and is starting a second arc and it is great ad it even has peter krause on art

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  3. oh it's serialized like a newspaper strip but each chapter is a full story with a cliffhanger, check it out it is worth it from the team that worked irredeemable and daredevil

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  4. Mart, I think you'll really like Insufferable, too. The chapters are about 10 screens each — much shorter than an average comic. The second Insufferable story just started 4 weeks ago, and is just heating up!

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  5. Rob S., the first trade has come out recently and it collects Fantastic Four #1-3 and FF #1-3. If you only want to read this comic, get that trade since it has all the nessecary issues of Fantastic Four you'll need.

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  6. funny people complained about fraction's x-men and iron man well less so about iron man but those same people a raving over his ff, fantastic four and hawkeye why is thst

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  7. anybody here like scarlet spider cause i want to read it but want to know if it's good and is minimum carnage essential reading for scarlet spider

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