Fantastic Four: Isla de la Muerte! #1 (Marvel Comics)
by Tom Beland & Juan Doe
Ever since Randy Lander, my one-time website partner at The Fourth Rail and other previous online publications, introduced me to Tom Beland’s True Story, Swear to God, I’ve been a huge fan of Beland’s work, and we’ve been lucky enough to see him flex his creative muscles beyond his own wonderful, autobiographical comic. Isla de la Muerte is one such occasion. Those who have read Beland’s creator-owned work are well aware of his love for Marvel’s classic characters, and it shines through in this cute, entertaining story. Beland’s script harkens back to the Silver Age charm of the title characters. He even incorporates references to classic Lee/Kirby FF stories, but the tone of the script remains accessible; the reader isn’t required to know the ins and outs of FF history to appreciate what’s being said. Beland also brings a quality to the storytelling that will appeal to all ages, not just the die-hard, longtime FF fan. The love for Puerto Rico and the environmental message in this book are pretty heavy handed, but I have to admit I was intrigued by all of the information about the former aspect of the one-shot.