Antics and adventure with Spidey and the Fantastic Four
For better or worse, modern audiences often favor comic books featuring the violent, erotic, or "realistic" over light-hearted fun. Those interested in the latter need look no further than last year's Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four: Silver Rage collection for good-natured superhero adventure.
It's hard to imagine a better creative team for a fun book than writer Jeff Parker and the late, great Mike Wieringo. As expected, they knock this one out of the park. The mini-series reprinted in this book echoes an earlier era when seeing one's favorite heroes team up was a novelty. In this case, the premise is that Spider-Man seeks out the Fantastic Four to help thwart an alien race's takeover of Earth.
Spidey is alerted to the coming invasion by longtime FF nuisance and ally The Impossible Man, a shapeshifting member of the Poppupian race. Impy has seen a servant of another alien life form, the H'mojen, en route to Earth. After some brief shenanigans and an initial confrontation with the invaders, the pair track down the Fantastic Four and set out to rescue humanity.
Spidey and Impy take to the skies
The middle chapters are pure old school adventure, with Mr. Fantastic scouring distant galaxies for clues while the remainder of the FF and temporary member Spidey take on the baddies. There are monsters to battle and technobabble to spare, along with some good ol' clobberin' time for The Thing, Human Torch, and the wall-crawling Webhead.
The Amazing Spider-Nerd
The good guys eventually seek out Dr. Doom, taking advantage of his ego and ambition to advance their cause once steered in the right direction by warriors of the High Evolutionary. With that assist and some quick thinking by the heroes and an irked band of allies, they save the day. Would you expect any less?
Parker and Wieringo do a great job here, with lots of fun antics and family moments even in the midst of crisis. They also utilize the characters' supporting casts and gadgets (old and new) to great effect, including a rare (sort of) appearance of the ridiculous Spider-Mobile. Wieringo's art is playful and clean, and a reminder of what the world lost when he passed away last summer at age 44. I'd certainly recommend this collection to anyone looking for entertaining and humorous comics, including the kiddies. A refreshing collection from a couple outstanding creators.
Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four: Silver Rage was released in October 2007 and is now available from Amazon.