I had a hunch the Fantastic Four were coming back ever since Chip Zdarsky hinted at the first family coming back together with his Marvel Two-in-One storyline. Then Marvel revealed it was happening in August. Spoilers, guys! One can only assume Zdarsky is on a quest to reveal how Thing and Human Torch find their Sue and Reed Richards, but at this point, who cares? They’re in a fight to stop Galactus Doctor Doom!
So what’s it about?
Read the preview.
Why does this matter?
Zdarsky has our heroes on a mission that has taken them to another world where Reed Richards is a failed hero who is depressed, Thing is dead, and Doctor Doom is Galactus. Need I say more?
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Good thing he’s bendy.
This story pushes the Thing and Reed relationship hard as Thing refuses to believe this dimension’s version of Reed could give up. Given the entire universe is gone (Doom has eaten all the planets) one can imagine why he’s in a malaise, but dammit they are heroes. Zdarsky hits at the core of why Ben Grimm is such a great hero and it’s because he has such a big heart. This version of Reed goes through an arc of his own, in part because of a certain character popping up, and it’s another reminder of how good Reed Richards can be if written well.
The Elseworlds tale takes it to the max here with some major alternate dimension heroes popping up (complete with cool new costumes) and some interesting twists on how things have gone. Sue Storm as the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. is just one of the fun nuggets Zdarsky introduces here.
Dan Slott is going to be in good hands when Valerio Schiti joins him on Iron Man in June, which is obvious after seeing his beautiful pages in this issue. Be it how cool he can make Reed as he wraps around Thing, or how haunting the Galactus Doom looks on the last page, you’ll be in awe of his imagery. The character acting is on point and the splashy superhero pages look gorgeous too.
Did he just kick him in the nuts?
It can’t be perfect can it?
It’s becoming quite clear Thing is the main character of this story arc as Human Torch is relegated to subplot status. He’s more of an observer when it comes to the actions taken in scenes and ultimately serves as a reminder the heroes are depowering by being apart from each other. It’s not a huge loss, but it’d be nice to have every family member get more to do or say.
Is It Good?
This is the strongest chapter in the story yet. It not only raises the stakes, but offers up plenty of psychosomatic scenes between Reed, Thing, and others. It also drops a heaping dose of superhero awesomeness with heroic splash pages and fun twists.