Overview

Ultimate Fantastic Four #30

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Ultimate Fantastic Four #30

Credits

  • Words: Mark Millar
  • Art: Greg Land
  • Inks: Matt Ryan
  • Colors: Mitch Breitweiser & Justin Ponsor
  • Story Title: Frightful, Part 1
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Jun 1, 2006

The story begins at a Mexican restaurant, travels to Latveria, and ends in the Zombie Four’s cell, all the while, being truly frightful.

The Ultimate Fantastic Four have been through a lot since their creation a few years ago, from dealing with their respective powers to battling Dr. Doom, and Namor, and meeting their zombie counterparts. But nothing has prepared them for Millar and Land’s last stab. After discovering an alien parasite latched onto Johnny when they were in the N-Zone, Reed and Sue exhaust all their resources in trying to find a solution because if they don’t, in seven days things on earth will get very, very ugly. Try as they might, even going so far to enlist the aid of Professor X, there seems to be no solution. In a last ditch effort, they go to their worst enemy—Dr. Doom. Meanwhile, the zombies are getting terribly antsy…

Millar has a way with playing in the Ultimate playground that keeps his readers coming back for more. From Johnny’s cavalier attitude toward superheroics and popularity to Ben’s suicidal tendencies, his Fantastic Four is more than "Marvel’s First Family." They are young, they are brash, and they all have physical, emotional, or mental issues to contend with. In addition, Millar has given us a truly frightful, Frightful Four. He has built the tension to a fever pitch, bringing these monsters in right away and keeping them caged for several issues, letting the reader know that when they escape, for surely they will, it will be a moment of comic book magnificence. Furthermore, he has foregone a meeting between Doom and Reed until his last arc, apparently saving the best for last.

This brings us to Greg Land, who, it has been said, cannot draw a sketch at a convention unless he has a photo reference with him. That being said, it can be fun to try to find the famous face behind the superhero mask. Also, the photo-realism of some of his background and anatomy work is impressive in its clarity alone. Though it is benefited by Ponsor’s colors, Land’s work, say what you will about the photo reference thing, is good in a simple, clear way. There is no misinterpreting what is going on in his panels. They are painstakingly realistic and always a pleasure to watch.

Additionally, there is something new and different this issue in the form of Mitch Breitweiser’s inks. Normally, Matt Ryan has these chores for the entire issue; this time Breitweiser covered pages 8-14 and on those pages we see some of Land’s realism disappear. The edges are harder, heavier, giving the comic a decidedly more "comic" feel. He also manages to ink away most of the similarities between the characters and people in magazines, foregoing any notion that Reed’s face is Harry Potter’s or Johnny’s is any number of famous boy banders while maintaining the solid work everywhere else. Which, for some, may be a good thing.

In the end, Millar, Land and team have made their mark on the Ultimate Universe, if not the entire Marvel line. If you are not a fan of over the top superheroics and unbelievable plot lines involving a duplicitous Skrull invasion, super powers the world over, and zombie versions of Marvel heroes, than this book isn’t for you. But if that stuff doesn’t sound cool to you, maybe you shouldn’t be reading comic books.

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