I might just be the type of comic fan that long-time comic fans hate. While I love a well written story above all else, I also enjoy changes to the status quo. New costumes? New powers? New torchbearers? I’m there. As such, I’ve found myself drawn to the new Fantastic Four.
One of my earliest toy memories was of a family trip to nearby Springfield. I had to be around five at the time, but I’m not certain as the memory is a little fuzzy. After a trip to the zoo, we hit up the local mall. They had a Kay-Bee there and while I was already told we weren’t going inside, there was a Secret Wars display visible from the hallway. I already had some Secret Wars by that point, but what caught my attention was something new. It was a Spider-Man like the one I had, but he was in this amazing black costume. I didn’t read current Marvel comics as a kid, so this was my first exposure. I absolutely had to have it and thankfully my parents obliged. Little did they know what they were getting me into…
Two-and-a-half decades later, I have to tell you that I still think Spidey’s black duds are about the coolest damn costume in the history of comics. I still appreciate that classic red-and-blue, but I don’t have a little corner of my collection reserved for that costume. Similarly, I’m more than happy to see my favorite heroes switch up their threads now and again. I love the many armors of Iron Man. Hooked Aquaman. Electric Supes. Heck, when I got older I realized my Secret Wars Doom was in a unique costume and I’m still waiting for a Marvel Legend. And I’m still bummed I don’t have a Dick Grayson Batman yet (what’s up with that?). As you can imagine, I was more than ready to snap up some Future Foundation versions of the Fantastic Four.
If you haven’t been following along in the Marvel Universe, Johnny Storm – the only founding member of the Fantastic Four to have not died at least once – died. The three surviving members received new looks, a new book, now titled FF, and, along with Spider-Man and a rather large supporting cast, have been kicking ass for the better part of a year already. I’ve become a big fan of Jonathan Hickman, and his take on the characters, which naturally translates into my needing little plastic versions. It’s a compulsion, I know. But that’s why we’re all here, isn’t it?
This set is essentially a repaint set of the Fantastic Four 3pk that was released earlier this year. The original set featured Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman (finally), the Thing, all in a blue/short sleeve deco along with a H.E.R.B.I.E. for good measure. Ths pack is the the same except the costumes are now the current Future Foundation versions and Thing has traded in his short for full-on pants. I picked up this set at my mega-chain LCS, so I’m not sure when it will officially hit retail or at what store. I’ve seen the regular 3pks (Fantastic Four, Avengers, & X-Force) at only Wal-Mart so far, so I imagine if anywhere will be getting this case of the 3pks beyond your local LCS, it’ll be there.
While I was happy to pick up the set, I still have some misgivings with most of the figures. I all but hate the original lanky MU buck when compared to the better proportioned, better articulated bucks of late. Unfortunately, Mr. Fantastic here utilizes that original buck. The lankiness works better for him than others because we can pretend it’s simply his powers at work, but the missing articulation still hurts the figure. The head sculpt appears to be a new, better version than the one from the Ultron 2pk, so we’ve got at least one new piece there. The costume details are all painted on, but it works – though those patches on the top of the hands appear to be slightly out of place from the original design.
I got my first MU Thing figure when I was putting together the Wrecking Crew. I was pleasantly surprised by the figure even though Hasbro could use to give him some newer neck articulation. Thing did’t receive any new pieces in this pack, but this version has swapped out covered legs to better approximate his Future Foundation look. The Thing has appeared sans his pictured tank top, so this figure is accurate, but I do lament the loss of his little “tri-hexagon” designation (I’m a nerd and I appreciate consistency, okay?).
Sue is probably the highlight of the set because it’s the first time she’s been available in either costume. If you’ve been trying to put together a Fantastic Four, it probably drives you crazy that she wasn’t done in her standard uniform to match the others and this Future Foundation repaint probably doesn’t make it any better though. Still, I’m excited for this version and pretty satisfied with the overall look. She’s still using an older MU buck with some drawbacks – the middle torso and lower torso not meeting up exactly being the primary issue – so I again find myself wishing Hasbro could afford to just junk the older molds for the sake of the line. I’ve heard mixed things about the head sculpt, but I like it enough. Like Reed, the costume is all done with paint and most of the details are spot-on.
When I bought this set, the clerk openly complained about the inclusion of H.E.R.B.I.E. and the lack of a Spider-Man. I had to laugh because even though this is a repaint set and Hasbro has revealed that a Spider-Man is on the way, I still felt like he was right. It’s bad logistics to think Hasbro could simply shove a Spidey in the H.E.R.B.I.E. hole (that sounds bad…), but at the same time and even with one member in the grave, a Fantastic Four 3pk is a pretty silly idea. Continue to Page 2…