Yizzle, Yazzle, Razzle, Dazzle! I’m back with another, long overdue installment of I’ve Got Some Issues. My boss Patrick Michael Strange was all over me to get this done. He said if I didn’t get it posted by today he’d give the series to that Parker kid. Now Peter may be an excellent photographer, but he can’t write for shit! Take that, web-slinger!
Anyway, today we’re going to look at one of Marvel’s Baxter paper mini-series from the 80’s, Fantastic Four Verses The X-Men. Aaaannd here we go!!!!!!
Complete Arc: Fantastic Four Verses The X-Men #1-4 – Are You Sure, Truths and Consequences, By the Souls Darkest Light and A Matter of Faith
Year Released: 1987
Creative Team: Chris Claremont – writer, Jon Bogdanove – Artist
Heroes: Fantastic Four (Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Human Torch, Thing, She Hulk, Franklin Richards) and the X-men (Wolverine, Storm, Magneto, Longshot, Dazzler, Havok, Rogue and Lockheed)
Villains: Dr. Doom
Notable Quotable: “We’re talking faith, sweetheart. You either got it or you don’t. An’ that’s a battle stretch’s gonna win or lose all by his lonesome…just like the rest of the human race. Whatever happens, though, we’ll take it as it comes, one step, one day at a time. Good or bad, Suzie, we’ll pull through.” – the Thing
The X-men, still reeling from the events in Mutant Massacre and dealing with the fallout from it, are in desperate need of help. Because of her injuries from the Marauder known as Harpoon, Shadowcat’s is stuck in permanent phase, the molecules of Kitty Pryde’s body slowly drifting apart. Her mutant teammates reach out to Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four, hoping his genius will be enough to save the young heroine. Mr. Fantastic, suffering from a crisis a faith due to events revealed in the story, turns the X-men down. This leads to a conflict between the two teams. In steps Doctor Doom to offer the X-men his services to save Kitty’s life. Thus driving an even bigger wedge between the two teams leading to all-out war. Will the two teams destroy each other, or will they come to together in time to save their dying teammate? Oh…and will Franklin ever stop whining about everything?
Chris Claremont (Uncanny X-men, New Mutants, Wolverine), as always in the 1980’s, is at peak performance. His character development from the X-men comics bleeds over into this mini, making you really care for the characters. His pacing and story-telling are right on. Mr. Claremont’s ability to develop complex story lines is second to no one, and he keeps your attention for the entire ride.
Jon Bogdanove (Power Pack, Superman: The Man of Steel) is an incredible artist. His lines are solid and eye-grabbing. His work on this book is only accentuated by how vibrant the inks and colors are against the Baxter paper they are printed on. My only issue with Mr. Bogdanove, and this is a small one, is his lack of background in some of his panels. I’m not sure if he did this on the other books he worked on, but I sometimes found this distracting as it took me out of the story.
Please, please, please read this story. Not only is it a fantastic read (see what I did there?) but the art is pretty special. Fantastic Four Verses the X-Men is everything 80’s comics were about; deep character development, fun story-telling, hints at subplots and amazing art!
That’s all for now folks! Remember to check out Tripping Over Reality: The Death and Origin of a Hero on trippingoverreality.com and Amazon. CAN YOU DIG IT???!!!! See you next time when I tackle another four colored fantasy from yesteryear!!!!