Inter-dimensional Reeds trying to destroy the world. The Mole-Man and some Old Atlantians joining the Evil Reeds in their fun. The Inhumans (with the Universal Inhumans), some of the FF's rogues gallery and the High Evolutionary thrown to into the mix. And it all comes together this issue in the Forever City of the High Evolutionary.
The FF and their allies (including regular villains Diablo, the Wizard, Mad Thinker, Doom and the High Evolutionary) travel to the Forever City and battle the Evil Reeds and their allies, with the aim of turning off the Ascension Engine there. The battle isn't going particularly well, then things take a turn. The Inhumans enter the battle. Doom is betrayed and attacked by Diablo and the Mad Thinker. And Medusa (with Lockjaw) removes Reed from the field against his will for an audience with Black Bolt in Attilan.
Meanwhile, back at the Baxter building, Val had been locked in her room so she wouldn't get in trouble. She is trying to escape, but unsuccessfully. Bentley uses a blow torch to free her...
I recently read all of Hickman's Fantastic Four run leading up to the FF series. It was on sale on Comixology, 99c an issue, bargain! I was hoping that reading the issues would help illuminate the events of the FF and fill in some much needed back story. I can say that they were much more enjoyable than the FF run so far and that some things were a bit clearer. The origin of the Evil Reeds is there, as well as how most of the FF came to be part of the team. Some things that have been bothering me with FF run are not explained though. The exact danger that the Reeds represent is still not really clarified. Neither are the motivations of Reed's Dad or future Val and Franklin. In fact this issue seems to muddy to waters even further... I can handle not knowing the motivations of some characters and things not filled in to a certain extent, as long as there's a pay off coming and it doesn't make things a mess. But it's just way overboard here. The whole purpose of the series so far seems to be avoid an undefined horrible future brought about by the Reeds. Wrapped up in this Nathaniel Richards from the future and Val and Franklin's future counterparts, all of whom have very vague and ill-defined motivations. Then there's the Inhumans motivations which are some vague prophecy that is never mentioned... there are just too many things that are unclear!
There is even hints this issue that maybe the FF have it all wrong. Maybe Nathaniel Richards is the bad guy, maybe the Evil Reeds aren't even evil, maybe what they're making isn't even a weapon (hinted at when Doom questions one of the Reeds about the machine).
Besides these significant annoyances, this issue has some great action and is less dense overall. The art is also crisp and clearly portrays some very busy scenes. Spidey even has a bit to do this issue.
8 issues in and still waiting for things to make sense... this is getting old.