Fantastic Four # 35 celebrates 60 years of Marvel’s First Family with a touching tribute to the time travel of some of the biggest names in FF history.
The Fantastic Four looks pretty good for 60! Marvel’s First Family Celebrates 60th Anniversary in Fantastic Four # 35. Writer Dan Slott and artist John Romita Jr. are joined by Jason Loo, Mark Waid and Paul Renaud for an oversized special that represents the team’s historic legacy. The comic is filled with chaos and timely cameos that make it accessible to readers of all ages, ensuring that the next 60 years of The Fantastic Four start in style.
The Fantastic Four # 35 begins with the return of the Fantastic Four from Latveria after Doctor Doom’s chaotic wedding. However, as soon as they walk through the hangar of the Baxter Building, they discover a mysterious chronic energy machine. The story then turns to an encounter between Kang the Conqueror and his many forms, who hatched a devious plot to reclaim a grand prize from their ancestor, Nathaniel Richards. To ensure their success, the Kangs must defeat the Fantastic Four at different points in their timeline, collect four pieces of chronic machinery, and assemble them into one treasure. Can the Fantastic Four survive an onslaught through time or are they doomed to become relics of the past?
The main feature in The Fantastic Four # 35 is written by Dan Slott, who perfected the art of oversized specials during his time at Marvel. It creates a uniquely accessible story for the Fantastic Four that should grab the attention of new readers, bringing Kang the Conqueror and the Time Variance Authority (TVA) fresh out of their Marvel Cinematic Universe appearances in Loki. Using these ideas allows Slott to walk through FF history and play with the heroes at separate points in their timeline. It also gives Slott the opportunity to juxtapose Human Torch’s power upgrade on various occasions where things have struggled with his appearance. Slott writes an incredibly sincere Ben Grimm and he always shines most in scenes with Johnny.
Legendary artist John Romita Jr. is associated with inker JP Mayer, Scott Hanna, Cam Smith, Rafael Fonteriz and Mark Morales for the various eras of The Fantastic Four The Time Travel Story of # 35. JR Jr. has decades of experience at Marvel, but this is his first time drawing a regular Fantastic Four series. His interpretations of The Thing, Mr. Fantastic, and The Human Torch are all formidable. However, it’s the first character, Scion, who really steals the show. Created as a new identity for Kang the Conqueror, Scion’s design is a magnificent tribute to the work of Jack Kirby, with the JR Jr. styling that made him a fan favorite designer. Colourists Marte Garcia and Erick Arciniega are also essential to the success of this book, as their cohesive color palette helps bring a level of visual consistency to the story across eras and settings.
The Fantastic Four # 35 also has two short save functions. The first, written and drawn by Jason Loo, is a two-page fantasy story that shows the Fantastic Four fighting against the Mole Man. It’s a fun, silly way for Marvel to bring FF’s first villain into the 60th anniversary celebration. The second, by writer Mark Waid and art Paul Renaud, is a modern tale of how the Fantastic Four got their powers. At this point, the origin of the FF is a lot of ground, but Waid and Renaud still find a way to present it in a new light by connecting it to Marvel history. Waid’s The Fantastic Four run is considered by many to be one of the best of all time, and it returns effortlessly in the voices of the characters. Renaud also excels with material, especially when he draws a double page spread that features the team’s many battles.
Globally, Fantastic Four # 35 is a touching time travel tribute to Marvel’s First Family. Dan Slott and John Romita Jr.’s main story is an epic showcase of the forces of the Fantastic Four, while the back-ups of Jason Loo, Mark Waid and Paul Renaud provide a loving look back at the team’s legacy. In addition, the problem plants seeds for The Fantastic Four: The War of Accounts, which makes it crucial reading for the franchise. If the next 60 years of FF are as good as The Fantastic Four # 35, fans will love it.
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