Fantastic Four: Visionaries, Volume 3, by John Byrne ISBN 0785116796
Five out of five stars
While statements like, “The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine” are often used in snippets of marketing hype, it was and always has been an accurate description of the Fantastic Four. This collection is a powerful argument for that position.
It contains stories from the mid 1980’s and the depth of the characters, the quality of the dialog and the interactions between the members of the FF and the actions of the supporting heroes all drive the events. The villains are all powerful and determined to do great harm, yet there is a story where the mighty Galactus is treated as a sympathetic figure.
The issues appearing in this collection are:
*) FF #251 – 257
*) Annual #17
*) Avengers #233
*) Thing #2
The stories are lengthy, told over several issues with some continuity even when a new story is started. Within the FF, there is the emphasis on family, when the FF are in the Neutral Zone and Alicia is watching young Franklin, they are captured and injured by the super villain Annihilus. This creates tension within the FF, yet they handle it like the loving, caring group they fundamentally are. Even mighty superheroes are capable of tender emotions for underneath their powers, they are people.