Dan Slott had a really long run on Spider-Man, but his Fantastic Four run, well, didn’t go as long. But I did read a trade of the first four issues, and I thought it was decent enough. I decided to look for what happened next.
Oh, it’s a wedding. And the 650th issue.
Issue: Fantastic Four #5, December 2018
Writer: Dan Slott
Artists: Michael Allred, Aaron Kuder, and Adam Hughes
The Plot: Ben Grimm’s getting married, and the other three members of the team reflect on how to help him have his dream wedding.
Commentary: So, let’s state the obvious here: unlike a certain Caped Crusader’s wedding issue, this one actually has a wedding. Ben Grimm and Alicia Masters do get married. If anything, this is a special issue that asks, in order, Sue, Johnny, and Reed to do what needs to be done so Ben can have his dream wedding.
For Sue, that means dance lessons since her forcefields are the only thing that can protect a dance instructor’s feet when Ben misses a step, all while reflecting on how she met both Ben and Reed, the romantic entanglement that was there, and finally Ben’s meeting with Alicia, a moment that allowed Sue to see Ben find something like real happiness. That’s the sweet story.
For Johnny, it means running the bachelor party, the one event other superheroes outside the FF are invited to. Reed would normally be responsible for all that as the Best Man, but he seems to be up to, well, something. Ben doesn’t want speeches (Spider-Man keeps trying to deliver one), and Ben also doesn’t want superheroes at his wedding because that always leads to nasty brawls…like the one that happens because Johnny unknowingly hired the female members of the Serpent Society to jump out of cakes. Yes, Johnny does have a heart-to-heart with Ben at the end, along the lines of how lucky Ben is while Johnny is still this kid who can’t find someone to settle down with. That ending aside, this is the funny story.
And then there’s Reed. The whole issue depicts him as someone completely engrossed in whatever experiment he’s working on, something the others all more or less dismiss as typical Reed, failing to notice that people need him for something, and basically being the sort of guy who shows no empathy for others. He even misses the flight to Arizona where Ben’s remaining family (like his Aunt Petunia) happens to be. Only, well, Reed was doing his thing to help Ben in the end since even he knows how these things work, he isn’t wrong, and he manages to do something to save Ben’s wedding in the end. This is the superhero story…sort of.
Actually, they’re all sweet. I think I liked them in the order they appeared in the book, and hey, a wedding issue that ends with an actual wedding before the heroes have to rush off somewhere. Maybe a bit cliche, but fun all the same.