We are finally at the end of Carey’s first story arc on Ultimate Fantastic Four. So far, Carey’s first story arc has been solid, but certainly nothing out of the ordinary. Ferry’s art continues to amaze me. I’m sure that Carey will deliver an acceptable ending to this story arc in Ultimate Fantastic Four #38. Let’s do this review.
Writer: Mike Carey
Artist: Pasqual Ferry
Art Rating: 10 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: We begin with Ronan and the Fantastic Four brawling with each other. Ronan shows off his superior firepower by quickly dropping the Thing and the Human Torch. We shift to the Seed-19 watching the fight. They decide to have Dreamcatcher attempt to disrupt Thanos’s mind control over Tesseract and free him. They badly need Tesseract’s firepower to defeat Ronan.
We cut back to Ronan standing victorious over the Fantastic Four. Ronan reads them the laundry list of offenses they have been accused of committing. But, before Ronan can judge the Fantastic Four, the members of Seed-19 drop in and attack Ronan. The Fantastic Four jump in and help the Seed-19 fight Ronan. While they are brawling we see Dreamcatcher freeing Tesseract from Thanos’s mind control.
We see Ronan defeating the members of Seed-19 and the Fantastic Four. Suddenly, Tesseract appears on the scene and starts kicking Ronan’s butt. While the two men brawl, Reed tells Dreamcatcher that he has a plan. Reed says that Dreamcatcher can link minds to minds and powers to powers. Reed tells Fountain to use his powers to boost Dreamcatcher’s abilities. Then Dreamcatcher can link all of their powers together and pour them into Threshold.
We see Tesseract fall in defeat to Ronan. Then Threshold, all boosted up with everyone’s powers, locks horns with Ronan. Threshold manages to knock down Ronan. The members of Seed-19 say that Ronan’s weapon can still absorb all of Threshold’s energy and use that power to heal himself. Therefore, the Thing steps up and grabs Ronan’s weapon. The pain from touching Ronan’s universal weapon is practically unbearable. The Thing toughs it out and rips the universal weapon from Ronan’s grasp and then pounds Ronan with the universal weapon. Ronan is down and out cold.
Threshold gives Reed a huge kiss and calls him an incredible. That Reed is a warrior without equal. Sue tells Threshold to back off. Threshold responds that Reed’s “seed” is precious and must not be wasted. Sue responds that Threshold is being gross and that Reed’s “seed” is none of Threshold’s business.
The two universes begin to drift apart now that Ronan is out cold. Threshold tells Reed to be careful. That Thanos will seek Reed out to get revenge. Threshold says that the Seed-19 now have plenty of re-enforcements to take on Thanos. The Seed-19 exit back to their universe.
We cut to later on in the Baxter Building. Johnny and Ben head out to go dancing with Kim and Alicia. Reed sits in his lab thinking about how Threshold said that Thanos would come back. Reed thinks he can do something about that. That he has an idea for a kind of weapon. Reed says how he keeps coming back to the cube shape. He has tried other shapes, but due to the complexity it keeps coming back to a cube shape. Reed says it isn’t really a weapon. It is more of a reset button just in case things get out of hand. We see Thanos’s image watching Reed. End of issue.
The Good: Ultimate Fantastic Four #38 was another dependable read. Carey delivered another fast paced issue crammed full of action. Basically, this entire issue was one monster fight with the exception of the last couple of pages. Carey certainly can deliver well plotted fight scenes that are very entertaining. Ronan is certainly a monster villain worthy of this massive battle with our heroes. And the ending to the fight was perfect.
The Thing, who always plays second fiddle to the Hulk, displays his greatest asset. It isn’t his invulnerability and super strength that makes the Thing so special. It is his heart. Nobody has more heart and drive and is the true fighter that the Thing is. Nobody and that includes the Hulk.
The Thing is stubborn and just doesn’t know when to lie down. It was awesome watching the Thing grab the universal weapon and hold on for dear life despite the excruciating pain. And then seeing the Thing lay a knockout punch on Ronan got me all pumped up. Carey certainly delivered a well orchestrated fight and one fantastic finish.
Carey also displays a nice sense of humor. Threshold’s reaction to Reed’s plan for defeating Ronan working to perfect was hilarious. And Sue’s response to Threshold playing tonsil hockey with read was equally funny. And, honestly, what other writer managed to work in some dialogue about Reed’s “seed?”
Carey served up a nice ending to this story arc. The final scene was well done. It offered enough closure for the reader to be satisfied. However, it also gave just enough of a teaser for future plotlines involving the Cosmic Cube and a possible re-appearance of Thanos.
As always, Pasqual Ferry’s artwork was simply amazing. Ferry just drew the hell out of the massive fight scene. Carey may have plotted a nice fight, but it was Ferry’s incredible artwork that brought that fight to life. Ferry’s artwork practically leapt off the pages at the reader.
The Bad: Again, Carey’s story lacks any depth or real substance. Carey’s story is like a summer blockbuster movie: a fast paced explosion filled action story with little substance to the story. What you see is what you get. There is no deeper meaning to the story or anything that engages your mind.
Carey continues to fail to deliver much in the way of character development. None of the characters have much of a unique personality. All you get are the general stock pre-established personalities. Reed is a brainiac, Thing is a fighter and Johnny is a partier who likes the ladies. Carey has done nothing to bring his own take on the personalities of these characters and what makes them tick.
Carey’s dialogue continues to have a decidedly journeyman feel to it. It isn’t unreadable; however it certainly has that generic standard issue feel to it.
Overall: Ultimate Fantastic Four #38 was another solid read. Carey managed to deliver a satisfying conclusion to his first story arc on this title. Ultimate Fantastic Four is what it is. A dependable read with plenty of action and nothing of real depth. If you like titles like X-Factor that are powered by intense character studies, deep storylines and excellent dialogue then you probably won’t dig Carey’s Ultimate Fantastic Four. However, if you are just looking for an enjoyable and faced paced read with quality action then give Ultimate Fantastic Four a try.