The Fantastic Four have much better comics tying into
the Avengers event than the Avengers did. Perhaps
that’s because the only difference the Avengers
tie-in made was some dialogue in issue 517.

General Information

Title: Fantastic Four Vol. 5: Disassembled

Author: Mark Waid cowrote issues 514-516 with Karl
Kesel, and has solo
story credit on issues 517-519.

Illustrator(s): Paco Medina pencilled issues 514-516,
and Mike
Wieringo pencilled issues 517-519

Original Publication Date: These issues were
originally published over
the summer of 2004, and the trade paperback
collecting them hits
bookstores today.

ISBN: 0-7851-1536-6

Cover Price: $14.99 US

Buy from: Amazon.com
or Amazon.ca

Past comic reviews can be found here.

Premise

In issues 514-516, the Wizard forms a new Frightful
Four with plans to
humiliate the Fantastic Four on national television.

In issues 517-519, an alien arrives on Earth and
captures Manhattan as
part of a plan to defend other worlds from Galactus.

High Point

“I build a mobile graviton detectograph.”

Low Point

Once again, the selection of titles for the TPB seems
odd. They
probably didn’t know that the Galactus story arc that
follows this
collection would be Waid and Weiringo’s last when
they decided which
issues to include here, but they must have known the
cliffhanger
they’d be ending on.

The Scores

The originality varies. The first story arc
is yet another
Frightful Four, differing only in the casualties and
specific team
make-up. The second story arc does take a new
approach, and helps get
the team back on their feet after the events of the
last collection.
(The Fantastic Four get better issues out of
Avengers
Disassembled
than the Avengers did.) I give it
4 out of 6.

The artwork on the first three issues is the
pseudo-manga
style that doesn’t work for me, with oversized hands,
feet, and
noses. The artwork on the last three issues is back
to the quality
we’ve come to expect from Wieringo on this title. I
give it 4 out of
6.

The stories are, again, different enough to
warrant different
scores. The first story arc reads well, with give
and take, and some
logical actions with a plotline that one can follow
as it tells the
complete story. The second story arc reads more like
a prelude to
another collection than as a story itself. (I wonder
if they’d have
held off on publication if it weren’t for the desire
to publish all of
the Disassembled tie-in titles this month.) I give
it 4 out of 6.



The characterization is the strong suit for
Waid, and that’s
what he does here. His work with the Frightful Four
is interesting as
well, showing the distinct personalities quickly, and
playing them off
the Fantastic Four with their distinct differences.
I give it 5 out
of 6.

The emotional response is strong across the
board. Reading
as individual issues, the prelude nature of the
second story arc
doesn’t bother me, as almost everything is a prelude
to something
else. Rereading to write this review, it does stand
out, and it’ll be
irritating, at least in the paperback. (The third
hardcover volume,
not yet announced, should include the Galactus
storyline, too, so this
won’t be an issue.) I give it 5 out of 6, reduced
only because of
that cliffhanger.

The flow hits a few minor bumps. First, we
have the problem
that we have two distinct stories in one collection
with a shift in
the artwork. Then, we have an abrupt ending. I give
it 4 out of 6.

Overall, there is good writing here as
usual, but the package
itself is clearly part of a larger whole. I’d
recommend it if you
plan to get the Galactus arc, too. You might prefer
to wait for that
third hardcover and get it all at once. I give it 4
out of 6.

In total, Fantastic Four Vol. 5:
Disassembled
receives 30 out
of 42.