Royal Nonesuch takes a look at Fantastic Four #579, published by Marvel Comics!
Credits & Solicit Info:
FANTASTIC FOUR #579
Written by JONATHAN HICKMAN
Penciled by NEIL EDWARDS
Cover by ALAN DAVIS
Heroic Age Variant by GEOF DARROW
THE HEROIC AGE IS HERE!
Faced with the death of imagination and growing pandemic of tomorrow fear, Reed Richards takes the future of discovery into his own hands. Think the world is a bad place, everything is going to hell, and the end times are surely around the corner? Try reading the World's Greatest Comic Magazine.
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99
In Stores: May 26, 2010
We hear all the time that The Fantastic Four are a family rather than a supergroup, but Reed Richards is the de facto leader of the team. Thus, it stands to reason that the overall direction of the book often follows whatever cloud Reed has his head in. That is usually what makes FANTASTIC FOUR so interesting. Case in point: issue #579, wherein Reed Richards declares that future planning ought to be left to the younger geniuses. Frankly, the modern day intelligentsia has gotten too panicky and keep talking about contraction when they should be wanting to expand. Overpopulation shouldn't concern us so much if we were to make the galaxy our residence, rather than just this one planet.
It's an exciting time for FANTASTIC FOUR, as it sees writer Jonathan Hickman tackle the same conceit that Matt Fraction currently is over in INVINCIBLE IRON MAN, and Grant Morrison did with NEW X-MEN, namely pushing the title's concept to an extreme but logical degree. Ideally, this would create an exciting new status quo, but this being one of the Big-2 comic book publishers, everything will indeed snap back into place. That's another conversation altogether, though. For now, we'll focus on Reed Richards and his new plan to tutor the next generation of thinkers. All the while, Hickman gives us some glimpses into a possible dystopian future (is there any other kind?) relating to Nu-World and the warning from a future Franklin Richards about the possibility of a conflict arising from four different cities on Earth.
Penciller Neil Edwards has a kind of Bryan Hitch quality to his figure work. His storytelling is dynamic enough, but there is a sequence where Franklin Richards spars with Artie and Leech that's a bit hard to follow. He does good work with framing and panel layout. The art flows well and for the most part, illustrates the script well enough.
It's always fun to see Reed Richards: aloof explorer and problem-solver. Still, this is FANTASTIC FOUR, and the biggest trick is to not make the other three into a supporting cast. This is a pitfall that so many FANTASTIC FOUR writers fall into. Ben and Johnny are on the sidelines for a kid-fight, and Sue Richards appears on all of one page, set far away from the rest of the family. There are only four characters to work with, but Reed is such a big personality that he tends to take over the book a lot. All the same, this is a compelling vision of The Fantastic Four, and it will be interesting to see where they go from here.