Writers: Gail Simone, Dan Slott, & Fred Hembeck
Artists: Laura Braga, Mark Buckingham, & Fred Hembeck
Inks: Mark Farmer (W/Buckingham)
Colors: Jesus Aburtov, Matt Yackey, & Megan Wilson
Letters: VC’s Joe Caramagna
The Fantastic Four: Wedding Special is a wonderful build up to what to many could be the Wedding of the Century between Miss Alicia Masters and Mr. Ben Grimm better known to the world at large as the Thing. Broken into three delightful tales- (Invisible) Girls Gone Wild, Father Figure, and the Puppet Master’s Lament the Fantastic Four: Wedding Special is fun comic that is full of wedding tradition, super heroic mayhem, as well as tender moments of true love. Beginning with (Invisible) Girls Gone Wild, which is a slapstick tale of Alicia’s Bachelorette Party that is an odd mixture of the current and former female members of the Fantastic Four as well as fellow artists from Alicia’s art collective. Of course nothing goes right, for instance taking a blind woman to a male strip show or the appearance of the Mole Woman (yep, you read that right) who feels that if she can’t have love then no one should. The second story, Father Figure, is about the nostalgic Ben Grimm needing to fulfill the classic tradition of asking the father of the bride for permission to marry their daughter. This of course is even more difficult when said father is Philip Masters, the Puppet Master and currently housed at the super max super hero prison the Raft. The final story, the Puppet Masters Lament, is throwback to the classic Marvel self-deprecating comic that satirizes the entire Alicia/Thing romance, as told by the one and only Puppet Master.
The Fantastic Four: Wedding Special is a great precursor to what will no doubt be a wonderful wedding issue in the upcoming Fantastic Four #5(#650 for Legacy aficionados). Gail Simone was the perfect choice to handle the bachelorette party as her great dialogue, comedic timing, and snarky retorts were on full display within this short story. Laura Braga’s art was reminiscent of when Mike Allred drew the much missed FF but with a flare all her own. Dan Slott’ s shown over the years that the Thing is one of his favorite characters in comics and his handling of the time honored tradition of gaining a father’s permission was superb. It was even more enjoyable with the pencils of Mark Buckingham with inks by Mark Farmer. Anyone expecting a classic Buckingham style will be surprised (not disappointed) as Buckingham does his best Kirby interpretation as an homage to the co-creator of the Fantastic Four all the way back in 1961. For the final story it was inspired for Marvel to bring back their classic satirist Fred Hembeck, who did many a comedic take on the Marvel universe back in the ’70s, ‘80s and ‘90s. It may not resonate with new fans, but us olds school Marvel fans appreciate the nostalgia and it was a perfect cap to this tremendous comic.
Verdict: the Fantastic Four: Wedding Specialis a delightful comic told in three parts that sets the table for the upcoming wedding of Alicia Masters and Ben Grimm. With a stellar list of creators you can’t go wrong with picking up this issue and is a recommended Buy in my opinion.