Fantastic Four #579 Review
- Published on Wednesday, 02 June 2010 05:00
- Written by Kevin
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Jonathan Hickman’s run on Fantastic Four has been incredible so far. Hickman has been masterfully rebuilding the Fantastic Four mythos as he has built up the Four Cities that will be at war. I haven’t been this excited about the Fantastic Four since Mark Waid and Mike Wieringo run. With the war of the Four Cities picking up in the last issue I can’t wait to see what Hickman has in store for this issue of F4. Now let’s check out Fantastic Four #579.
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Neil Edwards
Inker: Andrew Currie
Colorist: Paul Mounts
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: The issue begins in Golden, Colorado where the Singularity 2010 Conference is taking place. The conference is almost over and Reed is announced as the one that will give the closing speech. Reed gets on stage.
Reed says that when this conference started 10 years ago there were only 30 people who attended in a small room. Originally Reed put this conference in order to gather the greatest minds together so that they can raise questions and answers for where they will be in the future and make the future better. Reed says that for that reason he praises Jennifer Walters (She-Hulk) speech the day before which raised the type of insight he is talking about. He then says that sadly he cannot say the same thing for the rest of the people at the conference who continue to be stuck in the past, only worrying about the small and same things. (Damn! Look at Reed tells off a bunch of supposed geniuses.)
Reed continues by saying that he actually fears for the future because of the fear that all the people showed throughout the conference. He says that the future is not about the one billion humans on Earth fighting for limited resources but of the one trillion human beings spanning the galaxy. He then says that he resigns from his position at the conference as he has the fire called Discovery burning inside him (there is medication that should clear that up) and he won’t allow anyone to hold him back, much to the shock of everyone at the conference. (Again, Damn! Look at Reed go. That is telling those afraid of the future.)
A week later at the Baxter Building Reed meets his new student, Alex, on the roof where Alex’s ship dropped him off. As they head inside Alex asks Reed why he choose him to be part of the class Reed has set up because from the roster list he seems to be the dumbest guy. Reed tells Alex not to worry because he has something most on the roster don’t which is just as important as intelligence: Experience.
At the Peak of Old Atlantis the King tells Sue that he accepts her request as he still has dreams of the future even in his old age.
Back at the Baxter Building the Moloids that were brought to the Baxter Building talk about how much they are enjoying their stay with the Fantastic Four. Mik brings up the fact that Reed has requested something from them and the others say that they should talk to Ben before they agree to anything.
17 years into the future we see Franklin working on some robots and 105 years into the future Franklin finishes the robots in Nu World.
In the real-time that is beyond the distortion the Ultron Collective have taken Nu World as their new home.
197 years in the future we see Natalie X has gained control of Nu World.
221 years into the future Lightwave has taken the throne of Nu world.
Back in the present at the Baxter Building Franklin is shouting out various catchphrases and asks his Uncle Johnny and Ben what they think of them. Johnny says that the best catchphrases are allowed to grow. (Just like “SPOON!”)
Valeria asks Ben to hand her a screwdriver and Ben asks her what she is doing. She says she is giving Dragon Man’s CPU a much needed upgraded. Suddenly Franklin, Artie, and Leech start sparring with one another. Valeria enters the fray with Dragon Man but is stopped by Artie who shows her some designs which Valeria loves.
At PAVLOV Metahuman Psychiatric Facility (nice name for a mental facility) Reed checks up on the Wizard whose conditions has worsen. The Wizards doctor says that Reed is wasting his time but Reed gives the doctor a box to give the Wizard. The Wizard is handed the box and opens it to see his helmet. He puts it on and his mentality is brought back and greets Reed.
Reed says he needs to talk to the Wizard. The Wizard says that he has been praying to God to let Reed solve all the world’s problems and thinks that Reed being there means that Reed either succeeded or failed. Reed doesn’t say anything which leads the Wizard to say that Reed’s silence must mean that the world is going to burn.
Reed says that the Wizards words have made him more determined to find answers. He continues by telling the Wizard that the Wizards uncorrupted clone has been living with his family and he is going to prove to the world that the boy can become something better. The Wizard says that there is no avoiding what they are and Reed disagrees to what the Wizard says.
Back at the Baxter Building begins his new class welcoming all of his students to the new Future Foundation that they are all a part of. We then see that all the kids staying at the Baxter Building are part of the Future Foundation. End of issue.
The Good: What else can I say about Fantastic Four #579 that hasn’t been said about Jonathan Hickman’s run on Fantastic Four other than it was another fantastic entry in Hickman’s run. The things that Hickman is doing with the Fantastic Four is something that is not being done by many other writers and that is letting his imagination run wild with the story. Even though this issue is a bit “tamer” than the last few issues Hickman just continues to move the overarching plot of the War of the Four Cities further along.
Hickman’s run really feels like the anti-Morrison, because while both Morrison and Hickman tell long-term stories with their “smaller” stories to build to a bigger story they do it with different approaches. Morrison, as he has shown in his Batman run, likes to tell long 6 part stories where he typically confuses readers until the end of the story where everything comes together. Hickman on the other hand is giving us these various one-shot stories were any reader can jump on without being confused with what is going on. Hickman provides all the information that a new reader needs that you could jump on with this issue or any of the previous issues and have a good idea of what is going on.
