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Fantastic Four #600. Spoilers Obviously.

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Zombie Guard

Postby Zero » Thu Nov 24, 2011 3:21 am

Perhaps unfortunately for a big anniversary issue the main story is going to be lost on anyone not reading FF. This issue is the continuation of the war brought to Earth by the Evil Reeds, the Kree and all manner of Inhumans. That the High Evolutionary's forces don't appear here is an odd oversight but a forgivable one in the face of some damn foxy action pages by Steve Epting.

Had it not been so well written, I think that Johnny's return might have been disappointing. After all it turns out he's all but Planet Hulked his way out of the Negative Zone and turned the Annihilation Wave into his own personal ant farm army in a story that is far from original but still has enough of Hickman's own style to make it read very well indeed.

The Black Bolt story goes some way to assuage fans that Medusa is just giving up her husband to his new intergalactic brides, and luckily it's pretty in a Beck Cloonany way because otherwise it did little for me. This could be because Black Bolt and Medusa have never really done much for me though, so I'll leave any major judgements to people with more investment in this couple.

The Galactus Seed has ties to Millar and Fraction comics so while I was vaguely aware of what it was talking about I honestly have no desire to find out more. Still the art is nice (As Yu'd expect it to be) and Hickman writes a great Galactus. This will likely be the driving force of the next stage of the Fantastic Four's story, and I really liked the way it tied thematically to Johnny's story, Black Bolt's story and...

Franklin's story had art by Farel Dalrymple so it won. Seriously it just won. This was about the little boy with the powers of a god and reveals that he's being manipulated by the opposite of a shadowy figure (Likely to be himself) into stepping up into his godlike abilities. It played very well with the narrative captions and Franklin is a favourite of mine so this last story was the issue's highlight for me.

Setting aside the main story, which was a fine piece of the story Hickman's been telling for a couple of years now, the backups all shared a themed of death, birth and deathbirth. It's most explicit for Johnny and Galactus, but the 'new' Black Bolt (Same as the old one) and the birth of Franklin's new universe fit nicely too. Since the start of the FF this title has been about Hickman trying to recreate the Fantastic Four for the future, keeping the dynamic and the ideas at the core while reshaping them to tell new stories for the future. While on an emotional level his stories haven't always been as affecting as on an intellectual one it's interesting to watch the threads all come together.

This isn't a comic for everyone, the story being told is heavily serialised and fairly atypical Marvel fare. It's trying to do things differently and trying to do things on a huge scale and for that it's to be commended. I really enjoyed it though, and that's what matters.
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Rain Partier

Postby HNutz » Thu Nov 24, 2011 8:36 am

The only reason I didn't get it is because it's EIGHT BUCKS...
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Zombie Guard

Postby Zero » Thu Nov 24, 2011 9:13 am

It's also 5 times as long as the average comic, but I couldn't recommend it if you haven't been reading Hickman's FF already because it's very much a mid-story issue and the story is one that's been going on for over a year now.
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Eric Ratcliffe

Staff Writer

Postby Eric Ratcliffe » Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:06 pm

Wait....so what happened to Johnny?
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The Red Stands for Irony

Postby BlueStreak » Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:27 pm

I thought this was a spectacular issue. The only thing this was missing was a great Doom moment. Other than that, this book reminded me why I've been sticking with FF.
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2k11 Outhouse People's Champion

Postby sdsichero » Thu Nov 24, 2011 1:26 pm

doombug wrote:Wait....so what happened to Johnny?

He died.
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Zombie Guard

Postby Zero » Thu Nov 24, 2011 3:17 pm

sdsichero wrote:
He died.

He died a lot. Then got brought back every time by Annihilus' flunkies and made to fight for his amusement. Eventually he joined with a group of Universal Inhumans to steal Annihilus' control rod and become the new top dog in the Negative Zone.
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Wally Brando

Rain Partier

Postby Wally Brando » Thu Nov 24, 2011 4:53 pm

This was awesome.. my favorite part was the Franklin story with Farel Dalrymple on art! Holy crap was that awesome. I want an OGN of that!! Fun as hell, but also dealt with Franklin's near-omnipotence..

I also liked the Galactus story with Leinul Yu on art.

As for Johnny, I thought it was handled really well.

Apparently, he did die, and was resurrected by Annihilus' worms. There's a shot of him on a table, all cut open, with dozens of worms rebuilding his insides.. pretty gross. Once he is resurrected, he is imprisoned and he meets the Universal Inhumans there who are also caged. They have also been killed and brought back repeatedly. The cycle of death and rebirth seems to be key in the negative zone under Annihilus. They are used as gladiators in an arena for Annihilus' benefit, and it seems Johnny has become far stronger than he was before..

It's all very Planet Hulk-y.

I can't wait to see where the story goes from here.
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Everybody lies!

Postby GOSD » Thu Nov 24, 2011 8:36 pm

I really enjoyed it as well.

Worth the crazy cover price.
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Postby Dragavon » Thu Nov 24, 2011 9:31 pm

I absolutely loved the Johnny Storm section. The rest of the issue was hit or miss for me.
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Staff Writer

Postby Punchy » Fri Nov 25, 2011 1:14 pm

This was fucking awesome, and to my mind definitely the best Fantastic Four story Hickman’s done so far. But the thing is, this issue wouldn’t have worked unless we’d gone through the (sometimes painful) 30 or so issues preceding it. The main story condensed all of the confusing plotlines down into an easy to follow action comic and Hickman found time for some really great character moments and guest-stars, all of which were perfectly drawn by Epting. And then Johnny Storm returned! Hooray! I think we all knew he wasn’t actually dead, but it was so good to see him back. The story showing how he ‘survived’ was brilliant, Di Giandemenico rocked the art and it was just a blast from start to finish. I am confused a bit by the ending though, is Johnny evil now then? Has he been possessed by something? I think he might have been, but I’m not sure.
The Black Bolt and Galactus stories were only OK in terms of writing, but the art was amazing in both, Ming Doyle is a really underrated artist. The final Franklin story was just amazing, and demonstrated for once that Hickman does have a sense of humour, because a lot of the time his work is very po-faced. And it doesn’t hurt to have Farel Dalrymple artwork, I’ve been a fan of his since Omega The Unknown, and it was great to see him back at Marvel doing something unexpected. Overall, this was a damn good anniversary for the FF, and one that unlike most milestone issues, wasn’t a nostalgia-fest, but was very clearly looking to the future.
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Postby Psivage » Fri Nov 25, 2011 3:36 pm

I haven't read it so I'm talking out of my ass now, since Johnny is back I think a cool twist would be that if he leaves the Negative Zone he will die.
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Silly French Man

Postby habitual » Fri Nov 25, 2011 3:58 pm

I think Hickman has done a fantastic job of reminding everyone who that the premiere team in the MU is the FF.


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