Fantastic Force #3 Review: A Huge Ego

Hey, everyone… Here is second review for this week. This time it is the limited series, Fantastic Force.  Hope you enjoy it.

Fantastic Force #3 cover Fantastic Force #3 (preview | thread)
Writer: Joe Ahearne
Pencilers: Steve Kurth
Inkers: Serge LaPointe and Allen Martinez

SPOILERS BELOW…

RECAP: The issue starts with the team in chaos. Ultron is in pieces and Logan awakes while Psionics fights the Hysteries. Logan recognizes Wanda and Polaris but it is Dark Phoenix that throws him. Logan wants to retreat immediately but the others are not sure until Natalie X feels the power of Jean and screams for them to leave.

Banner wakes up, still bonded to Harpy, as the other two women attack. Psionics takes a shot at Polaris while Wanda blasts Banner and reduces him to his human self. Jean takes Natalie while the others flee to the hospital taking Banner and Harpy with them in their human forms. Logan interrogates Harpy by slashing Banner’s throat and having him patched up.

Natalie is fighting a psionic battle with Jean who is attempting to convert her. Phoenix allows Natalie to take control of Polaris and Wanda to prove her superiority.

Meanwhile Alex Ultron has repaired himself and the group goes to the Castle building for answers. They discover their real foe is Gaea, the Spirit of Earth who wants at least some of her people back in the future. They debate their options but are attacked before they can decide. Logan is burned down to his skeleton, Alex is wiped of his personality and Psionics has metal earth shoved down her throat.

Lightwave realizes he is immune to Gaea’s attention due to his alien nature and counterattacks blasting the Harpy who is going after Banner. This allows the team a moment to regroup. Banner figures out what brought the women there and is able to counter it. Lorna attacks him with Logan’s skeleton but stabs Castle instead. Banner finishes his device and sends the Hysteries back to their times. They take Logan back to heal but he is not adding any flesh. We see Gaea trying to tempt him and it is her suppressing his power but Logan refuses to help her.

Natalie and Ultron try to reconnect but he is simply a robot now without emotions. Gaea attempts to influence Natalie but she is not swayed. Lightwave flies off and Logan’s skeleton breaks free of his healing bath just in time to see a new threat emerge. Ego the Living Planet.

MY TAKE: This issue was nearly as good as the entire series has been, although it is starting to feel rather rushed. They cut down the series’ issue count and you can feel it here. Events are thrown at you so fast that it can be confusing and hard to follow at times. And yet it is still an entertaining and well put together story.

The plot is simple survival at this point not just for the team but for all the people that they saved from the future. They are out matched from the very beginning but they manage to fight back in interesting and unique ways. As much as I like Logan, I would be hard pressed to pick a true stand out in the issue. Everyone gets a moment or two and pretty much everyone pays a price. I particularly liked how the non-powered Banner stepped up and managed to figure out the solution.

You tend to forget that this is an alternate future group and there were rather surprising, potentially long term, consequences for most of the team. Outside of maybe Lightwave and Psionics, pretty much everyone else has been changed by the end. It is the twists and turns that make it such a page turner for me.The characters are all interesting and mostly likable. I wanted to see what happened to them and I was dismayed by how much they suffered.

The ultimate villain was something of a surprise but it makes sense. I can see Gaea going insane with the destruction or desertion of all life on Earth. It will be interesting to see how it all falls out with her next issue.

My biggest complaint, besides the rushed nature,  is the power differences. The team is really fighting people that are way beyond them and making it work. If they manage to survive Ego, I do not see what else could really be a challenge for them. It will make it hard to have believable stories should the team continue.

The art is not amazing but it is more then adequate for the task. It too felt a bit rushed and some of the panels lacked detail especially in the backgrounds. Still it works fine for the story and did not really detract for me.

In the end this is another solid issue but it would have been better if it had been given more space. This is a sprawling epic of a story and it is only being given a few issues to be told in. I hope they make another series and this time give it the time and space it deserves. Until then I am eagerly awaiting the conclusion next month.

Thanks for reading my review for Wolverine Files. I will be keeping to this format for the most part but please keep the comments coming and I will see everyone again next week.

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