Comic Review – “Fantastic Four: Authoritative Action”

The third trade paperback of Waid’s work on
Fantastic Four will be out on March 17. The
issues it will contain, #503-508, are reviewed below.

General Information

Title: Fantastic Four: Authoritative Action

Author: Mark Waid

Illustrator(s): Howard Porter

Original Publication Date: Issues published from
August through
December 2003. The trade paperback has been
solicited for March 17,
and should hit regular bookstores in May.

ISBN: 0785111980

Cover Price: $12.99 US for the trade paperback.

Buy from:


With Doom out of Latveria, Reed decides the Fantastic
Four should take
over instead. This makes many people irritable,
including the
U.N. and the rest of the Fantastic Four.

High Point

The explanation for Reed’s actions.

Low Point

Reed’s vanity over his face. I never expected this
strong a reaction
from him.

The Scores

In a title that’s been around this long,
originality is hard
to come by. Mark Waid has managed with excellent
results. Like his
first few issues, this features the team doing new
things in new
situations. Once you read part five, it even all
makes sense. Very
well handled, with an ending that will force the team
in new
directions. I give it 6 out of 6.

The artwork by Howard Porter is decent.
Some panels look
great, and the action flows fairly well. I just
don’t like his
version of the Thing, though. What’s with those
tiny little legs
half the time? I give it 4 out of 6.

The story is very well built, and plausibly
handled. Very
well worth reading. Waid’s still going strong, and
I’ll read the
title as long as he writes it. The ending in
particular is excellent.
The team has undergone major changes. Some are
changes that we know
will be reversed as soon as they happen, and Waid
doesn’t even try to
hide that. Others could take considerable time to
undo. I give it 6
out of 6.

The characterization works in almost every
respect. Reed’s
face still seems a bit too prominent, but the rest is
all excellent.
I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response in the early issues
was curiosity with
interest spikes near the issue cliffhangers. The
last two issues
grabbed me and held me from the start, and the last
one makes me
really, really want to get my hands on the next
issues. I give it 5
out of 6.

The flow is well done in general. Some
individual moments
don’t quite work, but most work well. I give it 5
out of 6.

Overall, another strong outing by a great
writer on this
title. Very entertaining, and I’d say it’s a must
read for anyone who
read the Unthinkable arc from earlier in the
year. I give it
5 out of 6.

In total, Fantastic Four: Authoritative
receives 36 out
of 42.