This thread is a part of our Grant Morrison Reading Project.
In 2001-2002, Grant Morrison and Jae Lee crafted the Marvel Knights mini Fantastic Four:1234 #1-4. In a nutshell, Doctor Doom amps up the Prime Mover and changes reality to cause the FF to split apart so he could kill Reed Richards. Each member is placed in peril and the Sub-Mariner andthe Mole Man are involved. It's difficult to do a linear review but I will focus on the cast.
On the plus side, Morrison obviously read a lot of Fantastic Four stories. On the minus side, Morrison obviously read a lot of Fantastic Four stories. Writers sometimes seem to want to do a Doctor Doom story rather than a FF story. Here Morrison tries to do both.
The Thing: Ben Grimm is angry. He feels that everyone sees him as a freak and a monster. Even in the Baxter Building, he wears his overcoat and hat. He longs for something to fight, to hit. He's trapped in a fragile world and needs beings like the Hulk, Sandman, the Super-Skrull, Blastaar, etc in order to release his frustration and rage. He is easily tricked into entering Doom's trap due to the reality shift. He seems ready to believe the worst of Reed because, deep down, he wants there to be a concrete reason why this has happened to him. Doom reverts him back to Ben Grimm from before the space-flight, surpressing his memories. He gets his heart's desire and is immediately struck by a car. Sent to a VA hospital, his arm is amputated and his despair grows.
Jae Lee's portrayal of Ben is too realistic. The Thing works best as a cartoon character in the "real" world. His proportions and body type are not possible, going by Kirby's designs. Byrne modelled him after a starfish of all things but modernizing Ben as a deformed victim is too tragic, especially after all this time for him to adjust.
The Invisible Woman: Sue Richards is lonely. Her husband has isolated himself again (and again). Her brother has no sympathy for her nor empathy for her situation. Her team-mate is once more raging at the world. In short, no one sees her. She visits blind sculptress and Ben's true love, Alicia Masters and oddly is invisible the entire time. Perhaps that is her natural state now, or at least her most comfortable. She suffers more than emotional frustration, it is sexual frustration and she is confronted by Namor the Sub-Mariner in his most tempting Speedos! More on that later.
The Human Torch: Johnny Storm is bored. He is obxious to Sue and Ben and dismissive of Reed. Cars and girls bring him no joy. Only flaming combat brings a smile to his face but he's no match for a suddenly enhanced Namor. In some ways, Johnny becomes the voice of the longtime reader/fan. Rude, demanding and waiting.
Mister Fantastic:Reed Richards is thinking.
Next: The Villains and Reactions!