The Torch is dead. Spidey is replacing the Torch. There has been a rebranding to FF and an expansion of the 'family'. Last issue Val and Reed's dad convinced Reed to let Doom join the family...
|Executive Producer:||Alan Fine|
|Chief Creative Officer:||Joe Quesada|
|Editor In Chief:||Alex Alonso|
|Associate Editor:||Lauren Sankovitch|
|Inker:||Rick Maygar, Steve Epting|
|Cover Art:||Daniel Acuna, Greg Horn, Marko Djurdjevicx|
|Lettering:||VC's Russ Wooton|
The issue opens with the Thing not being very happy about Doom joining the team. Val and Nathaniel Ricards try to convince the Thing that it's a "keep your friends close and your enemies closer" type of thing. None of the reasoning sounds very convincing. Things are tense and Sue threatens to pop a few bubbles inside Doom's brain if he causes trouble...
Now I haven't read all of Hickman's run and so far he has done a really bad job of catching up new readers. Even the summary page is absolutely no help! But, as far as I can tell, in a previous storyline, Sue must have damaged Doom's brain to defeat him. The rest of this issue is about restoring Doom to full capacity, I'm assuming to help with whatever, yet to be revealed danger that Val knows about. They figure out that Doom backed up his brain into a clone, who is back in Latveria (when this happened, I wouldn't have a clue, since yet again, it is not explained) and that they can use this to restore Doom. So that's what they do and Doom is restored! Yay!
Meanwhile, the Thing and Sue hang out a bar feeling dissillusioned with what is going on and pondering what their place is in the new FF...
After an okay start to the series, this issue really takes a dive. Most of the time I am okay with jumping into a series and not knowing all of the background details. Normally there are clues or some sort of explanation. And Marvel have these helpful summary pages that are supposed to give important information. But, this issue introduces a couple of things that obviously rely on knowledge of prior issues of the former Fantastic Four series and there is no explanation or clue given whatsoever! It is extremely painful, particularly considering this is issue two of said series. I think it's ridiculous that I am buying a reboot series that is really just a continuation of a previous volume of the Fantastic Four! I have read some of Hickman's beginning stories on Fantastic Four and enjoyed them. But this issue makes me not only want to drop the book, but also avoid Hickman's work like the plague! Seriously, it's not hard to drop a bit of exposition into the word balloons, a couple of flashback panels or use the summary page at the beginning of the issue for what it's there for!
There are other things to complain about to do with the plot line and what is revealed. And it is funny that the Thing really embodies the frustration and anger that I felt as a reader and his ending revealation concluding that he doesn't think he should stick around, is verty fitting. Really, there are other super smart people around that the FF could go to besides Doom, having him 'restored' and joining the team makes no sense. Trusting in Val so blindly also seems to be a bit of stretch. So she's smart, but that doesn't mean she's always right or trustworthy. I know Reed has his faults, but surely he could think through this situation a bit better.
There are some redeeming features. Spidey show his smarts and making a contribution is pretty cool and justisfies him being part of this team. Sue and Ben's reactions ring true. The art is okay too.
So many faults...