Ultimate Fantastic Four 11: Salem’s Seven

4.0 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Art: 6/10

Nearing the end of the series

Bad, overly complex story, mid-story artist switch-up

 
Comic Info

Comic Name: Ultimate Fantastic Four

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Writer: Mike Carey

Artist: Tyler Kirkham/Eric Basaldua

# of Issues: 4

Release Date:  2008

ultimate-fantastic-four-#56

Ultimate Fantastic Four #56

Reprints Ultimate Fantastic Four #54-57 (July 2008-October 2008). There’s a new super-hero team making the rounds in New York City and stepping on the toes of the Fantastic Four.  As Johnny and Ben try to determine who the Salem’s Seven are, Reed tries to reconnect with Sue after his experience with Thanos.  The Fantastic Four finds themselves at the hands of a S.H.I.E.L.D. psychologist named Agatha Harkness and that Harkness seems to be manipulating them.  As the Fantastic Four try to determine the truth behind the Salem’s Seven, the return of Namor could mean an end to Sue and Reed’s relationship.

Written by Mike Carey, Ultimate Fantastic Four Volume 11:  Salem’s Seven follows Ultimate Fantastic Four Volume 10:  Ghosts.  The collection features art by Tyler Kirkham and Eric Basaldua.

The Ultimate line had a lot of hits…but it also had a lot of misses.  Ultimate Fantastic Four feels like it has been limping around for a bit at this point.  The series started to build momentum with Thanos, but overall, it feels aimless.  “Powerhouses” like the Salem’s Seven and Agatha Harkness don’t add enough to the mix to get the series back on track.

ultimate-fantastic-four-#55

Ultimate Fantastic Four #55

The story really isn’t very good. I’ve like Mike Carey in the past but his run on Ultimate Fantastic Four has been less than stellar. In general, the Ultimate line really struggles with pacing. Stories that should be a six issue line are four issues and stories that should be a four issue line are six. This goes to the basic problem of writing for collections rather than writing for individual issues. Agatha Harkness is introduced and killed in a short span of four issues…ditto with the Salem’s Seven. Add to that the complex “breeding” of the Salem’s Seven which involves multiples and explosions…way too difficult to get a read from in four issues.

The art also poses a slight problem in the collection. For some reason Tyler Kirkham wasn’t able to do Ultimate Fantastic Four #56 entirely and had Eric Basaldua step in to help. Usually in a situation like this, something must have come up personally or possibly he was way behind deadline (which sometimes can’t be helped). Switching up artists in a four issue arc however really doesn’t help a story that is on the fringe anyway. I wish they had just delayed it so the art was consistent. Basaldua’s art wasn’t bad and Kirkham’s art wasn’t phenomenal, but an artist switch always throws a story.

The Ultimate Fantastic Four is a second tier book and it’s a second tier book that is long in the tooth.  Part of the reason of the rush on this collection and the reason it could feel unbalanced is that the word of Ultimate Fantastic Four’s cancellation was already in the pipeline.  The next story arc involves Ultimatum and ends the comic (fortunately). It was a nice attempt by a lot of writers but just never lived up to the hype or even to the level of Ultimate X-Men (which also struggled in the Ultimate Universe). Ultimate Fantastic Four 11: Salem’s Seven is followed by Ultimatum: X-Men/Fantastic Four.

Related Links:

Ultimate Fantastic Four 1:  The Fantastic

Ultimate Fantastic Four 2:  Doom

Ultimate Fantastic Four 3:  N-Zone

Ultimate Fantastic Four 4:  Inhuman

Ultimate Fantastic Four 5:  Crossover

Ultimate Fantastic Four 8:  Devils

Ultimate Fantastic Four 10:  Ghosts

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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