Matt Fraction and Karl Kesel co-write this book that is really two books within one. First, we have our familiar FF running around a post apocalyptic future. This storyline is introduced in a clever re-telling of the beginning of the arc. By letting us see one more page of what we had previously seen before, and then slamming Dr. Doom and his invading army into that scene gives the book a great dose of energy. Although, this future storyline has more creativity and action then all of Age of Ultron, it serves little purpose to the overall issue.
The main storyline deals with the team’s powers being on the fritz. Their powers are not working properly, and it’s having life altering consequences for them. These scenes help give the book a great sense of drama and dread. Imagine having this ability that you have depended on for 60 plus “fictional” years, and now it’s not working. It would drive you crazy. A person would be quite scared in this situation. Let’s just say that no scenes in this book deal or explore that issue.
It has been previously announced that Matt Fraction is leaving this title at issue 16. That fact is painfully obvious in these pages as you can tell Fraction doesn’t want to go. I guess the allure of writing Inhumanity was just too much. Or maybe Joe Quesada backed up the elusive dump truck full of money to his house to write that title. Either way, Fraction is pouring so many ideas and plots into this book now, and the pages are overflowing.
Both of these storylines could have been and should have been on their own. Being lumped together into one issue waters down the potency of each idea. The Fantastic Four‘s powers degrading them and killing them is a powerful idea. I just wish it was given the proper room to breathe.
For a comic that has the words “The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine” on the cover, this book comes no where close to claiming that prize. It will be curious to see how much more plot is crammed down our throat before Fraction’s departure. Although, I am excited for James Robinson’s upcoming run, I do wish Fraction would have just handed over the reigns to co-writer Karl Kesel. Let him run with the book.
The Fantastic Four has always been about crossing into that brave, new frontier. It’s a book that can lead and carry the entire Marvel Universe. That’s why it’s sad when it comes up lacking.