This isn’t spider-man, carrying his existential shell with him wherever he goes, nor are these the X-Men, battening down the hatches against a world that hates them–Reed, Sue, Johnny, and even Ben may not always be sure what the hell’s going on with their bodies, but they are not trapped in their own heads. They’re pure Jack Kirby characters–untroubled by epistemological concerns; confident that the world is actually there, ready to be acted upon. Ditko’s characters, by contrast (and despite the artist’s Randian credentials!), never demonstrate that kind of Johnsonian certainty. As a scholar, I’m much more interested in the Ditkoesque end of the Marvel spectrum, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate Kirby at his best (i.e. his work with Stan Lee) These characters are made of real flesh and blood (and rubber and fire and rock, it seems), and, unlike Spider-Man or Dr. Strange, what they say to each other is a lot more important than what they think. You can say a lotta things about the King, but writing snappy banter just wasn’t in his line. Fortunately, Stan was up the task–and France and Frost did a nice job of this in the film.
I expected to be annoyed by the integration of Dr. Doom (well-portrayed by Julian McMahon–although I wish they hadn’t buried the Richards/Von Doom enmity under a love-triangle, forcing ol’ Victor to take on the role that the Submariner played in the early issues of the series) into the FF origin story–but it wasn’t so bad (and we may even see Latveria sometime soon!)… I wasn’t sure how the hell they were gonna exlplain the “cosmic ray” mishap (nor account for the presence of this particular quartet on the ship) in a post-manned spaceflight world–but the update satisfied me completely… In short–I liked it and, as with any good superhero comic, I’m looking forward to the next installment!
Good Night Friends!