Fantastic Four vol. 1-6: Imaginauts; Unthinkable; Authoritative Action; Hereafter; Disassembled; Rising Storm – Mark Waid

Mediocre is a term usually reserved for diner food. “How are the chicken fingers?” “Eh, mediocre.” But you keep eating them anyway ‘cause they’re there. That’s how I felt about Waid’s take on the FF. I started reading ‘cause it seemed like it would be good, yet every story was only mediocre. And I kept reading them. Why? ‘Cause they were there. It isn’t that the ideas were bad, there was some neat adventures pitting the Marvel super-team of the Invisible Woman (she can turn invisible, duh), the Human Torch (can burst into flame, double duh), the Thing (a super strong rock-man), and Mr. Fantastic (a genius who can stretch and change his shape) against a plethora of oddities plus some traditional fare, and the writing wasn’t bad, yet somehow it never actualized. Imaginauts had the FF face the incarnation of Mr. Fantastic’s intellect. Unthinkable saw the return of Dr. Doom reinvented as a sorcerer—what the hell is that about?! Authoritative Action is Waid’s attempt to tackle contemporary issues and has a slightly insane Mr. Fantastic take over the Dr. Doom’s homeland (spoiler: is goes about as well as America’s mideast interventions). Hereafter takes our team into the afterlife in an overly metafictional tale and has Spider-man guest star. Disassembled and Rising Storm are both my favorites and most disappointing as they bring in the classics such as the Sinister Six and Galactus, which Waid’s promptly ruins. It must be hard to write the FF since I rarely find a story of theirs that I like. Still, I keep giving the title a try, thinking that the series, like any diner’s chicken fingers, will someday be worth getting.