Fantastic Four: 1234 Hardcover – Oct 19 2011
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Grant Morrison (Animal Man, We3, New X-Men) and artist Jae Lee (The Inhumans) shape a depressing, realistic view of the world that Reed and company live in. There is fighting, anger, and isolation, and almost a sense of helplessness as how to handle the world around them. Problems escalate when each member of the Four become ensnared in a type of chess match being played out by Dr. Doom, using not only the FF but Namor, Mole Man, and Alicia Masters as his pawns. With Reed seemingly too wrapped up in his own escapades to save his friends or marriage, hope for the survival of Marvel's First Family seem grim.
Should you buy this book? Tough question to answer. This is far from the first Fantastic Four book someone should read, but a veteran of the teams adventures would be wise not to ignore it. 1234 has the element hat has always driven the book, even if it is a darker one; the Fantastic Four are, and will always be, a family.
I picked this up because I love Jae Lee's artwork and because I thought Grant Morrison was someone who didn't stick to tired storylines. Unfortunately this was not the case. It does have some great "character" moments throughout, but in the end it was Reed inventing a dohickey that was better than Dr. Doom's dohickey and that was the end.
I also don't really like when a villain as complex as Doom creates some elaborate plot just because he's still mad at the FF and wants to destroy them. I enjoy stories with him much more when he's on his insane quest for more and more power. The FF may be his oldest enemies, but they're hardly the only ones standing in the way of his larger goals, and he seems to go to a lot of trouble here just to take them out.
The art is great, however, so if that's what makes a good story for you, go ahead and give this a shot. It's the biggest reason I gave it three stars. The characters are portrayed well, but the story as a whole was lackluster.