The Fantastic Four are falling apart.
Johnny is powerless and spiralling out of control in a party lifestyle and his friend Wyatt Wingfoot is seeking to help him.
Ben has been framed for murder and is being targeted in prison by She-Thing.
Sue went to Latveria to bring her daughter home but she decided to stay with Doctor Doom! Sue is convinced that her evil alter ego, Malice, is within her.
Reed is now working for John Eden's utopia project. He recently entered a battle with the Wizard and sent out an SOS - Scarlet Witch arrived!
|Executive Producer:||Alan Fine|
|Chief Creative Officer:||Joe Quesada|
|Editor In Chief:||Axel Alonso|
|Assistant Editor:||Emily Shaw|
|Cover Art:||Jesus Aburtov, Leonard Kirk|
|Lettering:||VC's Clayton Cowles|
Downtown Chicago: The Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff is happy to have helped Mr Fantastic/Reed Richards deal with The Wizard. As SHIELD tidy up, Reed ponders over how he can solve magical problems with science. He confesses to Wanda that he's lost his confidence and can't seem to do anything right. Wanda knows how he feels... and lets him know that thins will get better. She magically disappears leaving him standing alone.
New York: Wyatt Wingfoot meets with She Hulk/Jennifer Walters to discuss Johnny's behaviour. She agrees to help and they plan to move quickly. It's a good job, as someone is watching them!
In Ryker's Island, Ben Grimm/Thing heads for the showers. He is attacked by Vermin, Mountain Man, Man-Bull and Mandrill! Sandman appears and trips Man-Bull, saving Thing from a goring!
In New Eden, Reed loses his temper and smashes some equipment! His assistant, Cully, calms him down and announces a new project: a way of harnessing the natural kinetic energy produced by humans to produce electricity. Reed is called to the flight deck where he meets Sue Richards/Invisible Woman. She is floods of tears having left Valeria and realising that Malice (an evil version of Sue instilled by the Psycho-Man) is inside her and she wants to come out!
Wyatt travels through Manhattan in a taxi, calling Johnny as he does. Suddenly an archer stands in the road and shoots an arrow through the driver's head! The car flips and crashes! Wyatt crawls out and is shot by an arrow in the arm! He runs into an alley, determined to face his fate and die with pride. The archer tracks him down and stands ready to kill him when he is suddenly caked in webbing! The archer is slammed into the wall and Spider-Man appears! She-Hulk has called for him to meet Wyatt... just in time!
I had a funny feeling that Spider-Man would only appear on the last page as a terribly spoiled "surprise" appearance and lo and behold. Oh well.
Most of the issue reads fine, as an exploration of how the FF cast are currently functioning on their own and in their current states of predicament. There's some awkward characterisation surrounding |reed though. I probably just don't get it because I've leaping in mid-arc and mid-run, but his violent outburst seems out of character and strange that he's working for someone else when, in New Avengers, he is the absolute boffin.
Leonard Kirk delivers the greatest moment of the comic with utter drama and aplomb. Those final six pages look great, deliver a mystery threat I actually want to know more about next issue and sell the crash sequence without fault. The driving rain, use of light and the accompanying thought boxes create this great mood and makes this by far the stand out sequence in the book.
This is a written for trade paperback issue. I'm obviously interested in Spidey's increased involvement next issue but there are other slightly intriguing elements to the story that will draw me back in too.
I'm no Fantastic Four fan but the final six pages are great and we finally get Spidey!