10 Thoughts Review on Fantastic Four #581 by Jonathan Hickman and Neil Edwards

1. Hickman and Edwards start pulling threads together as the future Franklin and Valeria Richards are revealed to be in cahoots with Reed’s father and they go about their mission.

2. The art is just great here. Edwards hits a home-run, particularly in showing the different ages of characters from different time periods and that Doom wears a suit to class.

3. Nathaniel, Reed’s dad has his story about all the alternate versions of himself being forced to kill one another by Immortus until only he and one other remained is so clearly a ruse. I’m happy they’re using a young Reed for this because, if not, the question that begs to be asked is how does Reed know that this is actually his father and not one of the dupes using him?

4. I’m not sure how much I love young Reed and Ben already being adventurers, but I suppose a mindwipe can take care of that.

5. Reed’s magnificent way of understanding and handling Doom, knowing about his weapons and playing him perfectly, really show that he’s had the upper hand int heir relationship since day 1 and go a long way to showing why Doom’s hatred has grown as it has.

6. Of course Doom turning the tables and making Reed “beg” works just as well. That entire sequence was just perfect for both of them.

7. Valeria showing up to talk to present day Sue Richards is great, as Sue is perfectly ready for an attack in her home, on her kids, even while making coffee. Again, Edwards kills it here with the facial expressions. Val is amused through the whole thing and, upon finding out it’s her daughter, Sue looks suitably shocked.

8. It’s a shame so little time is devoted to Franklin and Valeria’s future selves here. They’re far more interesting than Nathaniel, but get a fraction of the page time.

9. Evil Nathaniel shows up at the end, but given that this must, by rights be some kind of manipulation or ploy (otherwise Nathaniel would get an older version of his son, Val wouldn’t need to go to Sue, and Nathaniel would have no reason to be working with his grandchildren), so there really are a ton of interesting directions for this to go in.

10. Rating: 7/10 – A good issue that gives us a ton of initial situation and storyline potential, with far more questions than answers. I look forward to seeing this mysterious plot develop.

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