Jonathan Hickman’s epic Fantastic Four adventure has spanned different times, universes, and even realities and it all comes down to this. After 23 issues, Hickman’s ‘FF’ series comes to a close with this issue. Serving as both an epilogue to ‘Fantastic Four’ #611 (the final issue of that series as well) and as a fitting end to the journey of Franklin Richards, this issue is a bittersweet story that perfectly closes the door on Hickman’s run before the new ‘FF’ series begins in November.

The issue opens on the Baxter Building where future Franklin and Val are preparing to say their goodbyes to the rest of the Future Foundation. But this is the godlike Franklin Richards we’re talking about so it is never as simple as that. Franklin takes this opportunity to take his present day self on one final adventure into an alternate reality. After their little excursion, the sadness sets in as Franklin makes the rounds to say farewell.

Each goodbye is perfectly fitting for the characters. The raucous adventure with Franklin, a simple silent wave for young Val, a round of drinks with Ben and Johnny, and a hug and a reassurance for his parents. This is truly a fitting end for one of the most wonderful runs on Marvel’s first family and Jonathan Hickman is going to be sorely missed.

Not one to let “The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine” sit in limbo for long, Marvel is relaunching both ‘Fantastic Four’ and ‘FF’ with new #1 issues next month as part of Marvel NOW!. With the new numbering comes all new creative teams. Matt Fraction (‘Thor’) will be handling writing duties on both titles while Mark Bagley (‘Ultimate Spider-Man’) and Mike Allred (‘Madman’) will be handling the artwork. All I can say is: Good luck, guys. After Hickman, you have a lot to live up to with these titles.

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FF #23
Story by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Nick Dragotta
Cover by Kalman Andrasofszky