Truth is Fiction


Fantastic Four: True Story #1

This is what they’re talking about when they talk “high concept”: a bunch of fictional superheroes travel through the universe of fiction and encounter a bunch of characters from fiction.

Basically, everyone on earth has lost interest in fiction. No one’s reading books, no one’s watching movies. And actually, something pretty nasty is happening within fiction itself — we see something dark and scary threatening Tarzan, Riki-Tiki-Tavi, and the heroes of M.R. James’ ghost stories. So Reed Richards invents the science of, well, let’s call it fictionography and creates an imaginary fictocraft that the FF can use to travel into the world of fiction. Once there, they meet their guide, Dante Alighieri, writer of — and a character in — “The Divine Comedy.” And the team’s first mission? Fight off a horde of imps and gremlins to protect the Dashwood sisters from Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility.”

Verdict: Thumbs up. There are some really funny moments in here — Johnny Storm, Ben Grimm, and a defeated monster surrounded by mimes; Ben and Johnny’s quarrel condensed down to basic script descriptions; Reed happily dropping a “Behold!” on everyone; the FF not understanding why Dante refers to them as “comic book characters;” and Ben dropping Jane Austen quotes while clobbering monsters.

I do wish the story was moving a shade faster, and I’ve got to quibble about some of the selections for the FF’s favorite fictional works — Reed Richards loving the “Josie and the Pussycats” movie and Ben Grimm loving “Of Mice and Men” just don’t really make sense. Reed is so a sci-fi fan, if only to scavenge the plots for new things to invent, and Ben seems like the type to go for either Mack Bolan novels or old action pulps.


Manhunter #33

Kate, still trying to track down who’s killing scores of women in the Mexican deserts, gets ambushed in a pharamaceutical company by a bunch of superpowered security guards. Elsewhere, her mother and (I guess) dad learn that her (I guess) brother has gotten superpowers. Kate also runs into the Suicide Squad, not knowing that the Birds of Prey are on the way to bail her out.

Verdict: Thumbs down. I know I’m not as well acquainted with Manhunter’s backstory as I could be, but this story confused the tar outta me. Not real thrilled with the art either.

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