Mister Fantastic, Reed Richards, is about to lead the Fantastic Four on a journey of discovery outside of recognizable time and space. But while they’re away, someone is going to have to take their place and oversee the Future Foundation, even if they will only be gone for four minutes. In the inaugural issue of Marvel NOW’s ‘FF’, the members of Marvel’s first family find their replacements before going on this trip of discovery and we’re introduced to the new team, She-Hulk, Ant-Man, and Medusa, as well as Darla Deering, Johnny Storm’s most recent romantic conquest.
With Matt Fraction and the Allreds (Michael and Laura) working on this title, it’s no wonder that this particular book turned out so nicely. Though I haven’t read Madman, I’ve been a fan of Michael’s style ever since I first saw his work on Kevin Smith’s ‘Mallrats’ and ‘Chasing Amy’. Laura’s colors make the pop art style of her husband pop even more. Similar to Fraction’s other book that I’m currently enamored with, ‘Hawkeye’, ‘FF’ has a quite unique artistic style that’s quite appealing to me.
As for the story, I appreciated the Tarantino-esque style of storytelling throughout the book. However, what really interested me in the title in the first place was the whole premise that that Fantastic Four was leaving for four minutes and something was bound to go wrong. Most of what we got here was introductions to the replacements and the Future Foundation. I’ve said before that Fraction’s ‘Hawkeye’ was like a critically acclaimed superhero drama that everyone’s raving about. Well, ‘FF’ is more like a good MTV reality show like ‘The Challenge’ or some earlier seasons of ‘The Real World’ and not ‘Jersey Shore’. Though it’s entertaining, there’s not really much to it. There are even confessional-style interviews in the book. While I enjoyed it for the most part, I’m hoping that it picks up in the next issue. More specifically, I hope more light is shed on Ms. Thing, Darla Deering, who we know absolutely nothing about.
Overall, I’d say that the first issue of ‘FF’ was a good introductory issue, but it spent too much time on introductions and not enough on progressing the plot. I enjoyed Scott Lang stepping into the spotlight more, and I’m willing to keep reading as the premise is as interesting as the characters involved. Plus, the creative team is top notch, so I’d like to see what they have up their sleeves next.
Written by MATT FRACTION
Art by MICHAEL & LAURA ALLRED