I've been silent all week on Comics Matter, huh? Tomorrow I'll have to remedy that. For now, all I've got is what I've published in other places. Thursday I did a not-so-positive review of Lazarus #4 on read/RANT. I still feel like it could turn around for me, though, pretty easily. It's early on, and it's an alright comic, just not quite what I was looking for. I also wrote about how much fun Archer & Armstrong is for PopMatters. That series has been in a groove for a while now. Friday, I wrote another read/RANT review on the debut of Vertigo's Hinterkind. Much like Lazarus, I'm not super into it yet, but it was a first issue that made me want to see a second, so that's something. And finally, Friday was also when my new "1987 And All That" went up on The Chemical Box, looking at Fantastic Four #301. I read several issues of that series, not sure what my focus would be, but that one got to me because I'm a sucker for well-done kid stories. I've worked with kids in the past, and accurately expressing their understanding of the world is not an easy thing to do, so I like it when I see it.
Something I Failed to Mention
It's a small detail, but one I found amusing and a little odd. In Fantastic Four #301, the primary villain is The Wizard, who had just teamed up with Mad Thinker and Puppet Master in the previous issue to try and screw up Human Torch's wedding. Puppet Master betrays the other two because Torch is marrying his stepdaughter and so he has a sudden change of heart. Part of the villains-vs.-villains section of that story includes a reveal that Thinker is not himself but a robot body that the real guy is sending his consciousness into through his great mental abilities. The actual Mad Thinker is incarcerated, which is where we see him at the start of issue #301. He then sends his mind into another fake body, so that he and The Wizard can meet and regroup. Except here's the thing: as soon as they get together, Wizard suggests using Franklin Richards against his family, and Thinker flips out because he won't hurt a child. He then self-destructs his new non-self and never shows up again in the story. From that point on, it's The Wizard's shows. It seems like a very weird thing to spend a whole scene taking a character off the board who already had a perfectly good reason to be off the board—he's in prison. After already destroying his stand-in, couldn't he have just not been shown sending his mind into another one? If Wizard had decided in issue #301 to cook up another scheme against the FF all by himself, would anyone really have been, like, "Um...why isn't he working with Mad Thinker anymore? Shouldn't he be secretly meeting with another robot body?" I'm just not sure what the point of the argument/self-destruction conversation was, and it seems like a funny thing to wedge into a story for no reason. Bad guys disagreeing about how bad to be, just to have one of them bail.