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"Fantastic Four: Road Trip #1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Marvel Comics

article-cover

Written by Christopher Cantwell
Illustrated by Filipe Andrade
Colored by Chris O'Halloran
Lettered by Joe Caramagna
2020, 33 pages, $4.99
Comic released on December 2nd, 2020

Review:

The Fantastic Four is a family first and foremost. Sure, they're going to save the universe here and there, but they'll also take some well-earned vacation time. In this case, it's a trip to the Grand Canyon. Of course, nothing is ever simple with this group, so somehow this road trip turns into a horrifying battle for their lives.

I will be the first to admit that the Fantastic Four is probably the last super hero comic I'd think I'd see a horror story from, but this one-shot delivers some really creepy stuff and some top-notch body horror. After Reed Richards drags his family to look at a big creator, everyone gets infected with some poisoned space dust, turning their bodies against them. This sounds like a typical adventure for this family, but writer Christopher Cantwell quickly turns into horror territory and does not look back.

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Mr. Fantastic's usually stretchy body starts to melt. At one point he has to carry his arm around in a bucket because it's basically liquid. Invisible Woman's body parts start to disappear, beginning with her skin and then moving to her organs, making her look like a walking corpse. The Human Torch is just constantly on fire, with his skin burning off. The creepiest is The Thing, where pieces of his rock skin start to chip off, revealing muscle and sinew beneath.

This pain and shock comes through in the characters' voices too. Letterer Joe Caramagna shows some of their dialogue in shaky word balloons as they try to figure out what's going on.

Artist Filipe Andrade leans into this horrifying elements, creating an unnatural and terrifying tone. Andrade's style is not what you'd typically see in a Marvel book, but it works very well in this case. The forms are a little off, adding to the unsettling quality of the story.

The highlight is the disturbing way this family has to overcome this debilitating attack, culminating in some of the scariest body horror this side of Galactus. It's a cringing mass of flesh and limbs, making it clear that you will never look at these heroes the same way again.

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It's funny to look at these terrifying images in the light of the day. Remember, this was a family road trip. It's not some haunted mansion full of shadows. We're seeing the harsh light of the sun beat down on these folks, showing them in all their creepy glory. Colorist Chris O'Halloran turns in some great work here.

I honestly cannot believe this comic exists. I mean, Disney owns this. It's something completely unexpected and utterly horrific and I love it. Fantastic Four: Road Trip is a shining example that horror can reach even the brightest and boldest areas of the Marvel Universe.

Grades:

Story: fivestars Cover
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Buy from Amazon UK
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Art: fourstars
Overall: 5 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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