Over the past eight issues, the Future Foundation series has grown on me and become one of my most anticipated reads each month. Writer Jonathan Hickman has proven himself to be a magician in the way that he manages to balance out a wonderfully quirky, yet realistic, family dynamic with some truly epic tales involving time travel, alternate universes, and alien gods.

Hickman’s tales are wonderfully supported by some beautiful art from Steve Epting (and the covers from Daniel Acuna are nothing to sneeze at either). These stories are very thick and require some prior knowledge of the FF, their villains, and history but a new reader can catch up pretty fast. (I only started reading FF after almost a decade with this series and, other than a few trips to Wikipedia, I had no trouble catching back up.)

[Warning: space-age spoilers below!]

This issue opens after last issue’s cliffhanger ending with Victor Doom being betrayed by his team of villains. The villains were assembled by Reed Richards and Doom to assist the FF in stopping a team of Reed Richards from alternate universes from starting an intergalactic war. As one would expect, Doom isn’t an easy man to take down and at least one of his villainous teammates regrets his mutinous decision within moments.

Elsewhere, Reed Richards and his father meet with Black Bolt, the leader of the godlike Inhumans. Black Bolt, in no uncertain terms, informs the Richards that he plans on dealing with the alternate Reeds in his own way. In the ensuing chaos of the battle, several of the evil Reeds are captured. Then, in a final twist, the sole remaining alternate Reed captures Doctor Doom and enslaves him. For what purpose? Only time will tell.

This month’s tale closes on the FF exiting Black Bolt’s throne room through the mysterical Eldrac, a door that is capable of taking people where they “need” to be. Before stepping through the door, Spidey asks if that means that the door can send people through time to correct past mistakes. As the team steps through the Doorway, Reed’s father simply says, “Only one way to find out”.

What a great and exciting issue! With the alternate Reeds (mostly) defeated, where does the FF go now? And how does this lead to the return of the Fantastic Four and possibly Johnny Storm’s resurrection with ‘Fantastic Four’ #600 this November? Does the Eldrac Door take them back in time to save Johnny? I can’t wait to find out! Join me back here in thirty when I review ‘FF’ #10.

FF #9