Last issue was the ‘Age of Ultron’ tie-in which had left Valeria and Franklin stranded in their spaceship in the middle of nowhere. This issue seems to go on as if the previous issue had never happened. We’re either being left in the dark for anything Age of Ultron related or were just given the clue that the entire event will all be retconned (or nearly so) thanks to time travel! Speaking of time travel we’re going to be seeing quite a bit of it this issue.
We open with a presentation that Valeria and Franklin are giving to their father about the big bang. With how well they did their father decides that it’d be a great time to go back to the beginning of creation and witness it first hand. Certainly nothing could go wrong with that idea right?
We take this time to do a quick fast forward to the far future where a certain character that long time Fantastic Four readers will clearly recognize is on trial. Blastaar has apparently been long causing problems across the Universe and now that he has finally been caught is being sent back to the very beginning of time as a death sentence for his crimes.
When the Fantastic Four are quipping with the children about being in the past, Sue sees something out the window of the ship. It’s a mysterious object and of course Reed can’t be one to pass up on an opportunity to study something new so they bring it aboard. Inside? Yup you guessed it – Blastaar. He questions how they are alive having spit on their graves himself and the clearly time displaced Blastaar takes no time in attacking them.
What happens next is an all out brawl between Thing and Blastaar. As the ship is torn apart around the family, each scene is illustrated to show exactly how much damage is being done. The tech being destroyed by such savage blows is amazingly well rendered in each scene and the fight is visually the high point of the book.
Sue has to constantly use her powers to patch holes in the ship as these two titans do battle in an enclosed area. What is truly interesting is something is happening to The Thing during this battle. Glowing eyes and fire coming off his hardened rock makes it look as if Reed isn’t the only one whose having problems with his mutation. While they don’t touch on it at all I have a feeling we’re going to be seeing some big changes in him in the near future.
While the ship is being broken around them, Sue is barely keeping everything safe there is only one person that can set things right. Franklin uses his power to take the ship somewhere (or when!?) else and leaves Blastaar behind. With how much has happened in Marvel recently as well as the last issue, I kind of feel like this was almost a misuse of Franklin’s power. Still it was interesting to see him make the choice to take his family to safety and by leaving him behind, kill Blastaar.
For them most part this was a great issue. I was a little annoyed about the blatant ignoring of what occurred last issue but I also understand they can’t ruin ‘Age of Ultron’ by explaining it away. I’m curious what’s happening to Thing and if the rest of the family had noticed or not. I’m also curious to when and where Franklin ended up taking them to see where we’ll be next issue!
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Mark Bagley