Marvel; April 1983
Cover by John Byrne
Synopsis: When the Fantastic Four encounter a race long stuck on a broken spaceship, Mr. Fantastic fixes everything – or does he?
Writer: John Byrne
Review: John Byrne’s Negative Zone adventure continues with another fine, Star Trek-inspired tale. This is a perfectly crafted, done in one story: interesting premise, strong characterization, compact world-building and a nice payoff. Plus, it’s always fun to see Mr. Fantastic stub his toe and realize he’s not quite as smart as he thinks he is. Art wise, there’s still a roughness to Byrne’s rendering, but it serves this story – and this alien environment – well. And, again, the underlying fundamentals of Byrne’s art remain exceptionally strong.
Cool factor: John Byrne has a knack for fun, done in one, sci-fi tales.
Notable: According to the Statement of Ownership on this issue’s “Fantastic Four Fan Page,” there was an average of 443,238 issues of each John Byrne Fantastic Four printed during the proceeding 12 months, but 204,366 were eventually returned by newsstands. Is there any wonder why the direct market caught on?
Character quotable: “On my world, I have a reputation for fixing the unfixable.” – Mr. Fantastic (neglecting to mention he’s been known to break a few things, too)
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