This issue opens on two awesome double page spreads of the Inhumans invading the High Evolutionary’s Forever City. Steve Epting’s art here is staggeringly good. Black Bolt, and his floating kingdom of Attillan, storm the Forever City in a burst of Kirby dots. These double page spreads show the beginning of a war between Kirby armies that had me excited to turn the page. This issue is bringing together story lines that Hickman has been seeding since the beginning of his run on Fantastic Four in 2009, and I’d recommend this comic if you’ve been following the series or if you like to see classic Kirby concepts engaged in all out war.
Following the Inhuman invasion of Forever City, Hickman cuts to Susan Storm as she confronts her husband and his father ,Nathaniel Richards. This type of family scene is what Hickman excels at; despite the constant barrage of sci-fi ideas, like the fact that Reed’s father is from the future or that they are currently warding off an attack of several alternate universe Mr. Fantastics, Hickman is very good at giving these conversations the atmosphere of a family quarrel.
Reed and Spider-Man head to Forever City with a group of the FF’s smartest villains. This team up between the FF and Dr. Doom, Mad Thinker, Wizard, High Evolutionary, and Diablo is one of the cooler ideas of Hickman’s run. This “Council of Doom” is a necessary evil to defeat a team of malignant Reed Richards; after all, who is better equipped to kill evil Mr. Fantastics than people who have been trying to kill him for decades? Reed and Spider-Man arrive with the Council of Doom at the site of what I’m calling the Kirby War, and they split up to deal with the myriad problems they’re facing. One minor quibble I had with this scene is that there appears to be a typo. When Spider-Man asks if they should have kept an eye on the murderous madmen they’re trusting to help them save the world, Reed answers, “I thought of that, but the odds of one of them turning on us was statistically significant.” Shouldn’t it be “statistically insignificant”?
Minor spelling editing errors aside, I thought that this was an enjoyable issue of FF. It brings together the many story lines that Hickman has been seeding since the start of his run, and this issue concludes in a way that suggests that the next issue will see the final showdown between the FF, the Council of Doom, the Inhumans, Forever City, and the team of alternate Reed Richards. That’s a battle that I can’t miss, and I recommend both this issue and the next.