Saturday, August 8, 2015

FF Week #30--Lo, There Shall Be An Ending!

And so we come to end of Fantastic Four Week here at Slay Monstrobot.

Heaven knows, there's a lot more I wanted to talk about. But while the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak, and honestly, I'm stunned that I posted as much as I did this week.

But at least I think I conveyed some of my deep love of the Fantastic Four and their rich history.

And I can always go back for more later. And we should remember, this isn't the first time that the Fantastic Four have been down.

Super-villains, family strife, tragedy, loss of powers, wars...the Fantastic Four have seen "The End" so often, and always bounced back.

So why should we believe that one high Marvel executive with his head firmly up his posterior will be the death-knell for Marvel's first family?

Yes, this may be a low point in their comic book career--no book published for the first time in 54 years?!?--but, like the FF, I'm optimistic enough to believe that they will bounce back.

Because at it's core--when you break it down to its very (unstable) molecular essence--the Fantastic Four is about optimism.

It's about Stan Lee and Jack Kirby taking the monster comic template, and turning it on its head--the terrible tragedy resulting from foolishly challenging the laws of nature didn't end with a terrible, ironic end in the last panel. Instead of being merely transfigured into monsters and a snide narrator ending the story there, we were shown these people, this family, these heroes, overcoming that fate. They took the lemons a cruel universe gave them, laughed in the face of the cynicism of horror comics,  and pledged to make the world a better place, despite their freakishness. And they founded an entire fictional universe, which at its best embodies that same hopefulness, that same optimism.

And if you think I'm reading that wrong, I invite you to go back and re-read what Jack and Stan put on the page.

In the very first issue, despite being transformed into freaks, our heroes vow to help the world. Meanwhile, the Mole Man decides that his "freakishness" and bad breaks justify hatred, and taking over the world...and he literally goes to live with the monsters. Right there, at the very beginning, the message was there.

Victor Von Doom, like Reed Richards, was the victim of his own scientific hubris. But he chose to blame everyone else beside himself, and turn to the path of darkness. You couldn't ask for a clearer "compare and contrast."

So, hopefully, that terrible, terrible movie will tank, fade away, and we'll be given our heroes back. We need them more than ever in this world. We need more of this:

Reed, Sue, Johnny, Ben...come back soon. We miss you, and you're needed.

Panels from Fantastic Four #60 (2002)


SallyP said...

Seems the FF quit almost as often as Spider-Man!

But they usually bounce back.

Wes Carter said...

Thanks Snell! You said it better than I ever could have.

Thanks too for an excellent series of posts. I enjoyed every one of them!