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Sunday, January 08, 2023 

Fantastic Four: Life Story imagines if the team had aged

The Valdosta Daily Times wrote a superficial piece about Fantastic Four: Life Story, which appears to take a similar approach to Spider-Man: Life Story:
Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created The Fantastic Four in the early 1960s. Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic), Sue Storm Richards (Invisible Girl/Invisible Woman), Johnny Storm (Human Torch) and Ben Grimm (The Thing) have been appearing in regular adventures ever since.
Not quite. There was a time several years back when the FF practically had a moratorium imposed on new stories, all because Isaac Perlmutter didn't want to do any favors for one of the movies based on the FF, and it took over a year until they lifted such a useless mandate. Marvel's artistic quality collapsed long ago, but that didn't make their moratorium on the FF at the time valid.
As Douglas Wolk theorizes in his book, “All of the Marvels,” the timeline of Marvel Comics works roughly on the basis that it’s always been a little more than a dozen years since the Marvel Universe started. Even if, like the Fantastic Four, a story started in 1961, it’s only been about a dozen years since the FF became the FF – with decades of adventures crunched within that dozen-or-so years.

That way the characters’ stories can last forever without them ever aging out of existence ... while all past plot lines remain relevant.

“Fantastic Four: Life Story,” like “Spider-Man: Life Story,” tosses out Wolk’s theory. In the “Life Story” portion of the Marvel Universe, times passes ... characters age.
Unfortunately, we're way past the point it could make for a great story, and there've been only so many bad storylines since the turn of the century, with Spidey's "Sins Past" standing out as one of the worst due to its mistreatment of both Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane Watson, that, why must all plots and storylines remain "relevant"? It's just plain laughable this belief everything should count as canon is never questioned.
The Fantastic Four has always thrived when centered on the humanity of the characters and the possibilities and potential of humanity. “Life Story” emphasizes that humanity through the characters’ finite lifetimes.
Gee, why didn't you make that point when Joe Quesada and Axel Alonso began taking apart everything, at the expense of their humanity? Scarlet Witch is another prime example of a character whose humanity was disrespected, at the time Avengers: Disassembled was published, and the worst part of that whole atrocity is that the story's premise of Wanda turning evil later became the basis for WandaVision, and Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. So who's this columnist to lecture us about humanity anyway?

Stories about heroes aging once had potential. But, as I've argued before, we're long past the time they could've been relevant.

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About me

  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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