Fantastic Four #605
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Ron Garney and Jason Keith
The short of it:
Reed and Nathaniel go on a trek across time to see the future in the aftermath of them changing the future. Confused yet? Well, Reed was supposed to die, and the Fantastic Four were not supposed to beat the Mad Space Gods, so now the future is wide open. So Nathaniel takes Reed to the future to see what all has changed, to see how things have evolved. A little father/son bonding that goes forward a thousand years every time. Witness the legacy that Reed has created, and how it will survive the test of time along with his immortal son Franklin…and another undieing member of his team. Really, this is the story about how Reed’s best friend will outlive him by over four thousand years, and never forget him, and how it teaches Reed to be a better friend.
What I liked:
- I’m a sucker for a well told time travel story, and Reed and Nathaniel traveling forward unable to change things doesn’t negate that. Hickman does a fantastic job painting the kind of future legacy that Reed leaves behind, and having Reed understand it is something that would only push the character to try harder to insure it.
- I like that the unthought of side effect of Ben’s serum comes into play here because, really, as much as I would love for the character to have a perfect happy ending…he’s never going to get it. So why is this a plus? Because the first thing the kids come up with shouldn’t be perfect. It should have flaws.
- How about that Ben lives for so long and never loses that hopeful nature that he has always brought to the table. You’d think after three thousand years he’d curse the people who did this to him, not sit in a park and find company in their memorials. Not give graduation speeches to future classes of the Future Foundation.
- Any book that can get me to tear up gets point in my book. I mean, for me to care that much says a lot about the skills of the writer, and given how many future versions of the FF I haven’t cared about? This is a really powerful issue.
What I didn’t like:
- At times the art gets a little sketchy.
- Maybe there could have been another paragraph at the beginning to get Reed’s motives across?
The MMA fight that Ben and Bentley are watching at the end, that Reed mislabels as a boxing match, clearly has Brock Lesnar in it. Despite the heavy blur.
Ben’s growing beard through the ages was a cool visual. I mean, big rocky beard, it’s unique. I kinda wish he could grow a beard in the present all of the sudden.
One and done stories can be tricky, but Hickman is getting the method down. He gets to the core of the characters and makes that the purpose behind his story instead of shoe horning them into some sort of incident to be wrapped up by issues end. So instead of getting some generic fight, we get another flawless issue of Fantastic Four.
There were a lot of layers here, but really, what stands out to me is that Reed went to the future to see what mark he left in the future now that he survives to leave it, and the story ends with him realizing just how important his best friend is.
Ben Grimm is the most tragic character in comics, as well as the most honestly good. I love The Thing, and this issue could make any one feel the same way.
I’ve grown to accept that when I see a new issue of Fantastic Four, it’s going to be the best thing I read all week. This was a pretty stiff week…but it still takes the honor without fail. This is the best book Marvel publishes.
Tags: Fantastic Four, FF, Jonathan Hickman, Marvel Comics, Mr. Fantastic, Reviews, ron garney, The Thing