Characters Appearing: Ant-Man (Scott Lang), Bridget O'Neil, Human Torch, Invisible Woman, Lyja the Lazerfist, Mad Thinker, Nathaniel Richards, She-Hulk, Simon Janson, Super-Android F-4, Thing, Wolverine
Fantastic Four #395
Issue(s): Fantastic Four #395
The Thing, Wolverine, and Ant-Man fight some goons and androids sent by the Mad Thinker instead.
When that's over, the heroes have a beer together.
You have to love the Thinker's methodological way of looking at that paper. He notices that there's a photo on one side, but absolutely won't look at it until after reading the words on the other side first. That's self control. And they dare call him mad...
It's actually kind of refreshing that the Thing and Wolverine don't fight, but it also feels like DeFalco is reusing his one cool trick, first seen in Marvel Two-In-One #86
Also in this issue, Nathaniel Richards has been putting off the Invisible Woman's questions for some time, but he finally reveals (or seems to imply) that he's Dr. Doom's father.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP have Wolverine here between Wolverine #88-89.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Waitwaitwait what??? Doom is Reed's brother? Is it canon? Or is it just some fake-out by DeFalco?
Posted by: Piotr W | March 26, 2018 5:50 PM
See the comments on Fantastic Four #387-388 for what comes, or doesn't come, of this plotline.
Posted by: Morgan Wick | March 26, 2018 6:14 PM
I KNEW he claimed he was Doom’s father. So now he’s Doom’s AND Vernard’s father. What a mess.
Posted by: Andrew | March 26, 2018 6:22 PM
These panels show everything that's right and wrong with Paul Ryan's art. It's clear, has dynamic angles, and the shading is moody. Nobody looks out of character.
But it's very inorganic. The illustrations rarely flow into each other. Ant Man's goofy silver age helmet or Nathaniel's cyborg armor look like props brought in from the set of another production. Great draftsman with a handle on all the fundamentals, but not an innovator. And was really not done any favors by the weird clashing of x-treme and retro concepts like some kind of conceptual McDLT. By contrast, he was great on the Spider-Man comic strip, which was basically a soap opera where a costumed character would occasionally pop in.
Posted by: rabartlett | March 26, 2018 8:47 PM
Yes, I like Paul Ryan's art too, but he is clearly at yeoman level quality. Good, but not exciting. He lacked the magic and dynamism of better artists. Still, compared to the other artists at Marvel during this time, I would rate him relatively at being at top tier.
Posted by: Chris | March 26, 2018 9:25 PM
Note that Lyja adopts the identity of Laura Green this issue- she continues to use it until the Onslaught crossover, when Johnny reveals that he knew Laura was her.
Posted by: Michael | March 27, 2018 10:00 PM
Super-Android F-4 has a couple more appearances in Fantastic Four Unplugged 1 and Avengers Unplugged 3, so it should be listed as a Character Appearing.
Posted by: Michael | March 27, 2018 10:58 PM
Seriously? Laura, because Lyja? And Green, because she's naturally green? Did she seriously expect Johnny NOT to catch on?
Posted by: Morgan Wick | March 28, 2018 12:57 AM
Minor clarification: Lyja appeared as Laura last issue, but i guess she didn't give a name until this issue.
Added the android. Thanks Michael.
Posted by: fnord12 | March 28, 2018 12:50 PM
@rabartlett and Chris: Sorry, but I am going to have to disagree with your assessment of Ryan's penciling. I always found him to be a very clear, effective storyteller. I liken him to a later-day Sal Buscema, who while not a top-tier talent like Jack Kirby or his brother John, could certainly be relied upon to turn in a good, solid, professional job.
Posted by: Ben Herman | March 30, 2018 8:31 PM
I think Paul Ryan's art looks better than Sal Buscema in a pin up sense, but Sal is a better storyteller. But I would roughly rate them at the same level. So I don't think you're disagreeing with me! A "clear, effective storyteller" and does a "good, solid, professional job" who is not a "top tier talent" is more or less my assessment too. Sorry if you thought I was slamming Paul. Not being as good as Byrne, JRJr, John Buscema, and other greats is not a knock.
Posted by: Chris | March 30, 2018 10:39 PM
@Chris: Okay, I guess we are more or less saying the same thing, just in different ways :)
Anyway, I did like Paul Ryan's work, and personally felt he was an underrated artist. After his untimely death I wrote a piece on my blog looking back at his career...
Posted by: Ben Herman | March 31, 2018 10:56 AM
I like Ryan's competent, bland Marvel house-style pencils quite a bit, but agree there is something stiff in the art in these issues. Maybe it's the coloring making it all feel a little flatter and more motionless?
Posted by: doctorcasino | April 1, 2018 1:21 PM
There is no sense of motion in Ryan's art. Just a bunch of static images.
Posted by: MindlessOne | April 23, 2018 6:46 AM
In the end a lot of it comes down to personal taste. As I've said, I really liked Paul Ryan's work, but I can understand that others weren't as enthusiastic about it. Likewise, there are other artists that some people are huge fans of, but my reaction to their work is "Ehhh, it's pretty good."
Posted by: Ben Herman | June 8, 2018 1:23 PM
Comments are now closed.
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