Huh. Marvel brought the Fantastic Four back. Why did those guys go away anyway? It’s like Marvel was trying to hamper some competition that no longer exists because of corporate buyouts.
Whatever. The new series had its first volume, appropriately only covering four issues and subtitled Fourever.
When last we saw Reed and Sue Richards, they were rebuilding the multiverse following the latest Secret Wars with the Molecule Man and their extended family of genius children. Ben and Johnny returned to Earth, each joined different superhero teams, and they waited. Johnny for one is certain Reed, Sue, and the kids will be back at any time. Ben, more resigned to the fact they may never return, has moved on and even proposed to longtime girlfriend Alicia Masters.
However, the team does reunite when Reed and Sue’s efforts are partially undone by a cosmic being called the Griever. She believes when things like universes die, they need to stay dead. Since the Griever seems to be swatting Reed, Sue, and the kids around without breaking a sweat, Reed realizes its time to call in the rest of the family.
That leads to a nice reveal.
Essentially, writer Dan Slott is spending this arc setting up the team’s reunion and new status quo. Slott seems to have a good handle on each individual member of the team. We see differences in parenting styles when Valeria (Reed, Sue, and the kids were gone for five years by their own reckoning) meets a handsome alien prince who flirts with her. Sue is wary of the guy since he looks a lot like Namor. Reed, however, only really gets upset when he suggests Val was playing dumb to impress the boy, and she should never, ever do that since she may be smarter than her old man.
As for the other two, Johnny is still basically a clown, but Ben gets a really nice scene with Franklin. After guest star Spider-Man tries to use the old “great power great responsibility” line on the frightened kid, Ben literally hauls the wallcrawler out of there and offers a new lesson, more appropriate for the Fantastic Four: Franklin will never have to go at that stuff by himself because his family will always be there with him.
All things being equal, not bad. Doom pops in briefly, looking to be going back to his villainous ways perhaps, but I wasn’t too crazy about the artwork on display here. It really wasn’t my cup of tea. Then again, the FF aren’t among my favorites, so I may not be checking back in with them again anytime soon.
8 out of 10 multiversal accreditations.