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Fantastic Four 5AU
Fantastic Four #5AU Review

Written by Matt Fraction

Art by André Araújo

Colors by Jose Villarrubia

Review by Adam Shaw


Wow. Damn. I was totally caught off guard by this Age of Ultron tie-in. It was nothing like what I was expecting, and delivers a sucker-punch of emotion right to the gut. Fraction did a remarkable job with hitting the all of the keys and playing all the emotional notes at the right beat.

This issue focuses less on the Fantastic Four battling Ultron, and more on how do you say goodbye to your sons, daughters, nieces, and nephews. The story alternates between the good-bye messages to Franklin and Valeria from each member of the Four to that person’s battle against Ultron’s forces. Fraction could’ve easily shown all of the messages first, but then as we continue with the story they would lose a lot of their impact. The breakup of the story really helps to sell each members message with all of the emotional weight behind it.

Reed’s message to the children hit me particularly hard. We haven’t really seen Reed be emotional or deal with his feelings in front of the children before, but we get to see him open up and struggle with the complexity of sharing one’s feelings. I hope that I will never have to experience the situation of telling my children goodbye.

The art by Araújo and Villarrubia has a very unique feel to it, but compliments the intentions of the story very well. The pages look old and worn and the art is faded in some place. It has a vintage feel to it that makes you feel that maybe this is some lost or forgotten letter, and we are bearing witness to the emotional outpourings of someone long gone. Maybe I’m just crazy, but that’s how it made me feel.

The Verdict

Buy It! Fantastic Four #5AU is a fantastic issue just on its own. You don’t need to be reading either Fantastic Four or Age of Ultron to appreciate the story being told here. This is probably my second favorite single issue to come out this year, after Batman and Robin #18. If you enjoy the more emotionally charged stories, then definitely don’t miss this issue.

6 Responses

  1. thisjohnd

    Adam, it’s good to know that I can read this having not read any of Age of Ultron. I considered removing this from my weekly pull list because I figured I’d be completely lost even though I am reading Fantastic Four. I’ll definitely be giving this one a shot and maybe I’ll come back to share my thoughts as a non-AoU reader.

    • thisjohnd

      I finally got around to reading this issue and it was as great as you said it was, Adam. You really don’t need to know anything about Age of Ultron to get it, and in fact, this made me almost curious enough to check out the event (and if it wasn’t being released every friggin’ week I would). I kind of wish André Araújo could draw the regular Fantastic Four book because I love his depiction of the family. However, his She-Hulk with short hair is my only gripe with this issue. Mike Allred needs to draw She-Hulk at all times.

  2. NameitPurple

    Great reviews of a great comic.
    The Age of Ultron threat is almost a MacGuffin here, allowing Fraction to tell the real frightening story, how parents deal with the constant worry of “leaving” their children.
    Reed’s response was indeed great, but more impressive I thought was how, very quietly, Fraction showed once again how amazing Sue is.
    Hickman’s run on these books was rightly lauded, and I have to say I don’t think the quality has dropped one iota in Matt Fraction’s hands.

  3. Steve Seigh

    This issue blew me away when I read it last night. I wasn’t expecting for it to have the emotional punch that it did. I know that people are reluctant to jump onto the Age of Ultron books – because it’s yet ANOTHER Marvel event – but so far I’ve really been enjoying it quite a bit. I think when all is said and done that it will make for one hell of a read. However, this Fantastic Four issue is something to be reckoned with all on its own. I loved it.

  4. Julio

    in an age of digital…this issue, imo, is a must own. while the story told by fraction, on its own, is very powerful…the art really gives it the knock out blow.

    this, and superior spiderman 6AU, has kept my AU interest for yet another week. i guess at this point…its too late to turn back?

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