Writer: Ryan North
Artist: Iban Coello
Color Artist: Jesus Aburtov
Cover Artist: Alex Ross
Publisher: Marvel Comics
After some time apart following a brief team breakup, the Fantastic Four are back. The heroes have settled in at the Grimm family farmhouse and ever since they have been roped into all kinds of strange and curious misadventures. Read Fantastic Four #12 to see what new mystery awaits as Ben Grimm gets a call for help from an old friend from the Yancy Street Gang.
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So, we got the Fantastic Four, a strange phenomenon, and dinosaur versions of the Marvel Universe. That’s not a spoiler or anything, it’s on the cover and everything. All I can say about this story is that it’s both weird and fun at the same time. I will say this though, the synopsis is way too long and bloated. It’s trying way too hard to sell this comic’s story. Here’s what you need to know: It’s the Fantastic Four versus the Dino-Avengers. Now, let’s get to the review. Fair warning, there will be slight SPOILERS.
All right, the story starts out simple enough where an old friend of Ben Grimm’s calls him up, a former member of the Yancy Street Gang, and asks him and the Fantastic Four for help with a strange phenomenon that’s been occurring behind his house. Don’t worry, it’s not a trap. But the Fantastic Four do get sucked in and transported to another universe. But unlike any others the FF have visited, in this universe the dominant life forms are all dinosaurs and it has dinosaur equivalents of everyone from the main Marvel 616 universe.
When I say these are dinosaur versions of Marvel character I really mean it, the cover doesn’t lie. There’s a green, Spinosaurus Steve Rogers Captain America just like on the cover, and there are many other dinosaur versions of established heroes and villains. What makes these designs stand out is that Iban Coello draws them as realistic dinosaurs in Marvel garb and costumes instead of giving them cartoonish designs. I don’t know how other readers will feel about this, I imagine some might it a little uncanny valley, but for now I like them. Admittedly, I’m a dinosaur guy, so of course I like these designs.
The story is another matter. As I said earlier, I won’t spoil too much when it comes to this comic’s story. However, I will comment on the structure of the story and how it’s written rather than the contents in it. So, we do get to see the Dino-Avengers in action and the resulting fight with them and the Fantastic Four is cool. Like I said, these are very much Dino versions of our familiar heroes, so they do act like them personality-wise. The fight and follow up events are very much standard fare for superhero stories where there’s a big misunderstanding and they fight for a little bit before someone stops to talk them all down. By the end, while I wasn’t that thrilled with the story, it is clear it serves as a vehicle to make this type of interaction happen, and the ending and preview cover art for the next issue just hype me up a little more.
Fantastic Four #12 drops the heroic family into another wacky misadventure, this time with Dino Avengers. What sells this issue is that the Dino Avengers and their universe are very much like the main one only everyone’s a dinosaur, which means the Dino Avengers actually behave like the heroes we know. The comic sells the concept of this dinosaur parallel universe thanks to the fact that the inhabitants actually do look like realistic dinosaurs instead of cartoonish dinosaurs. While the plot’s not the biggest draw, the comic is still written well when it comes to the characters and the ending does hype things up for the next issue.