Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Marvel Age Fantastic Four Editorial

So, like all comic book geeks I surf Amazon to see what the latest greatest books are. And, because I read lots of trades, I like to read the customer reviews to see what people think. Now I always take the customer reviews with a grain of salt because they are... to be generous, very opinionated. To say they are occasionally unintelligible and incomprehensible rants is equally valid. But, I always read the the Editorial reviews too. I like them because they tend to be more neutral. And, as an editorial review, tend to have opinions that are well formulated and generally accurate.

I don't think I ever found an editorial review that was wwwwaaaayyyyy off base until I saw this for Marvel Age Fantastic Four Volume 2: Doom Digest (Marvel Adventures). It starts:

From Publishers Weekly
Here's an unsuccessful remake of the first four Stan Lee–Jack Kirby issues of The Fantastic Four for the manga generation.

So far, so good. We are talking about Marvel Age FF so I can believe the stories weren't that good. It's hard to recreate the magic of the original Stan and Jack FF issues. It goes on...

The first problem is that the source material wasn't great.

WHOA WHOA WHOA. What was that? It was like a freight train came out of nowhere and smacked me upside the head! "The source material wasn't great"???? What idiot wrote that??? The FF started modern superheroes as we know them. It introduced characters that have survived for 40 plus years. And it wasn't great? This can only get better...

Though Lee and Kirby produced some of the best superhero comics ever, the first few issues of The Fantastic Four were primitive and awkward.

HELLO??? Ummm, the first issues were primitive and awkward???? I am going on a limb here but I don't think Junior ever read a golden age Superman story. The early FF was light years ahead of Golden Age stories. BUT, to be fair to the reviewer, compared to today's books they were primitive and awkward BECAUSE THERE WAS NOTHING ELSE LIKE THEM AT THE TIME!!!! You can't compare FF #1 written in 1963 to Alan Moore's Watchmen. It's apples and oranges.

The reviewer writes some more and concludes with
The packaging is equally sloppy: the title page credits of the original comics are retained, so we read a complete set of credits five times. If Marvel is trying to reach out to manga fans, this isn't the way to do it.

WHAT? Ummm, in the preceding sentence (not included in this post) the reviewer complained about the use of different artistic art styles. I might point out that if you don't leave the credits in then how wou;d you know who drew the story? But, the coupe da gracie is the last sentence. "If Marvel is trying to reach out to Manga fans".... Uuuummm that wasn' the point of the Marvel Adventures. IT WAS AN ALL AGES BOOK YA IDIOT!!!! It wasn't for Manga fans. It was a book I wasn't afraid to let my ten year old read.

As I said, I've read customer reviews that were the printed ravings of lunatics but never and editorial review. This was just bad.

In case you think I'm making this up, the link, read for yourself.

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