Fantastic Four #8 Review

Fantastic Four (2022) #8

Writer: Ryan North

Artist: Ivan Fiorelli

Color Artist: Jesus Aburtov

Cover Artist: Alex Ross

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Reviewer: StoryBabbler

The Fantastic Four have been through quite a lot, what with being ostracized by New York and the team splitting up for a while. But, after some misadventures and soul searching, now the team is back together! They’ve settled back at Ben Grimm’s Aunt Petunia’s household farm. But the peace doesn’t last long. See what new peril arrives at the team’s doorstep in Fantastic Four #8.


So, after all the big time traveling excitement with Doctor Doom in Fantastic Four #7 or Fantastic Four #700, things are taken down a notch. We see the Fantastic Four are really just chillin’ working on Aunt Petunia’s farmhouse. Everyone’s doing something, Reed and Ben are working on gardening while Sue and Johnny are actually practicing with their powers while Alicia’s just relaxing. Of course, things don’t stay that way for long. There will be slight SPOILERS in this review.

In this issue – and this story arc for that matter – Sue is the POV character where readers get to have her take on things as events proceed in the comic. Sue gets a personable yet attentive perspective on things as she takes in all the good things that are happening to her and her family but is also ready to go when she discovers something beyond bizarre is happening. And she’s not alone, as Sue is partnered with Alicia and the duo are the main characters for this book as they head into town to get supplies and find out there’s a whole lot of people missing and nobody else notices. From there, they discover a strange memory loss relating to missing people and they soon run into the source of it all – the enigmatic Queen Xargorr!

The writing is good, like I said in earlier reviews of this series, Ryan North knows how to write multiple character voices as he demonstrates once again with the FF here. Specifically, with Sue and Alicia who have a nice sisterly relationship but they offer two different perspectives and personalities. Sue is more attentive and inquisitive while Alicia is more affable and straightforward in trying to solve problems. Then there’s the writing with Johnny and how North maintains his fun demeanor all the way in this comic and Xargorr herself who feels like a monster villain ripped straight from the older Stan Lee and Jack Kirby Fantastic Four run especially when paired with Ivan Fiorelli’s art that makes the characters distinguished from each other.

One thing readers of this run will be able to notice is that Ryan North is going full throttle with the “mystery of the week” style of storytelling. We got in every single issue of this series where things start out fine and dandy enough but then the FF notice something weird starts happening around them and they proceed to solve the problem. It’s a nice format that provides something interesting for readers to look forward to each issue with built-in variety for the sheer possibilities of side characters and antagonists. But here, things feel a little repetitive as Ryan North already dipped into people having their minds’ altered in the first issue, but this time it’s a weird wood-like creature calling herself Xargorr.

Speaking of which, Xargorr really does scream Jack Kirby Marvel Monster, or rather a knock-off Jack Kirby Marvel Monster since we’ve gotten several monsters like her already in Marvel Comics. This extends beyond just Xargorr, the whole story feels like it’s trying to recapture the pulpy energy of the earliest Fantastic Four stories and even the later John Byrne run. And that’s both a good and bad thing solely because if the creative team doesn’t pull it off, then it will feel like they’re copying an old formula and failing to reproduce a good story. Things are that bad yet, but they can get there if the creative team isn’t careful. However, that doesn’t mean this is a bad story, it’s just showing signs of being a little repetitive.

Final Thoughts:

Fantastic Four #8 brings a new story, a new mystery, and a new villain for the team to face. It’s Sue in the driver’s seat this tine as she and Alicia are the main characters for this misadventure, and it doesn’t take long before they find a mystery to solve. The writing is solid and the art is good, but the new threat Queen Xargorr feels like a rip-off of Jack Kirby’s original monsters in Marvel Comics. Not exactly a bad thing so long as the creative team pulls it off in the end. Thankfully, it looks like things will pick up in the next issue.


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