The Ultimate Fantastic Four are in a battle with the Serpent Squad. Things are going pretty well until Ben is hit and a chunk of his rock-skin falls to the ground (Or, if you want Reed's technical term, Ben undergoes "epidermal shedding"). After mopping up the rest of the squad, SHIELD come in and arrest them. Meanwhile, Ben is obviously worried about what is happening to him and Sue speculates that it could be the start of a secondary mutation. Reed promises Ben that he will fix it.
Later, Reed is making a presentation to Nick Fury at SHIELD. He wants $22million to build portals to other dimensions - starting with the N-Zone. Fury says he's not interested and that there are too many other things on SHIELD's plate. Reed wants to go it alone but is reminded of the Butterfly Effect. Reed says it was a shite movie anyway and that Ashton Kutcher couldn't act his way out of a paper bag. Actually he replies that not exploring other dimensions is also causing a different type of butterfly effect and wants to go it alone. Fury warns him off.
Back at the Baxter Building, Reed is doing what he was expressly told not to. Naughty boy. Meanwhile, the other FF members are examining action figures of themselves. There is a rumble above them and, while Sue holds off the debris, the Squadron Supreme appear.
Spidey watch: Well, Spidey fans, your only view of the webbed one is on the cover of this bad boy.
This issue is typical Bendis - a padded story that could've been wrapped up in half the time. That said, it does flow pretty well, despite it being centred entirely around the FF.
Greg Land has been criticised by many for 'tracing' and using lightboxes but there can be no doubting how lovely his pages look - suspicions about his style or not. His Reed is marvellously elastic, his Johnny terrifically youthful, his Sue gorgeous and Ben looks wonderfully rocky.
All in, it's a bit of a slow start but not a bad one.
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