I dunno that we did this right, but it was the best I could come up with. In a more perfect world, maybe the flow between F4 #1 - FF #1 - F4 #2 - FF #2 would’ve been weekly, so it played like a mini-event or something, or if it all came out in one GIANT issue, might have helped but… well, to me, this was one big story with TWENTY-TWO characters — no, twenty-THREE, actually, two very unique situations, two different artists, two different books, two tones, and ONE giant fucking relaunch to cover it all. I’m sure long-time readers are frustrated by the primer-like nature of the first three issues to this point but… well, between them, and the people that might be checking out the F4/FF world for the first time (ESPECIALLY in the aftermath of Hickman’s epic, and epically complex, run)… well I wrote for them. Needs of the many, etc. etc.
I mean, I didn’t even MENTION the students of the FF in the first wave of press interviews I did because there’s no way I could find that kept things elegant and clean and welcoming to the greater concept of the F4/FF books right now.
These are the things that keep me up at night.
This kind of thing — elegant, beautiful little acting choices and moment’s on Mike’s part. She-Hulk’s raised eyebrow in 2 and brows in 6 — so good i forget I wrote the goddamn thing and become an Allred fan reading an Allred book. If that makes sense.
Someone on twitter said “Ant-astic Four” and it was so good I stole it.
Also: breakfast as motif, now established.
Also also: stop clipping pictures of Darla eating a banana. Can’t you go rub one out to things designed to aid and abet your rubbing-one-out? Jesus, internet, is there anything you can’t ruin.
It’s maybe a little out of character for Medusa to be THIS removed from the way the human world works, but, again, this isn’t just for us lifers — I think you have to kind of play to the characters’ core rather than continuity in the early going. Again, needs of the many. What does my Dad know about Medusa, right? From here, the four adult leads rotate in and out of the spotlight each issue. Darla next, then Jen, then Medusa, then Scott. After that, the second act starts…
This page. Again, with Mike. He works well in a grid, too — something about that classic six-up and Allred’s own talents just go together beautifully.
Also my kids do this — the relentless refusal to recognize anybody else’s body-space as sovereign.
One of those times where you just get the hell out of your partner’s way and let them be a genius. How can I out-write Mike Allred’s hand? Can’t be done.
I love the idea of forcing the fish kids to listen to a lecture about legal responsibility vis-á-vis the public welfare and super-hero activities. Just makes me laugh. Shit, even Scott looks bored.
So the idea was, that if, over in F4, we were doing new-new-new, here in FF, as the core team was new-new-new the antagonists would be Greatest Hits. First, it contextualizes things, connects things. Makes the book “M A T T E R” as they say — and every time i’ve tried bucking that my shit gets cancelled, so. So it felt appropriate to pay tribute to the first Fantastic Four villain.
It’s also a lot of fun to write Mole Man.
There’s an Art Adams variant cover that’s amazing — and Adams wrote this insane dialogue on it himself that I like to pretend was a collaboration. It wasn’t. But still. Remember that time Art Adams’ name and my name was on the same book? I do. It was right now.
I have a thing where I love referring to real designers, especially in regards to women’s clothes in my book. Part of it is, I suppose, living with a fashion-conscious and fashion-forward woman and some of it just rubs off. And, too, part of it is… is just LOOK at it sometimes. There’s such a nexus between really forward-thinking fashion designers and our best character-designers in comics but it’s… it’s like that part of the political spectrum where, like, people go so far left they end up right, or whatever. Comics and fashion live right next door to one another and don’t even realize it…
Also I love Medusa just going straight from bed to out a window, ready to protect “her” kids.
When did Doc’s work get so damn TACTILE? I want to touch this whole page. Is that weird? It’s a little weird.
Also? Never too soon to talk about Laura Allred. They are partners in the page in a way i’ve never seen before. They are chocolate and peanut butter, Lennon and McCartney, incense and peppermints.
It looks like Mesdusa saved a couple of the Odd Future guys.
THE SUIT. Brevoort remembered this. And he had the image of the pink hair coming up to the neckline, Darla peeking out. It’s a fun, weird bit of old F4 lore:
Now maybe we’ll give Darla the THING RING:
Somebody wrote me about that and I was SO BUMMED to find out I wasn’t the only one that remembered…
This issue: MICROLOBOTOMY!
Also I love the kids scrambling to get-the-fuck-out-the way. I’m not really offering post-game thoughts on this issue so much as gushing over Allred, oy…
There’s your team, ladies and gents. Well. Almost…
I loved the early, antagonistic, relationship the F4 had with the city and the press and wanted to bring that “can’t-win-for-losing” vibe back some. It was never, like, Spidey-level or whatever but those early issues always felt like it wasn’t a picnic, being in the F4. Money trouble and all the rest are soon to follow, surely. For now, though — nobody likes these scabs. Especially the villains…
You know what Chekov said about the Machine That Says Boop Boop on the mantel in the first act, right?
I do, Jen. Next issue…
Note how Bentley looks pretty psyched, all things considered. Mike Allred, ladies and germs…
Remember how i said twenty-two, then twenty three, cast members, earlier?
Meet Old John Storm. Meet the new FF. Here we go…