Alternate universe Reed Richards has worked out a plan to return to his own universe. With the aid of the Richards’ children, Nathaniel Richards, Doctor Doom, and Doom’s Son Kristoff, Alterna-Reed puts his plan into action. The plan? Alterna-reed has built a stargate-like bridge that leads to his dimension. The problem is that no one is certain that the bridge will work and, even if it does, that war and death don’t lie in wait on the other side of the portal. But since Reed, Nathaniel, and several of the genius-level children have done the math, the group head into the portal and prepare to face whatever is on the other side.

On the other side of the portal, the god-like beings that have taken control of Reed’s universe, lie in wait. But before the Reed, the FF, and Doom begin their battle, we’re treated to a flashback concerning Nathaniel and Valeria. Nathaniel reveals that some points in history are fixed and cannot be changed and that his plan is not to change the past but rather to extend the spaces between events to a long enough time so that he can come up with a plan.

Back in the Alterna-Reed’s universe, the heroes and villains have engaged the god-beings. It’s apparent that the FF is outgunned until Franklin discovers that something is amiss with the beings. But even with this new information, things aren’t quite turning around for the FF as the god-beings cause trouble with the portal and force the team to make a hard decision.

Hickman has delivered one of my favorite ‘FF’ issues so far. My favorite characters in the Future Foundation are Doom, Nathaniel, Valeria, and Franklin. Hickman gives us lots to like with those characters this issue and a closing scene that makes me love Doom even more (if that’s possible).

The weak point of this series is still the art from Juan Bobillo. Bobillo took over art duties when ‘FF’ split back into the original ‘Fantastic Four’ series with issue #600. With a writer like Hickman where so much of the emphasis is on action, much of the character motivation is delivered through facial features. This wasn’t an issue with artists Steve Epting and Barry Kitson who were working on ‘FF’ before Bobillo came aboard but Bobillo’s cartoony manga-esque style just doesn’t fit with Hickman’s writing.

That said, Hickman’s writing is so spot-on for the Fantastic Four and the Future Foundation that Bobillo’s artwork can be overlooked in favor of the great story underneath.

Verdict: Buy

FF #13