Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Reddit Share on Pinterest Share on Linkedin Share on Tumblr If you’re like me, then you’ve been anxiously waiting all these months for FANTASTIC FOUR #1. It’s been about three years since we last saw Marvel’s first family together. After Jonathan Hickman’s SECRET WARS, Reed, Sue, their kids, and the Future Foundation stayed off on the sidelines to rebuild the multiverse. But, now, at long last, the Fantastic Four are back! Kind of! Yeah, I feel like this one could’ve been spotted a mile away. I’m not at all surprised to see that FANTASTIC FOUR #1 doesn’t actually reunite the team once and for all. No, we’ll have to wait until next month for that to happen. But, hey, that doesn’t mean FANTASTIC FOUR #1 is a bad issue. Quite the contrary, actually. FANTASTIC FOUR #1 partially delivers on the promise Marvel made months ago. The Fantastic Four are back. Though the team doesn’t actually reunite just yet, they do all make an appearance. Plus, this issue still tells a very good story. Thankfully, writer Dan Slott hasn’t lost his touch. And neither has artist Sara Pichelli, for that matter. Her art is as spectacular and lively as ever, especially thanks to the colors from Marte Gracia. FANTASTIC FOUR #1 is undoubtedly a great book to look at. At the very least, it’ll get you excited for what’s to come soon enough. Dan Slott’s Heartfelt Farewell in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #801 The Fantastic Four Are Back(ish)! Sorry. I’ll try to stop hammering away at this “They’re kind of back!” joke. If you’ve been following MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE lately, then you know that Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm have had more than a handful of adventures recently. But, in FANTASTIC FOUR #1, the two are taking some time off from the superheroics and enjoying the simple things in life. Ben’s in a great place in his relationship with Alicia Masters, and Johnny’s off having fun with his roomie, Wyatt Wingfoot. FANTASTIC FOUR #1 page 5. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment. But, to just about everyone in NYC’s surprise, the Fantastic Four signal lights up the skies of Manhattan. Johnny quickly rushes to answer the call, believing Reed, Sue, and the rest are finally back. Ben isn’t as enthused as his teammate, though. In fact, he knows it’s not his family finally returned from wherever the hell they’ve been in the universe. Low and behold, Johnny discovers two kids stole the signal flare launcher and set it off as a joke. That’s what I call rude. Though this really gets to Johnny, Ben’s made peace with the idea that Reed, Sue, and the rest of the gang are probably gone for good. Given that, he’s ready to move on in a big way. In a very tender moment, Ben asks Alicia to marry him. Of course, she says yes. Ben asks Johnny to be his best man, but the Torch isn’t a big fan of that idea, thinking the best man position for Ben belongs to Reed. Johnny is momentarily defeated in the face of realizing his family may never come back. That is until a big ol’ number 4 lights up the sky. Dr. Doom Is (Actually) Back! In an extra story, written by Slott and drawn by Simone Bianchi, our gaze is turned towards Latveria. The nation is still in a state of unrest without any proper leadership. A lone rebel, Zora, sneaks into Doom’s home. She and many others yearn for the return of their former ruler. She finds plenty of Doombots, as well as Dr. Doom himself. Sadly, Victor’s time as Iron Man has apparently come to an end. In his last encounter with Parker Robbins, his face was deformed once again. Thanks to Simone Bianchi’s incredibly potent art, though, the character has never looked better. Well, technically, he looks really bad. His face is probably worse than before. But, you know, in terms of artistic styling and such, he’s looking really badass. Bottom line, Bianchi did a good job. FANTASTIC FOUR #1 page 41. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment. Zora persuades Doom to once again dawn his trademark mask. Having regained the visage we all know and love, Victor sets out to destroy the forces that have sought to take his home from him. Does this mark Doom’s return to villainy? We can’t be sure just yet. But, one thing’s for sure: it feels great to have good old Dr. Doom back. FANTASTIC FOUR #1 Is All About Family Just because the Fantastic Four didn’t reunite just yet doesn’t mean this issue can’t touch on the theme of family. FANTASTIC FOUR #1 is really all about family, in one way or another. The idea of being with those you love permeates Slott’s writing. This issue opens with a shot of the family all together. We then see Ben and Alicia debating whether or not they’ll take home some rescue cats. This is followed by Johnny and Wyatt enjoying a baseball game. Even the ending featuring Doom contains the idea that family is important, as Victor fights for his people. FANTASTIC FOUR #1 page 7. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment. On the surface, it may seem like FANTASTIC FOUR #1 is nothing more than an issue of hope and hype. In part, it is. It’s meant to get you excited for what’s to come next when the team actually reunites. But, in a series where family has always come first, I applaud Slott for taking the risk of spending this first issue highlighting what the Fantastic Four is all about. There’s no shortage of tender moments to promote the theme. The highlight is definitely Ben proposing to Alicia. It follows a scene where Ben is reminiscing about a past Fantastic Four adventure (yet another endearing moment of FANTASTIC FOUR #1). FANTASTIC FOUR #1 page 18. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment. Slott also plays with Ben and Johnny’s personalities very well. Recently, Johnny’s been the hopeful bleeding-heart, and Ben has been sort of down on his luck. By the end of this issue, they both switch to the opposite mindset and share a moment of acceptance. It makes it much more symbolic when the giant “4” lights up the sky. Pichelli Was Meant to Draw This Book I’ve always been a fan of Sara Pichelli’s art. There’s a strong fluidity to her style, and she always finds creative ways to help move the story along through her artwork. That hasn’t changed one bit in FANTASTIC FOUR #1. In fact, it’s almost better in this book. This is some of the best art I’ve seen from her in recent memory. This book was practically made for Pichelli. The flame effects for the Human Torch look incredible. I can’t wait to actually see him in action, instead of just flying around. The build for the Thing is incredibly consistent and never feels too rough or unsightly. Overall, Pichelli has a style that’s easy on the eyes and always great to look at. FANTASTIC FOUR #1 page 11. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment. Like I mentioned earlier, Simone Bianchi handled the Dr. Doom section. His work has always intrigued me. Sometimes, it’s really colorful and ecstatic, and other times, it’s just sort of off-putting. Most of his work for FANTASTIC FOUR #1 is the former, mind you. His style works extremely well for the return of Dr. Doom. Of course, we can look forward to seeing Pichelli’s art on the series for most of the foreseeable future. As for Bianchi, I assume we’ll see him again as a guest artist, especially if the series continues the way FANTASTIC FOUR #1 is written (with separate FF and Dr. Doom stories). Love and Adventure Abound in Dan Slott’s SILVER SURFER! Seriously, Marvel, Give Us A Fantastic Four Reunion Already The literal last page of this book features a one-page story by Slott and artist Skottie Young, voicing the obvious complaints many people will probably have by the end of FANTASTIC FOUR #1. It also promises that the team will actually be back together next month in FANTASTIC FOUR #2. We’ll just have to see about that. As for FANTASTIC FOUR #1, I think it’s been well worth the wait to have the “World’s Greatest Comic Magazine” back. And, like the last page of this issue says, waiting one more month for the team’s reunion won’t kill you. Especially if it means we get to enjoy all this great storytelling and artwork. I’m happily looking forward to Slott and Pichelli’s next outing with the Fantastic Four. Here’s hoping it all goes well. FANTASTIC FOUR #1 by Dan Slott, Sara Pichelli, Simone Bianchi, and Skottie Young Art Characterization Plot Summary FANTASTIC FOUR #1 may not give us the family reunion we've been waiting for, but there's still so much here to love. This issue tells a great story, features some amazing artwork, and gives us a lot to look forward to. 92 % Welcome Back, FF!