Comic Book Review: Ultimate Fantastic Four #35

Ultimate Fantastic Four has been an average read. The real strength of this title is Pasqual Ferry’s artwork. I was not familiar with Ferry’s art until he took over the art duties on this title. I am officially a huge fan of Ferry’s art. Pasqual Ferry makes Ultimate Fantastic Four an enjoyable read and bolsters Carey’s rather common writing. Will Ultimate Fantastic Four #35 deliver a stronger story? Let’s find out.

Creative Team
Writer: Mike Carey
Artist: Pasqual Ferry

Art Rating: 10 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: The issue begins with Ronan the Accuser arriving back on Acheron, the Capital and Home world of the Endless Resurgence. Ronan is informed that his father has been dead for 49 days and it is one of his longest immersions. That when his father rises again, his strength should be immense.

We cut to the Fantastic Four’s ship being swallowed by one of the giant fish like spaceships. We see Gallowglass on board of the very same ship. Gallowglass orders that the Seed Unit Nineteen be captured and gene-stripped. The primitives (Fantastic Four) can be killed.

We see Gallowglass’ soldiers locking horns with the Seed Unite Nineteen and the Fantastic Four. Gallowglass uses his immense powers to rip the Fantastic Four’s ship in half. The Thing and Gallowglass start battling. Gallowglass mentions that he is formed from neutron degenerate matter. Therefore, he is very strong and very dense. And when he lowers his personal force shield he is spectacularly explosive. With that Gallowglass blasts the Thing. Gallowglass proceeds to take out the various members of Seed Nineteen.

We cut to Dreamcatcher talking with Invisible Girl. Dreamcatcher tells Sue that she has a plan to defeat Gallowglass.

We then shift back to Acheron. We see several enemies of Acheron sacrificed to the holy flames in order to bring Ronan’s father back to life. Out from the holy flames steps a massive figure. His name is Thanos.

We cut back to Reed, Thing and Human Torch as well as the members of Seed Nineteen all falling to the mighty power of Gallowglass and his army. Suddenly, Sue appears and tells Gallowglass to let them go. Gallowglass laughs off Sue’s threats. Sue uses her powers to disrupt Gallowglass’ personal force field. This causes Gallowglass to blow up the space ship that they are in.

We shift to the planet Pyx that has been ravaged by Ronan. The residents are hopeless and feel that no one will save them. End of issue.

The Good: Ultimate Fantastic Four #35 was a pretty good read. This was certainly the best job writing that Carey has done on this title. The introduction of the Ultimate versions of Ronan the Accuser and Thanos was a wicked cool twist that I didn’t see coming. The first two issues of this story arc didn’t really do that much for me. It read like a standard comic book space adventure. There was nothing that seemed unique or that grabbed my interest. However, the injection of Ronan and Thanos into this story arc gave an immediate boost to what seemed to me as a bit of a lackluster story arc. With this issue, Carey’s story suddenly got a lot more interesting. I have a feeling that the rest of this story arc is going to be pretty entertaining.

I dig that Carey is making Thanos and Ronan much different from their 616 counter parts. Yes, Thanos still has his unhealthy obsession with Death. However, the Ultimate Universe versions of these two characters are much different. The idea of having them be father and son was a great move. Having Thanos for a father is naturally going to bread one aggressive son. I dig that Thanos “dies” and then is resurrected even more powerful than before.

I am very interested to learn more about these two characters. They both have plenty of potential and I think they are going to make two excellent villains. Even though Ronan appears to be as violent and as evil as his father, I have a feeling that Ronan may eventually be Thanos’ downfall. I just get this belief that Ronan may experience a face turn and become a good guy by the end of this story arc.

Ultimate Fantastic Four #35 had plenty of good solid action. I liked the big fight scene and it was great to see Gallowglass in action. Gallowglass is a cool villain who is a monstrous powerhouse. While I have not been impressed with Carey’s writing in certain areas, he certainly does have the ability to deliver quality action scenes. Carey’s fight scenes have a nice flow to them and are well plotted.

Pasqual Ferry’s artwork is flat out awesome! I love Ferry’s rich textured style of art. Ferry delivers one of the best looking comic books on the market. I never heard of Ferry he came onto Ultimate Fantastic Four. And, I was initially concerned with his replacing Land and Ryan. That concern was unwarranted. I am now a huge fan of Ferry’s art.

The Bad: Carey serves up more weak dialogue in this issue. The dialogue is generic. At points it is stiff and at other points it is flat out cheesy. Carey also has failed to generate much character development. None of the Fantastic Four have much personality. Compare how Bendis writes the Ultimate Fantastic Four characters over in Ultimate Power with how Carey writes them in this title. That will show you the difference between fully fleshed out characters wearing the Fantastic Four costumes versus cardboard cut outs wearing the Fantastic Four costumes.

Of course, the weak dialogue and the lack of any real character development directly lead to a real lack of chemistry between the characters. A title like Ultimate Fantastic Four doesn’t just deal with a team, it deals with a family. And I believe that there must be that type of chemistry between the characters that are more than just teammates or friends.

Overall: Ultimate Fantastic Four #35 was certainly Carey’s best issue. The storyline got much more interesting and I’m looking forward to the next issue. Carey’s writing is good enough that when combined with Ferry’s incredible artwork you get a pretty good comic book. If you don’t read this title, then you should probably give it a try.