Fantastic Four #11: The Humanity of Benjamin J. Grimm 5

Fantastic Four #11, page 5, panels 2-3

Fantastic Four #11, page 5, panels 2-3

Fantastic Four #11, page 5, panel 4

Fantastic Four #11, page 5, panel 4

Script: Stan Lee

Art: Jack Kirby

Inking: Dick Ayers

Lettering: Art Simek

It’s about time we had a frivolous yet tantalising glimpse of Ben Grimm’s human form, so let’s have one!

I’ve been so busy listing tropes that I’ve not really talked about what’s been going these past few pages. Well, I use the listing excuse, but the real reason is that not very much is going on. The first 11 pages of Fantastic Four #11 are devoted to a fluffy piece of filler. Basically, the team go shopping and answer some fan mail. Charming, but filler nonetheless.

This is really shown by these few pages, in which Reed randomly rubs Ben with a lotion, turning him human for a few pages before he turns back. There’s no plot function served by this. Ben smiles a bit, reminisces about how he and his friends got their nutty powers, the turns back when the clock strikes midnight.

However, all of this can be forgiven, because we get some glorious Kirby artwork here. I love both of the “in-between” shots of Ben. Previously, Kirby’s given us static headshots to show the transformation, but here, you can clearly see the emotion on Ben’s face as he changes. The surprise at what’s happening, the scepticism as to whether it’ll last or not. The art is telling us so much more than the dialogue, and that’s how it should be!

Check out our coverage of Fantastic Four #11 on our ninth episode: Episode 9 – Patriotic Pedestrians Proceeding from Planet Poppup Prefer Poorly Produced Podcasts!

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