Writing - 8.8/10
Art - 8.8/10
Overall - 8.8/10
User Review( votes)
Fantastic Four: Grimm Noir #1
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Ron Garney
Colorist: Matt Milla
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Maturity Rating: Teen
Release Date: February 26, 2020
Nightmares haunt Ben Grimm’s slumbering hours, but when those nightmares become real, it is time for The Thing to solve the mystery of what is haunting him.
“Long Road” Fantastic Four: Grimm Noir #1
I mean, with a cover like this, you can’t expect me not to pick up Fantastic Four: Grimm Noir #1. Something about Ben Grimm, the ever-loving blue-eyed Thing in a trench coat and fedora hat, gets me! It is time for detective Ben Grimm to hit Yancy Street to solve a mystery. But this is not your usual noir story; no, something has been haunting the Thing’s dreams, awakening him at night and troubling his waking hours. What does the villain D’Spayre have to do with Ben’s dream and, now, a missing neighbor? Usually, this is Dr. Strange’s territory, but Ben Grimm has never shied away from a mystery or a fight.
Gerry Duggan pens this odd mystery one-shot in Fantastic Four: Grimm Noir #1. Now, we all know I love me a one-shot story, and Gerry Duggan delivers a delightful one. I like that the story itself was completely different from what I was expecting. It is not our typical type noir story. It has got all the tropes, but Duggan brings us into a bit of a mystical/fantasy realm with D’Spayre as the main antagonist.
Fantastic Four: Grimm Noir #1 is an excellent fun mystery story on its own, but Duggan delivers a wonderful introspective look into Ben Grimm. Duggan makes it as much of a character piece about The Thing as he does a mystery story. The Thing has always been one of my favorite characters since childhood, and I loved seeing Duggan add more layers to his rocky hide. The Thing is already a pretty layered character through the years, and Duggan does a great job of building upon those blocks and adding something new as well.
Duggan also put him against a villain type that we don’t see him go against much. He plays with that concept well through the issue. Duggan also paces this one-shot issue well. He slowly develops the mystery and the happenings and lets the reader fully engulf themselves in the story.
I don’t know if there is a better artist to tackle a noir type story than Ron Garney. I loved his work on Daredevil; his thick, textured lines and rougher-looking character work fits perfectly for the type of hero Daredevil is, and it works perfectly for Fantastic Four: Grimm Noir #1. There are a ton of gripping images throughout the issue. The opening dream sequence is dazzling to look at. The characters, the perspective—it is just a wonderful visual. You can check it out here on the preview pages.
Garney also brings that noir vibe to the issue as well. The angles he uses to visually direct the story and his different layouts all help build the mystery up and bring the story to life. I love his different plays with perspective throughout the issue and how we see and perceive what is happening. It all changes throughout the issue, as well, keeping the reader on their toes.
Matt Milla also does a tremendous job on the coloring work. He not only catches that wonderful, monochrome, black-and-white noir feel with his colors, but also delivers some splendid visualizations in different dream sequences. Switching between the noir mystery and the fantasy type dream is captured perfectly by the art team.
If you are a fan of noir type stories or a fan of Ben Grimm then you really have no excuse not to pick up Fantastic Four: Grimm Noir #1. It is a great one-shot story that will keep you engaged throughout. The whole creative team all work excellently together to deliver this story, and it is a story that takes some nice twists and turns along the way, as well.
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