Empyre: Fallout: Fantastic Four #1 Review

by Charles Martin on September 09, 2020

Empyre: Fallout: Fantastic Four #1 Review
Writer: Dan Slott
Artist: Sean Izaakse
Colourist: Marcio Menyz
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Like the other Empyre epilogue book published today, Fallout: Fantastic Four is all about a huge group of heroes linking up and settling the event's loose ends. But where the Avengers book is only kinda-sorta about the Avengers, this one is a Fantastic Four book through and through -- and it's all the better for it.

It helps that the majority of the focus is on a genuine family reunion; this is Val and Franklin returning to their family after their separate adventure in babysitting

The action takes place in the Blue Area of the moon, which means the Unseen is there. His presence is noticed, but the heroes can't figure out if he's there to watch something important or if they're just having their meeting in his backyard.

He'll come back at the end in a big way to facilitate a bombshell of a twist ending. The less said on that score, the better -- I don't want to spoil it!

Alongside the reunion, the heroes handle those loose ends. Thor and Franklin team up to provide a heroic, kind solution to the problem of what to do with Quoi and his Cotati. The Profiteer stages a comeback and makes an unsuccessful play at recovering her Kree/Skrull gladiator orphans. And once that's dealt with, Hulkling delivers a wonderful ruling on the orphans' fate.

Sean Izaakse makes everything look great, lavishing equal attention on facial expressions and technical details. Of particular note, he has some fun with panel arrangements, breaking and slanting the grid to add motion to scenes that might otherwise be static.

Marcio Menyz handles the colours deftly, using shading to meet most of the art's contouring needs. The backgrounds are a little drab and very blue (inevitable given the setting), but a little bit of superpower usage lets him balance things out with some great high-intensity zaps and sparkles. (And the Thor-Franklin mission involves a beautifully-coloured change of venue.)

The great strength of Dan Slott's script is in the way it honours the family relationships and friendships on display in the cast. For me, the little throwaway bits -- like Spidey ribbing the Human Torch over not telling him about his soul-mate or Sue finding out that She-Hulk and Thor are dating -- are just as important as the more plot-centric dialogue.

There is some maximum-corny humour in this script, though. Quoi does a near-verbatim shoutout to the standard Scooby-Doo villain speech ("if not for those meddling kids," you know) and the Profiteer gets called "Karen" after her threat is resolved. Personal taste will dictate whether these gags are pluses or minuses for you. While they don't really scratch my itch, I can at least see that they're executed well. A reader whose sense of humour is more in line with Dan Slott's than mine will probably be delighted.

Combining real heart and insight into the Fantastic Four with some necessary event wrap-up business works out well in Fallout. It looks great, the family sounds right, and the book is a lot of fun to read. Top it off with a bombshell of a surprise ending (one that demands a follow-up!) and this turns into a must-read.

Our Score:


A Look Inside


Charles Martin's picture
Tangent thought: Why are the cover and interior artists still not on the same page about the logos on the kids' uniforms? Do they have "4"s or initials?