Fantastic Four: Grimm Noir #1 Review

by Harlan Ivester on February 25, 2020

Storytellers: Ron Garney & Gerry Duggan
Colorist: Matt Milla
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel Comics

            Grimm Noir is a somber one-shot starring everyone’s favorite ever-lovin’, blue-eyed Thing. When his nightmares are haunted by a sinister face and he dreads resting his eyes each night, he tries to go it alone. But when he thinks his problem is now someone else’s, he must take action. Duggan puts the Thing in a situation more perilous than any of us will ever know, yet we know how he feels. We’ve all had this struggle of having to fight something we don’t quite understand head on. If that’s not relatable, I don’t know what is. Ben’s character is on point for every panel. Unfortunately, the climax of the story does feel a little rushed. I’m sure just one more page would be plenty to make it feel natural, or maybe it could be done with less. As it is now, it felt a little abrupt.

            Ron Garney’s efforts to the book pay off in spades. Stellar use of sequential paneling is used to drive home the “noir” theme of the book, while foreground plays with your perspective to add tangible depth. When the action dies down, the acting elevates the despair felt in each scene – especially important in a book with such limited time to tell a story. Of course, Matt Milla’s colors are essential to the noir elements of the issue. One panel in particular uses inverted lighting to make a striking, terrifying jump scare of a panel. A lazy colorist could easily make this book feel flat and lifeless, but Milla knows how to use the contrasting tones while keeping the somewhat muddy pallet looking full of life and yet so solemn. This is a really good looking book.

            In Fantastic Four: Grimm Noir #1, the creative team gives us a uniquely dejected story. The Thing is written great as he ever was in an all too real story about fighting the false sense of hopelessness that can surround you even when you’re with the ones you love. Each page will be burned into your brain thanks to superb composition, acting, and lighting at every turn. Fans will not want to miss this one.

Our Score:


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