Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Chris Claremont's Fantastic Four

Sounds wrong, doesn't it? You have no idea. I just got done reading 95% of Chris Claremont's run on Fantastic Four and I have to say...Yeesh. When he wrote X-Men I thought, "Okay, he's a little eccentric, but it's his book and everyone likes it, so I'll just go with it."

In his X-Men run, Claremont borrowed heavily from movies like taking the Brood from "Alien." In Fantastic Four, he borrows from Highlander with Alysande Stuart, a Scot highlander with a sword. In X-Men, he used NPR reporters Neal Conan and Manoli Wetherell to bear witness to the heroism of the main characters. In Fantastic Four, he uses fictional reporters Gordon Clay and Isobel Aguirre to the same effect. In X-Men he used the time-travelling daughter of Scott Summers and Jean Grey, as Phoenix (Rachel Summers). In Fantastic Four he usees the time-travelling daughter of Reed Richards and Susan Richards, as Marvel Girl (Valeria Richards). Are you starting to see a connection here?

If that wasn't coincidence enough, Claremont had the Warwolves show up, as well as a Genoshan plotline featuring mutates and Chief Magistrate Anderson. All that was missing was timeslipp...ing. Okay, check that one off too.
On the other hand, I loved Salvador Larroca's artwork. I think it made for an excellent example of American Manga fusion. And to be fair, I did enjoy this pairing of Claremont and Larroca on X-Treme X-Men, but I'll save that one for another day.

For my brother, who worries that I will start to sound like just another Internet curmudgeon, here's a sequence that made me laugh out loud:

How is there not someone off-panel responding, 'The quicker picker-upper?"

Better yet, where is the response, "Oh yeah? I'm Pledge. Let's get together and dust these bad guys off!"


Martin said...

Jim, what issues does this cover? Is it recent stuff or a little older? I have a near full run of FF on DVD-ROM so I thought I would check them out if I had them (my DVD covers through December 2006).

Jim McClain said...

This run was from the Heroes Return stories, so Vol. 3 #3-34 or so. It started in 1998. Tell me if you agree or disagree after you've read them.

Martin said...

Thanks for the numbers, Jim. Definitely on the DVD-ROM. I'll let you know.