Ultimate Fantastic Four 3: N-Zone

7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 7/10

More developed than the Doom storyline

Annihilus goes out like a chump

Comic Info

Comic Name: Ultimate Fantastic Four

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Writer: Warren Ellis

Artist: Adam Kubert

# of Issues: 6

Release Date:  2005


Ultimate Fantastic Four #17

Reprints Ultimate Fantastic Four #13-18 (January 2005-June 2005). The Fantastic Four head into the N-Zone on an exploration mission but come head-to-head with a creature called Nihil. When Johnny’s powers begin to kill him, the Fantastic Four must escape Nihil…and it could change the team forever.

Written by Warren Ellis, Ultimate Fantastic Four Volume 3: N-Zone collects the third story arc in the Ultimate Fantastic Four storyline following Ultimate Fantastic Four Volume 2:  Doom.  The collection features art by Adam Kubert.

Despite being well established at this point, the Ultimate Fantastic Four still seems far behind Ultimate Spider-Man, Ultimate X-Men, or The Ultimates.  While those series really feel like they are creating rounded characters, Ultimate Fantastic Four feels jumpy and thin…which is ironic since the members of the Fantastic Four are some of the most rounded characters in comics.

Ultimate Fantastic Four 3: N-Zone finally establishes the Fantastic Four in the Ultimate Universe by officially “outing” them to the public. Until now, they had been relatively trapped in the Baxter Building with all their missions being more covert (despite their very public battle against the Moleman in The Fantastic). The Fantastic Four has always been a very public team and that is what is fun about them. They are celebrities with powers and their adventures are more “newsworthy” than the other super-heroes because they are public. An adventure like this in the Marvel Universe wouldn’t involve shady government deals but instead have the Fantastic Four setting up in front of the cameras. With the public jump in this volume, the writers can get to what makes the Fantastic Four the Fantastic Four.


Ultimate Fantastic Four #18

The collection follows up Doom which was kind of weak and shows an improvement in the story. Doom tried too hard to change a basic villain, but this relatively kept Annihilus to his Marvel Universe roots. I never have been a big fan of Annihilus but Ellis uses him well here. Annihilus kind of goes out like a chump at the end, and I kind of feel he deserves more than three issues of the six in the collection.

Ellis’ attempt to modify the Fantastic Four in the Ultimate universe is to have Johnny’s powers killing him. I really wish if they were going to do this storyline that they had developed it over a bigger series of issues. This seems like an “A”-story thrust and instead it is treated as a “B”-story that is quickly resolved. I thought the idea of how Johnny’s powers worked was interesting and how it was effecting him since he is the most vain of the group, but a quick shedding of skin erased all that interest.

N-Zone shows a great improvement from Doom, but still isn’t perfect. The story once again could probably have been four issues because nothing really happened in the first two. The weird pacing of stories in the Ultimate Universe is one of the things that kind of turns me off to them in general. Give the readers more story…not everything has to be four to six issues…things can happen in a shorter period of time so you don’t need to drag it out or condense it beyond making sense. Ultimate Fantastic Four 3: N-Zone is followed by Ultimate Fantastic Four 4:  Inhuman.

Related Links:

Ultimate Fantastic Four 1:  The Fantastic

Ultimate Fantastic Four 2:  Doom

Ultimate Fantastic Four 4:  Inhuman

Ultimate Fantastic Four 5:  Crossover

Ultimate Fantastic Four 8:  Devils

Ultimate Fantastic Four 10:  Ghosts

Ultimate Fantastic Four 11:  Salem’s Seven

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @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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