Last month’s ‘FF’ #16 served as an epilogue to the massive story that just wrapped in the pages of this title and its sister book ‘Fantastic Four’. And, as cool as the reveal was at the end of last issue, this issue has absolutely nothing to do with what happened last month… other than Johnny’s comment that he was moving in with Spider-Man.
As the story opens, Johnny has been sharing an apartment with Peter Parker for three weeks… and already Peter is planning on giving his old pal a gentle shove out the door. Two pages in, we’re shown why. As Peter is getting ready for work, Johnny yells from the other room that Electro is robbing the Manhattan Trust. Peter, stumbles out of his room, tossing his work clothes aside and changing into Spider-Man… only to hear Johnny’s smiling voice, “Just Kidding.” And that’s just the start.
The rest of the issue shows that Johnny and Peter are more than just Marvel’s version of the Odd Couple. Sure… Johnny is a little flighty and doesn’t think about his actions but, Hickman makes him out to be pretty much a total ass. And Peter, being the nice guy that he is, puts up with a heck of a lot more than I would have been able to. If I were Spidey, I don’t care how long we’d been friends, Johnny would’ve been tossed back to the Baxter Building long before Peter begins to get fed up with him. And, when the final splash page is revealed, I can honestly say that it’s something that I never thought I’d see in a comic book… ever. If I had been drinking as I read this issue, I would’ve ruined it with some nose-shooting liquids because I guffawed at that last shot so hard. (Now you’ve just got to see it, don’t you? It really is that funny!)
Hickman has given readers one of the funniest comic issues I’ve read in a long while and it’s in wonderful contrast to the nearly universe-ending dark tale that came before it. Looking at the “coming soon” page at this issue’s end, it appears that fans better enjoy the funny while we can because things look to be getting pretty creepy again within an issue or two.
The art from Nick Dragotta was a perfect fit for this ‘Marvel Team-Up’ style issue as it is so beautifully retro. It reminded me a lot of Darwyn Cooke’s work on DC’s ‘New Frontier’ series.
But, as I said at the start, this one doesn’t directly continue last issue’s story. So, if you’re looking for what happened after Dr. Doom discovered the [world altering artifact name redacted], you’ll be sorely disappointed. However, if you want a great story that will give you a chuckle or three, definitely check this one out.
Written by JONATHAN HICKMAN
Art by NICK DRAGOTTA
Cover by MIKE CHOI, GURU-EFX, and GERALD PAREL