FF #1

FF #1

A-

Fantastic Four? First Family? Future Foundation? All of these seem applicable in FF, the highly anticipated new series from Marvel, writer Jonathan Hickman and artist Steve Epting. A lot has been made about the fresh start for this group of heroes in the aftermath of the death of the Human Torch, and there’s certainly a lot about this book that feel fresh: new costumes, a new outlook on their mission and a surprising new member… and no, I’m not talking about Spider-Man.

Following the death of Johnny Storm, the Fantastic Four team refocuses their efforts on the future with the aid of the previously assembled ‘Future Foundation’—the group of genius children Reed Richards had assembled in his endeavour to solve everything. We also see the invitation extended to Peter Parker for Spider-Man to take the Human Torch’s place on the team. And another new face in the mix—well, not exactly new to anyone who’d read Hickman’s wonderful S.H.I.E.L.D. series—is the father of Reed Richards, Nathaniel, who is recently returned from his journeys through the timestream and definitely up to something with his granddaughter Valeria Richards.

And if all of that wasn’t enough, members of A.I.M. show up, plotting something big which gives our core team of heroes a chance to jump into action together for the first time. And this is good, as the Thing still blames himself for the death of Johnny and is eager for some action to take his mind off of the loss.

Hickman uses the new addition of Spider-Man to this family as conduit for new readers to get a rundown of what’s been happening inside the Baxter Building, as Parker gets shown the ropes new readers get filled in on some of the important details from Hickman’s run on Fantastic Four. In a lot of ways this issue feels like a fresh start for the Richards family and co., but several plot-points from the previous series still hang heavy over this new title, so much so in fact that I wonder just how easy it will be for new readers to be able to jump into what looks to be a very promising and entertaining series.

And as Spider-Man seems to be a perfect fit on this new title—a great hero as well as a genius—so does Steve Epting’s art fit right in with the story Jonathan Hickman is telling. Paul Mounts is no slouch either as his colors add a great sense of tone and depth to the interiors. All this and I haven’t even gotten to the great revelation on the last page… well, I’m not going to spoil that for you. But I will say, it’s quite intriguing.

tags: fantastic four, ff, jonathan hickman, spider-man, steve epting

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