The FF kids are at it again in FF #12!
Credits & Solicit Info:
Story by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Juan Bobilo
The Fantastic Four has always been one of the more dense properties at Marvel, but Jonathan Hickman is taking it to the next level. With FF #12, Hickman has shipped his thirty-first consecutive title featuring Marvel's first family, and there's no sign of a break in his continuity (meaning it may get confusing if you haven't read everything to this point). This, of course, may turn off new readers or those who may have jumped off the title, but MAN is it satisfying for those of us willing to keep this title on our pull lists.
Briefly, if you're not familiar with the past 30 issues of the Fantastic Four, #587 saw the death of Johnny Storm in the Negative Zone. In #588, Johnny "posthumously" requests that Spider-Man join the team, marking the transition from Fantastic Four to FF. We got eleven issues of FF, then Fantastic Four #600 happened, and now we have an ongoing Fantastic Four as well as FF.
The FF from here on out will focus on the children of the Future Foundation (jokingly referred to in this issue as the Richards School for Gifted Youngsters) and it seems principally on the Richards kids, Franklin and Val. We open on the top few floors of the Baxter building being translocated into a frozen mountainside. Shortly, we find out that we're very near Doctor Doom's castle where Nathaniel Richards and an alternate universe Reed Richards have been hanging out for a few issues. During a nice little scene between Val and her grandfather, we see them telling each other even MORE secrets, and of course Val finally pieces together that the "future man" Franklin Richards from the future told her about is indeed her grandfather. We get some vague insight into Val having made a deal with Doom, and that he will be of great importance shortly. Finally, the kids, Doom, Nathaniel, and alt Reed head back to the mountainside, where Val readies an inter-universal bridge so that alt Reed can go home.
All in all, we get a solid issue, full of plot movement. I'm glad Marvel decided to go the route of two Fantastic Four titles, otherwise it looks like it would have taken Hickman another few years to finish his story.
FF #12 continues to build toward what can only be an amazing conclusion. Hickman is still bringing a welcomed dry wit and earnestness to Marvel's first family, and, despite the fact that most of this book is steeped in vagueness, I won't be putting these down anytime soon.
Review by: dtmills