Fantastic Four: a novelization of the screenplay
Reviewed: October 19, 2005
By: Peter David
Publisher: Pocket Star Books
369 pages, $10.50
So why did I bother to buy a novelization
of the summerís hit superhero movie once I had already seen the film (and
enjoyed it immensely, by the way)?
Well, I was trapped in a Calgary shopping
mall with my wife and my female cousin, so I had a lot of time on my hands.
More importantly, however, were the
variables of the writer and the script. In order to coincide with the release
time of the movie, these books are usually based on an earlier draft of the
script, often one that contains scenes and information that didnít get into
the shooting script, or that ended up on the editing room floor. In other
words, thereís often more of the story.
As for the writer, Peter David has
a lot of credibility in this area. Heís scripted most of the major characters
in both the Marvel Comics and DC Comics universes, and written a ton of Star
Trek and Babylon 5 novels. Heís really good at one comic creator John Byrne
calls playing in other peoplesí sand boxes.
That doesnít mean that he buries his
creative talent in paint-by-number exercises. David has a wicked sense of
humour, as well as a deep knowledge of the Marvel universe. While I canít
recall that heís ever scripted the Fantastic Four, he clearly did his research.
The Ben, Reed, Johnny and Sue in the
movie are not quite the ones in the original magazine. They seemed to owe
more to the the Heroes Reborn and Ultimate FF versions in a lot of ways, but
they had the flavour of the originals and David has kept that in his rendition
of the script. He foreshadows the cosmic transformation well, and shows the
subtle madness that overtakes the Victor von Doom character better than the
As these things go, Peter Davidís version
of the movie was a superior example of the genre.