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Fantastic Four #12 (Marvel Comics)
Hulk vs. the Thing is one of the great rivalries in the Marvel Universe. Their throw downs are the stuff of legend, second only to when the jade giant fights Wolverine. So there’s plenty of hype around Fantastic Four #12, which features a brand new fight between the ever-lovin’ blue eyed Thing and the incredible (now immortal) Hulk. What sets Dan Slott and Sean Izaakese’s fight differently from the the others? The fact that The Thing is going to turn into Ben Grimm in about 90 minutes when the fight starts.
Setting off for a long overdue honeymoon, Ben Grimm and his wife Alicia make there way to a remote island in the Caribbean. Their timing couldn’t be better, as Ben is set to undergo his annual transformation back into his human form while they are away, allowing him the chance to finally experience being a normal married man. Of course, things being the way they are for Ben, he’s unfortunately going to have his hands full with the Hulk, who’s back (and under the control of Ben’s father in law the Puppet Master) and looking for a fight. But can The Thing put Hulk down before he turns human again?
That’s obviously the cliffhanger that this issue ends on, but don’t despair, this issue isn’t all build up. In fact, it’s a pretty touching look at the Thing’s relationships with those around him, and how much his wife cares for him regardless of if he’s a massive orange rock monster or not. Slott really takes the time to remind Grimm (and us) of the fact that he’s surrounded by people who are there for him no matter what, and that time at the beginning of the issue makes the Hulk’s arrival, and the stakes for The Thing, that much more important as the book reaches it’s cliffhanger.
Sean Izaakese’s art is pretty stellar, and despite not knowing his name before this, I’ll definitely be checking him out in the future. A style that’s a mix of a Sara Pichelli, a Stuart Immonen, and a little Ed McGuinness, Izaakese’s art pops off the page, and creates a really fantastic fight scene that stands out on the shelves.
Dan Slott’s run on the Fantastic Four has had it’s moments of stagnation, but so far it’s been a really strong case for why we needed to see these characters again. Like his run on Amazing Spider-Man before, Dan Slott’s love for the characters of the Fantastic Four bleeds through his dialogue, and crafts a really engaging story that, while flawed at times, comes from a place of love.