March 26, 2011

Marvel Reviews: FF #1

FF #1
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Steve Epting
Cover: Marko Djurdjevic

“The Club“:  The Fantastic Four are undergoing changes since the death of family member Johnny Storm aka the Human Torch. The remaining members are now renamed “Future Force” and at the pre-recorded request of Johnny, Spider-Man has been asked to join the team. We also meet the various individuals aside from the team who now call the Baxter Building home, though Ben is feeling less than chatty as he’s still mourning the loss of his friend. During this time A.I.M. agents have set in motion their plan to break one of the Fantastic Four’s enemies free from captivity.

If I knew that Hickman was writing these characters this well there would have been a lot more Fantastic Four books in my collection. Aside from the FF member that died and The Thing, I’m not really too fond of the characters, but I found myself really enjoying this turning point in their lives. Hickman’s use of Susan Storm to acclimate Spider-Man along with the reader is perfect if you weren’t reading Fantastic Four on a consistent basis. Hickman is also able to take what could have easily just been one sad, brooding tale and found time to make you laugh, as it seems as if he’s one of the writers who gets that the FF are a family as well as a superhero team. From Reed’s banter with his father to the great scene at dinner where Franklin includes the beliefs or non beliefs of everyone at the table during grace, it was all just as good as the surprise appearance (at least to me) at the end of the issue.

Epting handles this issue pretty well regardless if it’s the fight scenes against A.I.M. or just the many calmer moments throughout the issue. I will say that his scenes with Ben in his room were actually some of the strongest just in terms of emotion. The new costumes also look good and I’ve liked them ever since the first pic was revealed to the public. Now, I understand that these costumes have the ability to change if the wearer concentrates, but that doesn’t explain the six legged spider on Peter’s chest. It only happened on one panel, so I hope it’s not one of the default settings Sue spoke of to Peter.

At first I thought this was going to be another attempt to just renumber a series for no reason. However, Hickman has Sue deliver a line to Peter that pretty much explains why they couldn’t have gone on as the Fantastic Four even with his joining. That pretty much convinced me that this will be something new all together, so hopefully Hickman keeps up with this level of quality, because FF #1 is a great set up issue for Marvel’s first family’s new direction!

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Infinite Speech