The Reunion We’ve All Been Waiting For Finally Happens In Fantastic Four #3

by Olly MacNamee

It’s been a long time coming, but Fantastic Four #3 has finally landed this week from Marvel, delivering up a swifter than imagined conclusion to the opening arc of this new series.
In this issue The Griever is doing what comes naturally to her and destroying everything in her path in a bid to become the last surviving entity in all universes. Neatly destroying the universes Sue, Reed and The Four Foundation created while in self-exile since Secret Wars a couple of years back, Dan Slott uses this new super-powered nemesis more as a device in which to bring back Marvel’s favourite family and to underscore the importance of family rather than the universe-level threat she obviously embodies.
It’s a strange reunion, what with the Griever on the loose and every know member of the FF in attendance (including Iceman, with the implied promise of a later tale to explain why he was ever a member, and a great joke at his expense later on in the issue too!), but to these guys, it’s the norm. It’d explain why The Griever seems to be so early taken down, considering how she was hyped as the next big bad. Although, she will return, no doubt about that.

Sara Pichelli once again delivers light, Sean Murphy like artwork and when she is replaced in the middle section of this comic by Nico Leon, it’s not as jarring as you’d think. Leon’s style is a good match, albeit somewhat more polished in its execution. And, by that I’m not implying Pichelli’s work is rushed and rough; it’s not. Pichelli’s art is more kinetic because of her approach to her work, and I wouldn’t have it any other way, hence the comparison with another contemporary I admire.
Allowing The Griever to destroy the worlds, galaxies and universes that Reed and co. created is a good forward thinking move on Slott’s part. Tying up those niggling loose-ends should prevent others from mining stories set in these newly created, but now destroyed, universes whenever future creates run out of ideas. It also stops the Marvel universe from expanding. After all, wasn’t that what Secret Wars was all about? Seems Spider-Geddon didn’t get that email. Slott is now free to explore the already rich tapestry of the Fantastic Four universe from the Negative Zone to the stars and, hopefully, Galactus too. I mean, who gets to write FF and doesn’t want to do their own Galactus story?
This was a quick issue in terms of the action promised on the cover, but then, this was always going to be about Sue, Ben, Johnny and Reed coming together. The word ‘family’ appears 6 times, not including the story title of this issue (“Family Reunion”). Although, it was fun to see Sue and Johnny soon bickering, as though they’d never been parted. Slott injects a warm humour even when battling cosmic threats of any magnitude.
So, now they are reunited, let the real action begin! Well, after a certain wedding in just a couple of issues. Although, I’m still waiting for my invitation.
Fantastic Four #3 is available now from Marvel.

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