All this talk about FF today got me thinking of the best Fantastic Four issue I’ve ever read: FANTASTIC FOUR #60 (or #489). Mark Waid, Mike Wieringo, Karl Kesel, Paul Mounts, Richard Starkings, Albert Deschesne, Marc Sumerak, Andy Schmidt & Tom Brevoort put together the most perfect, well-rounded, thoughtful tale of a super-powered family this side of The Incredibles. Everyone’s perfectly in character, all motivations and challenges are clearly defined, art is perfect, color beautiful, and if that didn’t give me enough motivation to buy this book back in 2002, the 9-cent price tag sealed the deal. It’s funny but not cartoony, serious but not overdramatic, and the ending is a KNOCKOUT (even though it’s just a father telling his little girl a bedtime story). I’ve probably read this issue 50 times, and I constantly use it as the perfect example of how to tell a complete, open-ended story that respects what’s come before, but isn’t handcuffed by history.
If you’ve never read Fantastic Four #60, I CAN’T recommend it enough.