Talk to any comic book fan who has enjoyed the “Fantastic Four,” “Flash,” “Spider-Man,” “Tellos,” or any other of a myriad titles touched by Mike Wieringo and I guarantee, each and every one of them will tell you they wish Mike Wieringo was still alive. Wieringo had a style unique from virtually every other talent in the comic book industry. The closest I’ve seen anyone come to a similar style is Tim Levins (currently on “Family Dynamic”). Wieringo’s characters had an energy and dynamic all their own.
This issue is the story Mike was working on when he passed. Marvel made an agreement with the Hero Initiative to see the book get finished and for the book to be available through the Hero Initiative website.
The story follows the Fantastic Four from the era of “Fantastic Four” #347-349, when the foursome was represented by the Hulk (in gray), Ghost Rider (Danny Ketch), Wolverine, and Spider-Man, as originally rendered by Art Adams.
Jeff Parker provides a fun “What If. . . ?” story that would have played perfectly to all of Wieringo’s sensibilities and strengths, from the appearance by Doom to the secret identity conversations between the new FF. Beyond that, this issue is filled with reflections of ‘Ringo from those who knew him best, his colleagues, peers and friends.
The issue offers not only the last few pages Mike Wieringo had the time to draw for us, but also efforts from his friends, peers and admirers. Mike’s work graces seven pages of a 27-page story, but the rest of the story is rounded out by artists like Art Adams, Stuart Immonen, Alan Davis, Cully Hamner, Mike Allred, Barry Kitson and many more. An eclectic visual spectacle is the end result, but it is a spectacle to enjoy. These artists stepped up in their own tribute, many accepting page rates of $1 to carry on the task in the name of their fallen comrade.
A fitting tribute to the sense of adventure and the bounce that Mike Wieringo brought to comics, this book is sure to find a place in the hearts of any fan of Mike Wieringo. Add to that the fact that the Hero Initiative is in some way benefiting from this title and you simply cannot go wrong.