And really that is the wonderful thing about Hickman’s Fantastic Four. I know for this issue, and every issue in his run so far, I have gone back to read the issue at least 3 or 4 times not because of the amount of information provided but because of how fun a read the Fantastic Four has been. Each story is a nice condense read where we get to see each member of the Fantastic Four shine at some point. Even though there are obvious characters that Hickman likes to emphasize every character in this title gets a great line that shows how well Hickman understands these characters.
I love how Hickman is really tapping into the Fantastic Four’s deep history for this epic War of the Four Cities that he has been building up with all the various one-shot stories. And Fantastic Four #579 is probably the issue that lays out the mission statement for this title moving forward.
What is this mission? Don’t look back. Only look to the future as big things are headed our way on Fantastic Four. It’s as simple as that and Hickman does a wonderful job telling the reader this in this issue without being preachy about his message to fans. It all comes off as a natural part of the narrative of the bigger than life story that Hickman is telling right now and is going to tell in future issues. I couldn’t be more exciting for what is coming up on Fantastic Four.
One of the things that I found very interesting with this issue is that we got to see glimpses of the future. There seems to be a big importance on these scenes and while I don’t fully understand what the importance of these scenes are I am really looking forward to seeing how these scenes of the future play into the War of the Four Cities. And I like that Hickman is using Nu World in these scene which is a very cool concept Mark Millar introduced in his run.
I can’t say enough about how much I loved the opening scene with Reed told off the entire room of scientist at the conference. That was such an awesome scene and completely in line with how Hickman has been portraying Reed throughout his run. Throughout the whole opening scene I felt like I was in that audience and I wanted to just stand up and yell “Hell Yeah! You tell them Reed.” I just loved it and this opening scene really established what this whole issue’s theme was, which is looking to the future.
The whole theme of looking into the future in this issue was well established with all the scenes that followed. We saw the King of Atlantis telling Sue that he still dreams of the future; the Moloids living at the Baxter Building discussing their current situation; the flashes of the future; Reed’s talk with the Wizard; and then finally Reed establishing the Future Foundation.
While the scene between Sue and the King of Atlantis at the Peak was a short one page scene it helped to further establish the new Atlantis and give the King more of a personality. Even though Namor is busy with being part of the X-Men I hope he returns to this series because I really want to see Namor interact with the new Atlantis.
The scene between Reed and the Wizard was great. I have never been a fan of the Wizard until Hickman came along. The Wizard, in a similar fashion to Dr. Doom, is Reed’s polar opposite as he is the definition of mad scientist. The scene also brought up the whole nature vs. nurture debate nicely without Hickman favoring one over the other. It was given to us as a question for us as the reader to have in future issues as we will see if the Wizard’s clone turns out to be just like the Wizard or if Reed can turn him into a good person that will help the world.
I also really like the idea of Reed establishing the Future Foundation with all the kids staying at the Baxter Building. It is a very interesting concept that fits with how Reed and the Fantastic Four are. And Alex is an interesting character and I look forward to seeing more growth for the character as it seems he will be the one Reed takes under his wing the most.
I got to also commend Hickman on making me not only interested but also like the Moloids. I never really thought much of them other than them being Mole Man’s lackeys but not anymore. Hickman has infused the characters with more independent personalities. It’ll be interesting to see how Mole Man reacts to how the Moloids staying at the Baxter Building have been growing.
Also, I like how the Fantastic Four’s family has been growing over these last few one-shot issues. The Fantastic Four have been slowly letting more kids stay with them in each issue and we are seeing a more extended family. It adds another layer to the Fantastic Four not just being a team but a family which is what sets them apart from all the other superhero teams that we get in other comics. These people are a family first.
The scene with Franklin, Ben, Johnny, Valeria, Artie, and Leech help bring some comedy into this issue.
Now even though this issue did not have any action the switching between scenes as we got to see various characters interacting kept this issue moving at a good steady pace. All the scene transitions from the scenes I have already mentioned was great that for a talking heads issue it did not feel boring at any point. The pacing was great and because of all the great scenes we got in this issue I went back to read this issue multiple times not because I felt like I missed something but because I enjoyed it so much the first time I read it.
I got to admit that while Neil Edwards is not on the same level as Dale Eaglesham that his artwork is really starting to grow on me. Even though Edwards does not capture the same epic feeling that Eaglesham does, which really not many other artists do, his artwork has really grown from the first time he filled in on this series. He does a great job with the characters facial expressions. The opening scene was perfectly done as you could sense the presence that Reed had while giving his speech through the art. Also I really liked how Edwards was able to capture the wickedness within the Wizard as the Wizard really looked like a mad scientist with his helmet on and evil smirk on his face.
The Bad: Though I do not have any complaints personally I will admit that fans of action comics will not like this issue. This is a pure talking heads issue so if you are looking for a bunch of action this issue of Fantastic Four is not for you. I really enjoyed this slow down issue but I can understand if fans of action find this issue boring.
Overall: Fantastic Four #579 was another homerun issue by Jonathan Hickman. I absolutely love how Hickman is weaving together all of these various one-shot stories together as he builds up the War of the Four Cities. This issue is a great jumping on point for readers that have yet to jump on the Fantastic Four bandwagon. Hickman showed in this issue that he has big plans in store for the Fantastic Four and no one should miss what is coming up next. I just can’t recommend this issue and Hickman’s run as a whole to you enough. If you are a fan of big stories with a nice cosmic flavor do yourselves a favor and pick this series up. You won’t be disappointed.