Ultimate Fantastic Four #32


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Ultimate Fantastic Four #32


  • Words: Mark Millar
  • Art: Greg Land
  • Inks: Matt Ryan
  • Colors: Justin Ponsor
  • Story Title: Frightful, Part 3
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Aug 16, 2006

Mark Millar and Greg Land end their year long term on Ultimate Fantastic Four with a sacrifice, a zombie or two, and a new Latverian ruler.

In the final installment of "Frightful," the Ultimate Fantastic Four, along with the Ultimates, and Dr. Doom, battle not only an alien/demon parasite, but the zombified Fantastic Four from the most twisted Earth in the multiverse. I know, it does sound like a bad trip. Meanwhile, Johnny and Sue’s mother reveals some plans of her own for a brave new world…

Mark Millar is a brave man. He takes the characters he writes on rides and waves others would be scared to travel. In doing so he creates memorable stories and intriguing drama you would be a fool to miss. In Ultimate Fantastic Four Millar shows the true extent of how shallow Johnny Storm can be. When asked what he has learned from the world threatening parasite in his belly incident and the world threatening zombie counterpart incident going on at the same time he says, not skipping a beat, "Absolutely nothing." That is a kind of empty honesty I can respect.

Millar’s Doom is also an appealing character for different reasons. Where Johnny is shallow, Victor is layered. In this issue there is a point where he acts the hero. You may disagree with the reasons behind his actions. But they are nonetheless, the right actions to take. Millar’s ability to create villains you can’t help but like and heroes you can’t help but hate is to be admired.

As are Greg Land’s pencils. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Those of you who denounce him as an unskilled artist because of his need for photo-references are inherently wrong. His images may be gleaned from magazines and movie posters, but they are truly pretty. And the zombie scenes, the panels, the double-page spreads, the splash pages of grotesquely disfigured, monstrous zombie-heroes are, in a word, terrifying. They put a funny feeling in the pit of your belly. You are both sad and happy to see something like this, something like a kitten with a dead bird in its mouth: wrong, but somehow beautiful. Matt Ryan and Justin Ponsor, of course, work well with Land to create sharp, realistic images that pop with just the right coloring and feel to make you want more.

It has been a wild ride: Thunder God presidents, super-powered citizenry, zombie versions of everyone’s favorite heroes, and a heroic villain. Will Mike Carey and Pasqual Ferry be able to top it? I guess there is only one way to find out…

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