This volume came out just in time to hit shelves
before the movie.

General Information

Title: Essential Fantastic Four Vol. 4

Credited to: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

Original Publication Date: 2005 reprint of material
first published
from 1967 to 1969.

ISBN: 0-7851-1484-X

Cover Price: $16.99 US, $27.25 Can

Buy from: Amazon.com
or Amazon.ca

Issues contained: Fantastic Four #64-83, as well as
Fantastic Four
Annual #5 and #6.

Past comic reviews can be found here.

Premise

The adventures of the Fantastic Four continue, taking
them through
their first meeting with Annihilus, a confrontation
with Daredevil,
Thor, and Spider-Man, and the first of Franklin (who
hasn’t actually
been named by the end of the volume.)

High Point

The Silver Surfer’s attempt to bring the world
together.

Low Point

There may have been nine months between issues, but
there’s no way
there was nine months in the story to cover the length
of the
pregnancy. (The story went from Sue’s surprising
announcement to the
birth in a matter of weeks.)

The Scores

The title was cutting edge for a while, but this is
starting to get
into retreads. If not for the birth of Franklin, I
wouldn’t have seen
anything really innovative here. I give it 3 out of
6.

The artwork is great, with some rather
expressive inking from
Joe Sinnott, particularly in the dark periods. I give
it 5 out of 6.

The story is the same type of stuff we had in
the first three
volumes, with few new villains. I give it 4 out of 6.



The characterization is the strength of the
story, with the
relationships being the core of the title, rather than
the superhero
action. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response is pretty good. There
were some
involving stories here, including the cure for Ben
Grimm. If there
wasn’t a fair amount of rehash mixed in, too, it would
have been
great. I give it 4 out of 6.

The flow is very good, keeping the team
moving from one
adventure to the next. Unfortunately, the timelines
seem to mess up
the pregnancy, but that was unusual enough that they
might be able to
claim that Franklin was healthy and premature. I give
it 4 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a good silver age collection of
some classic
stuff, but it’s not the best volume in the series. I
give it 4 out of
6.

In total, Essential Fantastic Four Vol. 4
receives 29 out of 42.