It is no doubt that the relaunch of Marvel’s First Family has a massive amount of goodness to live up to. Fraction and the Allred’s FF was a barrel of fun and Jonathan Hickman’s run was a modern masterpiece. Now we have James Robinson, who was writing one of my favorite books at DC for a bit, Earth 2, and Leonard Kirk, who has just come off from drawing Hunger. How do they fare?
The ongoing storyline is called The Fall of the Fantastic Four with this serving as part one. It begins with Susan writing a letter to her children, Franklin and Valeria, in regards to the events that are going to play out over the course of the storyline. This is very much an introductory and setup issue, the major portion of it dealing with the Four fighting a rampaging Fin Fang Foom (He’ll put you in his pants) in Manhattan. It all comes to a head at the end of the issue which begins the titular “fall”.
Like I said, this is very much an introductory issue, but it does have great character beats. I believe one of the smartest things Robinson did was keep more of the cast from Fraction and Hickman’s FF. The kids of that series (in particular Bentley-23, who created a ray gun that can turn things into chocolate, so he is automatically more awesome than you) provided a fun counterbalance to all the serious and darker aspects and let’s face it, when your storyline title involves the “fall” of something, it is probably not going to be the most chipper of tales.
Leonard Kirk, inker Karl Kesel and colorist Jesus Aburtov provide very fun art. It has a cartoon aesthetic that really helps bring out not only the fight scene with Fin Fang Foom, but also the quieter moments between Reed and Sue and the goofy moments with Franklin and Bentley. Special mention has to go to Aburtov’s colors. They simply make the comic pop.
There has been some silly outcry to the new costumes, but I kind of like them.
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
This is a very good beginning. Robinson is always a slow burning writer (as anyone who was a fan of his Earth 2 can attest) and it feels like that is what we will be getting here. The team of Kirk, Kessel, and Aburtov provide excellent art to go with what I hope will be an incredibly fun ride.