Review: Fantastic Four #604 By Jonathan Hickman And Steve Epting

Fantastic Four #604

Written by Jonathan Hickman

Art by Steve Epting, Rick Magyar, and Paul Mounts

 

The short of it:

 

The best laid plans of Nathaniel Richards come to pass, as at the darkest of hours when all seems lost in the face of evil SPACE GODS, adult version of Franklin and Valeria show up…and the SPACE GODS are afraid of Franklin! Everything we’ve seen Hickman bring to the table comes to the final conclusion here, despite his run still having another six months. The Celestials are here for Reed, they’re here to kill Reed, and this is the day he’s supposed to die. Reed has to pay for walking through the Bridge, for his time with the council, for releasing the mad SPACE GODS! Nathaniel Richards explains why everything has happened the way it has, why things will continue to go certain ways, and why our Reed is, quite frankly, the best Reed. All the while adult Franklin shows us just how ridiculously awesomely powerful he is. When all is said and done….this was the best book I’ve read all year.

 

 

What I liked:

 

  • Everything.
  • I figured it out a while back, but I love that Franklin’s ‘imaginary’ friend is his own future self. What better teacher could he have than the one person who knows exactly what he would need to know to save the future?
  • Franklin’s little ball of awesome reminds me so much of the little blue ball that he put a pocket universe in to create Heroes Reborn.
  • I love the way this issue ends, because I mean, it just ends. There’s no cliffhanger, no cue that it’s over, you just turn the page and there’s the letters page. It feels so much more organic, and really, it immediately tells my brain ‘it’s never over’. Whether this was intentional or not, I dig it.
  • She may not have gotten a ton of time, but I loved adult Val and really hope we see her again before this book ends. Then again, Val is probably my favorite FF character over the past few years, so I’m not at all surprised by this.

 

What I didn’t like:

 

  • Honestly? This issue was perfect. The closest I can get to a complaint is wishing it was longer. Or a movie.

 

Final Thoughts:

 

It almost feels redundant to call this book perfect, I mean, I seem to say that every issue after reading this book, but that’s just how great it is. Jon Hickman outdoes himself every single issue, and just when you think that he can’t keep doing it…he gives us this issue. It’s epic, and it’s awesome, and it’s the best book Marvel has.

 

In all my years of following the Fantastic Four one thing that I tend to see writers run in fear from is the powers of Franklin Richards. The fact that they are completely embraced here, both as a kid and an adult, is a big step forward from what I grew up with. It’s not “Franklin would be powerful if Reed didn’t shut him off” or “Franklin needs to be an over powered extreme teenager”. It’s better than that. We’ve seen his full potential, and more important, he has seen it

 

On top of that, Reed is finally accepting of what his son can do and not trying to ‘fix it’ or any of the traps we’ve seen writers have him fall into over the years. Reed and Sue have the worlds smartest three year old, and a seven year old who can bend reality with a thought. These are things that should always be embraced.

 

I love smart time travel stories, so I completely nerded out at the in depth explanations from Nathaniel Richards. I mean, it served a purpose for anyone that hadn’t been on all along by explaining everything that led to this point, but for a long time reader it’s just nice to see the acknowledgement that Reed was always going to do this, but it was the one thing he did differently that made things change.

 

When does the team go back to their old costumes?

 

Congratulations, Mr. Hickman. You are officially my favorite Fantastic Four author of all time. Your work will be the stuff of legend.

 

Overall: 10/10

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