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Fantastic Four #570

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Fantastic Four #570

Credits

  • Words: Jonathan Hickman
  • Art: Dale Eaglesham
  • Colors: Paul Mounts
  • Story Title: Solve Everything Part One
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Aug 20, 2009

Jonathan Hickman would like to reintroduce us to the world's greatest superheroes.

Much has been made of Jonathan Hickman. His early self produced work at Image Comics was a revelation to those who read them. No one, not even Alan Moore, was using the medium to its full potential. Hickman introduced us to graphic stories that could excite us, educate us, expand our mind. They were the pinnacle of comics as an art form. Entertaining but so much more.

When he came to Marvel, it was to be an exciting time. The new god of comics was gracing the world of Spider-Man. While Secret Warriors is a solid comic and much more than many other superhero books on the stands, it lacked something. Compared to Pax Romana or The Nightly News it seemed light. And Dark Reign: Fantastic Four was not the revelation we hoped it would be. Were his fans just going to be satisfied with the flow charts that periodically grace the back of his work? Would his wild sense of design become eye candy in the background?

When you open this book to the recap page, you are assaulted by the graphic design that the author is known for. Then you turn the page again and see some of the most astonishing art of Eaglesham’s career.  To this reader’s mind, this is the fantastic art I would have thought should be in Dark Tower, but that aside, the flashback sequence here is astonishing from a design standpoint to the richness of the pencil work to the quality Mounts gives it in distinguishing it from the current story a few pages later.

After the brief flashback that gives the reader some insight into Reed’s drive, the reader is thrust into the middle of a battle. The world’s greatest superheroes are fighting what appear to be some kind of sentry like robot, but instead of being designed to take out mutants, these things are designed to take out a specific member of Richards’ team.

This is followed by some good character work that shows the Four as a family. Sure, we know they are a family, but even when Millar put them in the Baxter Building, there was something bigger about their existence. Only Hickman could realize that the best way to show them as a family is to make them act like a family. Show them cooking dinner, show them reading bedtime stories and planning vacations. That is what normal families do.

And just when it might all start to be boring, just when the reader may be like, great, Millar couldn’t do it and neither can Hickman, wham, the last quarter of the book happens with a big time storyline starting. The revelation of the 101st idea from the aftermath of the Civil War, to what waits on the other side of the bridge. This is big idea stuff. The kind of stuff readers expect from the creator of Red Mass for Mars. One wonders if it will turn out well. There is a gnawing in the back of the head that is reminiscent of the "Crossover" story from Ultimate Fantastic Four. You know, the one that created an alternate universe for Robert Kirkman to play in. The one that spawned 3 sequels and a few spin off books. The one that most recently invaded the 616 under the pen of Fred Van Lente.

Eaglesham doesn’t quite give the rest of the book that glow that is present in those first few pages and the design steps back a bit as well, but this is still a good looking book. Hopefully, solid art will keep those unaware of Hickman’s wunderkind status onboard after Hitch leaves. He shows that he is just as capable of handling the action and the domestic life of the Fantastic Four as the scribe is.

The recap page says that the Fantastic Four is "A team-and a family- of adventurers, explorers and imaginauts, the Fantastic Four lead lives both ordinary-and extraordinary." Hickman and team do that with just as much flair as Millar and Hitch did in their debut issue. Let’s hope this time, the new creative team can keep it up and give us the kind of run that Jack Kirby and Stan Lee can be proud of.

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Comments

  • ripsterling

    ripsterling Aug 24, 2009 at 11:27am

    I was a bit dissapointed in Dark Reign: FF and didn't much care for his Image work, I'll give him another chance on my fave Superhero family. Oh man, Reed looks buff.

  • Steve Kanaras

    Steve Kanaras Aug 27, 2009 at 5:50pm

    I didn't know what to think of this. The family stuff was ok, but do families really do their family stuff in blue jumpsuits? There were some kernels of good stuff here. A council of alternate Earth Reed Richards'? That's dangerous Crisis territory. Wait this is Marvel? uh oh.

  • Lee Newman

    Lee Newman Aug 27, 2009 at 7:07pm

    The four do ;). The kids not so much... I guess they work at home so it makes a bit of sense. The council was clearly a result of the set up in Hickman's Dark Reign Fantastic Four series.

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