Nov 19, 2014

Techniques and Tricks: Fantastic Four #352

I was fortunate enough to get the third volume of Walter Simonson's run on Fantastic Four lately, which seems to be the segment with the most memorable portions, just based on what I've read. For one thing, it featured the New Fantastic Four.

It also featured this Spider-Man pinup by Art Adams, which has been the logo of one of my comics shops for as long as I've been buying comics.

It's got some meta-criticism of DC's approach to the multiverse.

It's got Justice Peace, making his second appearance since Walt used him in Thor.

Okay, fine, that last one isn't memorable. What is memorable is issue #352, where Reed Richards fights Dr. Doom, with both of them jumping around time. So there are two storylines running at the same time: Reed and Doom's fight, jumping around in time, and the rest of the Fantastic Four making their way through Doom's castle. So each page would have a "real time stamp" and a time stamp for Reed and Doom, indicating where they're going.

So, you could read it in the order of the timestamps, following the Thing and the Invisible Woman and the Human Torch, but with Reed and Doom jumping around (Click to enlarge):

Or you could use the timestamps to flip back and forth and read the Reed/Doom fight in the order in which it happens (these are the same three pages, but in the order of the Reed/Doom fight):

If you're so inclined, you end up doing both. You could try this on the screen, but you wouldn't be able to jump around without doing recuts. You could try it with the written word, but because it's not visual, you won't be able to take it in all at once. It's one of those fun things the medium excels in.

Does it have much practical application beyond time travel stories? Probably not, but that's why the issue still stands out 23 years later.


Gary said...

Wow, Walt Simonson really wrote the Thing and the Human Torch as horrible, sociopathic, and omnicidal. What a great character interpretation! (This is not my actual opinion. That scene is terrible.) "There are an infinite number, we can lose a few."?! "If they are infinite, can we even destroy any?"?! FIGURE IT OUT LATER?! What if you were wrong? Figure out later that you casually obliterated entire universes? That every one of those deaths falls squarely at your feet? That Galactus will spend the rest of time trying to catch up with your body count?

I now want the scene where the Thing has some purse snatcher's head in his huge hand, with the shaken snatcher nervously saying "You're not gonna kill me. You're a super hero. Right? Right?" And then a shot of the Thing's cold, dead eyed face as a spray of blood shoots up across it and he says "There's more where you came from."

What horrible writing. I own the first two Walter Simonson Fantastic Four Visionaries, and they seriously fail to impress. If this is where it goes, they can keep it.

Doc Savage said...

Ha, good observation. This comic is awful. I don't get why writers can't keep their characters IN CHARACTER.

RCK Dad said...

You are both completely nucking futs!

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