FF #5


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FF #5


  • Words: Jonathan Hickman
  • Art: Barry Kitson
  • Colors: Paul Mounts
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Jun 29, 2011

If there was to be a new meaning to the initials FF, one could only hope that it would be Fantastic Family. Spinning out of Jonathan Hickman’s run on Fantastic Four, FF has become a book that emphasizes the role of family in the lives of superheroes. How family can give you strength or become a target, add new dynamics or destroy relationships, and ultimately, how having a family shapes the decisions you make. For Reed Richards, Sue Storm, and Ben Grimm, family is all they know.

FF #5 picks up with the battle at the Peak, between Sue Storm and a renegade, alternate Reed Richards, as he works with other alternate Reeds to return home, even if it means starting an earth-shattering war. Hickman has shown before how these Reeds are colder, more calculating, having higher priorities than family and friends. Here, Hickman shows how vicious they can be, as they’ll do whatever it takes to get what they want; there is nothing holding them back. It is a chilling reminder of what our Reed could become should his loved ones ever be removed.

Barry Kitson is a strong artist in lieu of Steve Epting, his work and Paul Mounts’ color blending together for a bright, strong book. The great thing about Kitson is that he’s able to do both large scale battles and quiet moments expertly. An especially nice moment lies between Ben Grimm and Alicia Masters, as they sit together for the first time since Johnny’s death. The soft determination of Alicia as she comforts Ben, and his grim guilt are wonderfully done. Kitson’s pencils and Hickman’s writing lend themselves well to Ben’s pain. He misses the brother he could not save and it looks as though he’s starting to break.

Dragonman, Alex Power, Spider-Man, and the rest of the Future Foundation add a great air of humor and adventure to the series; even the Council of Villains is a fun reversal. The friends and family of Reed though only add to the threat of what the other Reeds are doing, and there is that much more to lose for our Mr. Fantastic. Family is a wonderful thing, but it has made our Reed cautious, and now up against his darker halves, readers can only hope that the return of another prestigious Marvel Universe family can help our FF turn the tide and prevent the coming war.

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