Fantastic Four #4 Ties Up Loose Ends And Looks To A Fantastic Future

by Olly MacNamee

If issues 1 through to 3 of the new Fantastic Four comic book were about reuniting the Fab Four, then this week’s issue is one that acts as a handy piece of housecleaning while also looking to set a new status quo, including a new HQ. It also looks to the uncharted future as planned by writer Dan Slott. While I didn’t read his Spider-Man run regularly, looking in from afar as nothing more than a curious outsider, what I did see was a creator willing to bet on big ideas and big changes that, for many, would never have been good enough.
But, not for me. Every time I did drop by Spidey’s friendly neighbourhood, I was always pleasantly surprised and pleased at the additions to Spidey that he was able to achieve. If he brings this same madcap sensibility to the Fantastic Four – and I have a belief that he will – then the future of this core Marvel team is assured. A run worthy to be placed alongside the likes of John Byrne’s own epic run, which I am more than sure Slott will be returning to from time to time.
But, back to the book and issue #4, out now.
With The Griever dealt with (for now), it’s time to reset the compass and in doing so, cut the umbilical cord that has kept the Four Foundation tethered to their mentors, Reed and Sue Storm, as they decide to go out and look for Owen Reece, The Molecule Man, rather than return to Earth. Professor Power and The Four Foundation has got a nice ring to it, as I’m sure Slott is more than aware of as he has Alex Power call himself and his mates this in jest. Part of the larger joviality to be had in any issue of the comic. Once again, for example, Iceman’s membership is brought up, as is the presence of Wolverine, who is only just making his return to the Marvel universe in his own current series. It’s all done with a knowing wink to the readership and a somewhat cocky blase attitude to continuity. Slott know he ain’t fooling anyone, but who cares. Its all part of the fun, right?

It’s also a comic of two halves. While the FF’s adventures in the multiverse are illustrated by Stefano Caselli, with the return of the FF to Earth in the second part of the comic, duties are handed over to Nico Leon – both of who are sterling replacements for Sara Pichelli –  as he depicts a team almost ignored as a newer FF knock-off take up residency in the Baxter Building and show off by taking down The Wrecking Crew. Although, not all is as it first appears. Either way, I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of the Fantastix, just like we haven’t seen the last of the Griever.
It’s another larger-than-life issue with a solid through line of humour and action that is a joy to read. And, there’s the quieter, more personalised moments too, like when Reed takes Valeria to one side and praises her for her intelligence. Something she should not shy away form, or try to cover up.
By the end of the issue, we’re again looking forward to a horizon that promises happiness (Ben and Alicia’s wedding, next issue), new digs, and new adventures yet to come. Not bad for just 4 issues in. And, great to see the FF on schedule again. Roll on issue #5 and the wedding. Now, where did I put my tux?
Fantastic Four #4 is out now from Marvel Comics.

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