Fantastic Four: True Story #2 (of 4) (Marvel – Cornell / Domingues)
The FF’s emergency exploration of the worlds of fiction continues as they burst through the covers of Ivanhoe and start to gather an army against the onrushing darkness. And the surprise villain behind this whole weird collision is revealed! (Warning: do not keep True Story too close to your other comic books. It may freak them out.)
When I first heard the premise of this series I put it in the blow-off pile. But being a collector at heart, in particular of Marvel’s First Family, I knew I had to get at least one issue before I wrote it off. As it turned out, I got issues 1 and 2. And yes, this is not a mainstream MU book (no skrulls to be seen), but it does have a resurgence of major villain and has some pretty cool talent attached. So, while not for everyone, it’s not quite the throw-away book I thought it was
The basic premise of the plot is that someone is messing with world of literature. The endings for all of our favorite stories are changing for the worse (bad guys are winning) which will then have an impact on the real world’s psyche and dreams. Reed of course figures this out and brings the gang into the “fictionverse” to try to right the wrongs that are going on. The Fantastic Four travel throughout stories and soon find out that within this realm, they can use their will to impact things. That means normal physics and science doesn’t work and Ben Grimm is far more powerful than he ever was. This issue focuses in on the raising of two armies that will go to war, the classic protagonists and the classic antagonist. Characters are able to flip out of their own stories and interact with each other through the will of the Fantastic Four. A little far-fetched, even for an FF story, but way more fun than I thought it would be. And who is at the heart of trying to change the mainstream’s psyche and dreams? None other than the classic Dr. Strange / Hulk villain Nightmare. Nightmare was last seen in the “God Squad” storyline in the Incredible Hercules, but it had been a while before that.
This was written by classic Dr. Who scribe Paul Cornell, who also writing on Captain Britain and MI: 13. Cornell is an edge-of-your-seat, twist-your-mind type author, what this means is that this story appeals much more to the sci-fi fan and less to the superhero fan. The art is by newbie Horacio Domingues, his style is a tad thick-lined and blocky for me at times, but it still gets the job done.
Issue Grade: B