FANTASTIC FOUR #2: Kids Grow Up So Fast

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Dan Slott and Sara Pichelli dive into what the Future Foundation have been up to all this time. Fantastic Four #2 is the reunion we’ve been waiting for, but is it in a hurry to get somewhere?

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Superhero comics work best when the creators can have fun simply playing around with the different rules. Little moments like Molecule Man changing their coffee from Colombian blend into Sumatra insure that it’s not always serious and drab to be a member of the Fantastic Four.

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The scenes where these god-like explorers are completely human are what makes this book believable. Dan Slott seems to have his finger on the pulse of Fantastic Four‘s strengths. At the heart and soul of every great FF story is the family element and it’s a heart that’s pumping proudly here.

Franklin Richards is applying the game No Man’s Sky‘s concept to reality, playing god to a whole new batch of universes. The idea of the Richards family giving back to the multiverse by expanding it is a sweet sentiment in the most Reed Richards way.

Seeing Val flirt with a boy is like when you see your younger cousins after a few years and are shell-shocked by how they’ve grown. The kids are starting to grow up a little bit, it’ll be an adjustment for both readers and Richards alike. The kids are sure to provide plenty of future development moments–especially with their uncle Ben.

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The Griever At The End Of All Things comes out of nowhere as a brand-new antagonist. She’s got a great design, complete with a bad-ass ship and walking-butthole henchman! I really enjoy her calling everybody “ephemerals.”

There’s something missing in the script’s pacing or layout, the gravity of her arrival (and death of Molecule Man) doesn’t feel as grand as it probably should. She’s hellbent on undoing all the Future Foundation’s multiversal patchwork. The action starts rolling without giving this awesome threat the time of day.

As much as I love seeing Sara Pichelli draw every major character that Marvel has, I feel a bit shortchanged that Reed’s solution was to just summon every hero and their mother. However, the next issue will probably be a beautiful fight followed by a heartfelt welcome home by all of the 616’s heavy hitters–that could be pretty great.

However, even if that’s the case it seems like this story is in a rush to get there at the expense of what appears to be a really interesting villain. Only time will tell, the next issue could make me eat my words–I hope it does.

Slott seems to be in a rush to get things back to normal for the Fantastic Four as quickly as possible. That would usually be welcomed, but in the FF’s case it’s too much to sweep under the rug.

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The “first family” has been off the board for too long to just get back to basics. Chip Zdarsky’s brillaint Marvel Two-In-One has been showing us the heavy toll the Future Foundation’s absence has taken on Ben, Johnny, and the world. To not dig into that from Reed and Sue’s perspective would be a disservice to the creators who have crafted great stories out of the absence of the Fantastic Four.

These are all opinions based on assumptions made from reading just the second issue of Fantastic Four. All of those concerns aside, it still feels really great to have this title back in our hands. Long live the FF!

Sara Pichelli’s artwork is stunning. Every new species and environment that Franklin cooks up is very much it’s own. The beating heart of this family is felt through every emote and action the members make. Pichelli makes her characters do some major “acting” and doesn’t shy away from spectacular action sequences.

I have an issue with the “4” font on the new FF uniforms. There are a few panels where they look like a straight-up lightning bolt “S,” similar to Ms. Marvel. At least they aren’t wearing red! Other than that, the redesign is slick and modernized just enough.

Colorist Marte Gracia uses a diverse palette of colors to bring these different universes to life. There’s an extra layer of life and emotion in our character’s faces thanks to Gracia as well as an added layer of menace to our new adversary. Letterer Joe Caramagna keeps us from losing our place in the pages with heavier amounts of dialogue from multiple Future Foundation members.

Fantastic Four #5 is a solid read, albeit one that raises questions and concerns. Dan Slott has a great handle on each character individually, his vision for the bigger picture remains to be seen. Sara Pichelli does wonders ushering the first family into a new era.

Similar to how Reed and Sue feel about their kids growing up too fast, FF #2’s pace could be problematic for those looking to take their time with our long lost Fantastic Four members.

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Brandon J. Griffin - Comic Book Critic
New Jersey scum who worships comic books like religious literature. Yell at me on Twitter @griffunk


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