Writers: Ryan North & Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Leandro Fernandez
Color Artist: Jesus Aburtov
Cover Artist: Alex Ross
Publisher: Marvel Comics
The Universe is full of different sapient life forms, but none are as strange and bewildering as the Fantastic Four. Or so some members of an alien spaceship come to believe as their ship is haunted by these terrible alien beings of unknown origin who just won’t leave them alone. See how the story unfolds in Fantastic Four #10 as these aliens contend with a family of bizarre alien beings they’ve never seen before but are all too familiar to us.
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Now, this is a weird misadventure that has an interesting twist to it that mixes the usual Sci-Fi elements with a bit of horror for good measure. Essentially, this story is about a spaceship of aliens who fled from their home system and its dying star and are on an interstellar journey to their new world. The problem is that their engines use weird FTL (Faster Than Light) mechanics that put them full-stop near Earth and as a result time and space are extremely slowed down.
The comic tells the overarching story of several “Caretakers”, four of whom awaken a century apart to watch over their people who are in stasis pods. They try to understand why their ship has stopped even though the engines are still on, and at the same time, they are all seemingly haunted by macabre alien beings with bizarre powers. Turns out these bizarre aliens are the Fantastic Four, but because of the crazy time and space distortions, images of them show up scattered throughout time inside the ship and thus they look like monsters.
First off, this comic is totally skippable. There’s no big lesson here or introduction of a plot element that will be relevant in the series’ overarching story. It’s just an interesting misadventure that goes a little into the Sci-Fi Horror route with the depiction of the Fantastic Four as you seen on the cover. For once, the cover reflects what readers can expect to see in the comic. What’s interesting is how the different alien Caretakers all have varying reactions that escalate into more violent ones until the fourth Caretaker who’s introduced in the beginning of the comic.
Ryan North really sells the escalating intensity on the aliens’ part because the Fantastic Four really do act and appear like inscrutable terrors from outer space who just seem to be gunning for these poor aliens. It’s hard to explain how the comic leans on this depiction without spoiling without happens, but essentially the alien Caretakers are given good reason from their limited perspectives to believe that the FF were space monsters. Now, the comic does show the FF were actually trying to help the aliens but things clearly got out of hand, and the one emotional takeaway is with the fourth Caretaker who bets it all on the FF actually being helpful, that the unknown figures were not trying to harm his people but help them. As you’d expect, his faith was rewarded.
However, if you’re wondering about that bonus page connected to Jonathan Hickman’s G.O.D.S. story, don’t get too excited. It’s not that great, it’s a little interesting but only if you care about the group in question and it’s not like they really do anything special. All I can say is that you don’t learn anything new, there’s no cool little tease about the G.O.D.S. story. The page just exists and that’s it.
Fantastic Four #10 brings us a new adventure with the team that leans more into the horror direction. The comic does a solid job in grounding this horror perspective of the Fantastic Four in the eyes of the aliens very well. There’s an increasing sense of desperation and escalating violence as each of the FF appear to the alien characters one after the other. The comic lives up to being a neat misadventure of the Fantastic Four that has an interesting twist to it.