Written by James Robinson
Art by Leonard Kirk
Published by Marvel Comics
If any of you read my reviews of FF towards the end of Fraction and the Allred’s run, you should know that the characters in the FF family are very near and dear to my heart. I hold these books to a very high standard because so many of the series’ predecessors set the bar by blending adventure and a very unique brand of humor. Needless to say, I was beyond thrilled when Marvel announced that the family would be making their triumphant returns with a fresh, new All-New Marvel NOW! title.
In the opening pages of this issue we’re given a monologue delivered by none other than the Invisible Woman herself, Sue Storm. It would appear that the Fantastic Four, in present time, are in a world of trouble. Reed is a broken man, the Thing is imprisoned for a crime that someone closest to him testified against him in court for, and Johnny is a lost soul wandering the Earth trying to find salvation at the bottom of a liquor bottle. We rewind the clock back to our team, now sporting red costumes, are fighting Fing Fang Foom in an epic battle for Manhattan. Reed is flabbergasted at Fing’s erratic behavior and there are still a ton of question this issue leaves on the table to be answered. What exactly has happened to the Fantastic Four that’s left them all so broken? Will they be able to bounce back? Why the red costumes?! (Joking of course! Robinson has already said there’s reasoning behind the new costumes!)
As I said before, I was hugely excited for this title. I loved how quirky the Matt Fraction run was and I while I didn’t expect this to be the exact same; I was a little disappointed at how dark it seemed. Reed Richards once said, “Less action, more adventure!” The Fantastic Four, in my mind, should embody that quote in all of their books. This book, unfortunately, fell a bit short of that for me. If this book was about any other team, I would’ve really liked it. Since it was about the FF though, I have a mixed bag of feelings towards it. James Robinson has definitely hooked me in for a few issues to see where this story is going because it’s definitely interesting; I just found it a bit too dark for a story involving these characters! I’m definitely awarding him bonus points for the cameo of the Future Foundation though! Damn…I miss FF! For all of the darkness though, there were some really great human moments as well. Ben’s page or so with Alicia was really touching and I’d definitely like to see more interaction like that throughout this series.
Leonard Kirk’s art in this book is pretty good, but I don’t really like his model of Johnny. Aside from that one hang up, which might end up growing on me, this book looks really good. I really enjoy the model they used for Thing. He really looked like he could go up against Fing Fang Foom and come out on top just by himself! The big battle sequences looked really great and I think that the art will continue to improve as long as this story moves along!
Maybe my expectations were too high for this book or maybe James Robinson just had really big shoes to fill after Fraction when he decided to take on this series, but it didn’t live up to the hype I had in my mind for it. That’s not to say it wasn’t really good though, it’s definitely a book worth checking out for anyone who enjoys the FF as much as I do. While it may be a bit too dark, Robinson has definitely sparked my intrigue with this storyline being told from the past working its way up to present time and I’ll be sticking with it for an arc at least!
3.5 out of 5 nerds