Fantastic Four #46 Review

Writer: Dan Slott

Artist: Cafu

Color Artist: Jesus Aburtov

Cover Artist: Cafu

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Reviewer: StoryBabbler

The Fantastic Four have always been a family. Their greatest tales, adventures, and battles were always better when they had each other. And now that family is growing after a revelation from Nathaniel Richards, Reed Richards’ father, reveals he has another half-sister. See what this new sister is like in Fantastic Four #46!

If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read the Fantastic Four #46 Review.

Review:

The best thing I can say about this comic is that it’s skippable and not worth the hype. Dan Slott is certainly trying to leave his mark on Marvel’s first family, and he’s doing it in sloppy form. Look no further than this comic, which blatantly ignores everything about Nathaniel Richards’ actual history and characterization. Plus, Nathaniel Richards’ last and most famous appearance in Marvel Comics being Jonathan Hickman’s celebrated Fantastic Four series, which re-established a positive and loving relationship between Reed and his father Nathaniel compared to how Slott tells it here.

In this issue, Slott finally introduces readers to Mr. Fantastic’s estranged black half-sister, Professor Joanna Jeffers. And honestly, she’s a bore and sort of crosses into stereotype territory. Joanna’s a bit standoffish, and her field of science is relatively boring and while significant in the real world, it’s mundane in the world of Marvel Comics. It also doesn’t help that she really doesn’t bring much to this comic as not only a FF supporting character, but as a character in general.

What’s worse is that there’s no real adventure here, other than Reed trying to bond with his estranged sister in literally one day. Cafu’s art is the only saving grace of this comic, which is par the course for Dan Slott’s Fantastic Four run, where the big appeal is the art not the story or writing. Cafu’s art is cool, the locations look out of this world, the characters look good whether they’re in action or not. The art is the best thing in this comic and the only real positive here.

It also doesn’t help that Slott uses this comic to bash Nathaniel Richards, in rather crude ways, characterizing him as an adventuring deadbeat father when things are a lot more complex than that. Unfortunately, this comic demonstrates that Slott didn’t bother to get the cliff-notes of Nathaniel Richards’ time in Hickman’s Fantastic Four run or even look up his history online, which is actually quite fascinating. It also doesn’t help that Nathaniel Richards is in the same camp as Howard Stark when it comes to well-established father figures of heroes in Marvel Comics who are being retconned, deconstructed, and overcomplicated to supposedly make them more interesting. So you can expect Slott to have Reed and Joanna have some choice words about Nathaniel.

What’s worse is the obvious fun and emotional storyline that Slott could’ve done. For over 5 years now, Nathaniel Richards was kind of left hanging, by Hickman of all people, on a cliffhanger in a cool Sci-Fi storyline involving the future adult versions of Franklin and Valeria Richards, and nobody did anything with them since. The story could’ve easily been Reed and the FF simply trying to reunite the Richards family from across all space and time. This could take them across parallel universes and crazy timelines as they meet Reed’s two half-siblings, fight cool villains, and finally reunite with his father. Maybe even see what future Valeria has been cooking up all these years. But all we get is a mundane story about Reed trying to bond with an unimpressive new character, who we likely won’t see after this issue since this looks like Dan Slott’s final issue in the series before the relaunch.

SPOILERS:

Quick spoiler; the synopsis lied. Namor isn’t in this book. At all. But Johnny is turned back to normal, so there’s that, and we finally see what happened to Molecule Man.

Final Thoughts:

Fantastic Four #46 sees Dan Slott’s debut of Mr. Fantastic’s estranged half-sister, sadly, she doesn’t leave a good lasting impression. She’s not much of a compelling character and doesn’t really add anything to the FF dynamic as a supporting character. The comic also ignores the recent history and relationship established between Reed and his father Nathaniel Richards in Jonathan Hickman’s Fantastic Four series for this story. The best positive thing about this comic is the art from Cafu for both the cover and the interiors, making it a good looking comic. Overall, Reed’s new half-sister doesn’t seem like a welcome addition to the Fantastic Four or Marvel Comics.

6/10

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