Saturday, March 26, 2011

FF #1

Jonathan Hickman & Steve Epting

Fantastic Four relaunched this week as FF in wake of team member Human Torch's death, FF standing for Future Foundation, something that Hickman introduced earlier in his run on the series. The first issue of this new direction for the team continues the grieving process for the team, as seen through the eyes of Spider-Man, the latest person to join the Future Foundation. We see Ben's guilt for not being the one to have died in Johnny's place, Franklin's reluctance to enjoy things he otherwise would have, making it clear to Peter in an awkward scene that his uncle can not be replaced. The Human Torch's death certainly had to be addressed at the beginning of this series, but it really made for a downer of a first issue, although Hickman did interject a little action into the issue through a breakout attempt initiated by A.I.M. to bring one of the Fantastic Four's villains back into the picture. Also, there was a really neat and shocking final scene. But overall, it was a really heavy issue. I know some people aren't too pleased with the new costumes for the team, but I rather like them. It would make sense for them to be made of unstable molecules in their line of work, and no one needs to worry that those crisp white uniforms will get dirty. Steve Epting brings another dimenstion to the book, and really shines when illsutrating The Thing in his big bulky glory, often positioning him to really crowd a panel and seem intimidating. FF #1 is paced nicely and looks gorgeous, but I hope with the amount of grieving in this first issue, that we can move on to really launching an exciting title with the next installment. The death of Johnny will hang over the title for a long time to come (probably until he's resurrected), but I'd like to see the team focus on moving on to the type of bright superhero comic that the team was made for (and that that first amazing variant cover depicts).

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