Fantastic Four, Vol. 1: New Departure, New Arrivals by Matt Fraction
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Reed Richards is dying and plans an expedition through all of space-time to find a cure with the rest of the Fantastic Four and the two Richards kids. Before they leave, the FF recruit their substitutes; Ant-Man, She-Hulk, Medusa, and some chick the Torch was boning. The FF is only planning on being gone for four minutes of Earth time. What could go wrong?
Confession time: I have over 100 issues of Fantastic Four scattered in the various comic boxes in the Dan Cave. When I saw Marvel was doing a non-standard Fantastic Four series with Mike Allred doing the art chores, I waited patiently for this very volume to fall into my clutches.
This volume is split into two threads. The iconic Fantastic Four lineup preparing to leave earth for parts unknown, and the subs, Ant-Man, She-Hulk, Medusa, and Miss Thing. I pretty much only picked up this volume for the second thread.
While the stuff with the iconic lineup is pretty good, I found the storyline of the subs trying to fill the shoes of the real deal to be far more interesting. I love future Human Torch coming back to warn the new team of a menace and the homage to Fantastic Four #1 from way back in 1961 in the form of Mole Man attacking the surface world.
Matt Fraction's storyline is very intriguing but I'd be lying if I didn't say Mike Allred's art is the main reason I was up for it. I've been a fan of his pop art style since Madman and love what he does with the Fantastic Four here.
Even though this volume is short, it stands alone pretty well on its own while leaving enough unanswered questions to get me to read the next one. Four out of five stars.
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