We’ve been waiting for quite some time for the true return of the Fantastic Four. We got a huge tease at the release of FANTASTIC FOUR #1, and FANTASTIC FOUR #2 didn’t really bring us any closer. But now, at long freaking last, the Fantastic Four are finally back in FANTASTIC FOUR #3!

Christ, that took way too long.

Writer Dan Slott couldn’t make it easy for us, but I must say, the wait was actually kind of worth it. His first issue of FANTASTIC FOUR was a pleasant callback to what made the team so great, and issue #2 gave us some much-needed backstory. With FANTASTIC FOUR #3, we finally get to see the team reunited and back in action. And not even just the original four, but every hero who’s ever been on the team, as well! It’s a Fantastic Four smorgasbord.

Artist Sara Pichelli finally gets to sink her pen into the canvas to draw the grand family reunion! Though she’s had stronger issues in the past, this is still a stellar looking comic. It’s filled with appropriately touching scenes to match the heart-warming reunion of Marvel’s first family.

(All of) The Fantastic Four vs. The Griever

As part of FANTASTIC FOUR #2, Dan Slott introduced us to a brand-new villain, the Griever. She’s essentially the embodiment of destruction, as FANTASTIC FOUR #3 makes apparent. To stop her, Reed Richards called in the cavalry. Alongside the original team, heroes such as Spider-Man, She-Hulk, Medusa, and Luke Cage join the fight against the Griever.

While all the other heroes are off fighting her, Marvel’s first family finally gets the reunion they deserve. They take a quick aside to chat and reminisce on seeing each other again. That, and Reed takes a moment to come up with a plan in the quick-thinking way he does.

FANTASTIC FOUR #3
FANTASTIC FOUR #3 page 4. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Ben and Johnny haven’t seen the Future Foundation in quite some time either. Their reunion with all of them, especially Valeria and Franklin, is touching and sincere. It’s at this point that the fight against the Griever also goes kind of south, so the family needs to rally Franklin to help fight her.

Spider-Man humorously tries his hand at giving Franklin the power and responsibility pep talk, but Ben quickly puts an end to that. After an appropriate pep talk is given, Franklin joins the fight.

The Griever still seems unbeatable, however. But, it was never Reed’s plan to outright beat her in a fight. They can’t. The Griever is an Embodiment, as Reed puts it. She’s a force of nature which cannot be beaten, only pushed back. Reed does, in fact, come up with a rather clever way to get rid of her.

With the Griever forced to retreat for the time being, the Fantastic Four are left to find a way home. Though I’m sure that won’t be a problem.

FANTASTIC FOUR #3 Features An Oddly-Timed Reunion

Though I’m absolutely thrilled to see Marvel’s first family finally back together in FANTASTIC FOUR #3, the circumstances in which they actually share their reunion are sort of weird. Like, the Four take a hot minute to go be mushy and love each other, almost completely ignoring the fact that there’s a destructive entity not ten yards away from them.

I get that the Four have their old teammates to help them out, but still, it might have been more prudent for them to work on defeating the evil entity first, then share a hug or few later.

Then again, I’m sure many fans just couldn’t wait to see the family have a sentimental moment for the first time in almost four years. What we get here doesn’t disappoint. Reed and Ben have a brief bro talk, and seeing Sue tear up at reuniting with her brother is incredibly genuine. It’s also great to see just how quickly the Four fall back into their heroic routine. It’s almost as if they never split up in the first place.

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FANTASTIC FOUR #3 page 11. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

I was highly amused by Sue’s musings on how she’s already getting fed up with Johnny’s childish banter and demeanor. Good to know the Four haven’t lost their touch.

I also love Spidey’s little moment with Franklin. It’s very appropriate, given how important Spidey is to the Fantastic Four, and the spiel he tries to give Franklin. I’m kind of hoping to see Spidey more often in this series.

I’m also hoping to see more of the Griever. She had some great moments, and then just poofed out. Seriously, she has the potential to be a great villain. Here’s hoping she gets to that point.

Not Pichelli’s Best, But Far, Far From Her Worst

Sara Pichelli has breathed some insane energy into this series so far. Her artistic style has proven to be a perfect fit for the cosmic world of the Fantastic Four. However, FANTASTIC FOUR #3 isn’t her best-looking issue.

Though it’s certainly not a bad issue to look at, FANTASTIC FOUR #3 suffers from some inconsistent character work. Reed in particular never looks especially good. I think it’s that traveler’s beard of his. Much as I love the bearded look for him, I think it’s about time he cleans himself up a bit. It was nice when he was on the run with the Illuminati, but now, it’s not really necessary anymore.

There are some other small inconsistencies, but nothing that dramatically weakens the quality of Pichelli’s artwork. Again, FANTASTIC FOUR #3 still looks great. Artist Nico Leon also jumps in to lend a hand for a few pages, which does seem to help in some instances.

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FANTASTIC FOUR #3 page 10. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

I definitely need to give credit to colorist Marte Gracia. His colors here are extremely dynamic and vibrant. FANTASTIC FOUR #3 features a pleasant mixture of action-packed and slower, sentimental scenes, and Pichelli’s pages, coupled with Gracia’s colors, help everything flow smoothly.

I’ll say this much: for handling as many characters as they did, the artistic team did a great job here. There are a lot of moving pieces in these pages so the few design hiccups can be forgiven.

Still, I should hope any of Pichelli’s work on the series in the future comes out cleaner than this.

We’ve Got a Wedding to Get Ready For!

With the Griever defeated (for now), things are finally looking up for the reunited Fantastic Four. It really is endearing to see these guys back together after so many years. They left a noticeable gap in the Marvel Universe. I’m hoping now that they’re back, we’ll have a more complete world, thanks to them.

Though Dan Slott sort of cheats us of his new villain a little too soon, it’s worth it to have Marvel’s first family finally reunited. We’ve been waiting long enough for it, so I’ll happily wait for the Griever’s return in place of this reunion. Although Sara Pichelli’s pages in FANTASTIC FOUR #3 aren’t her best, this issue still looks great.

Next up for the team is Ben and Alicia’s wedding! That’s something I’m certainly looking forward to!

FANTASTIC FOUR #3 by Dan Slott, Sara Pichelli, Nico Leon, and Marte Gracia
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
Though FANTASTIC FOUR #3 skimps on the villain a bit, and has some artistic hiccups, it's all well worth it to finally have Marvel's first family reunited!
88 %
A Fantastic Reunion

One Comment

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