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Home Alone F4

June 21, 2009

     At this point, I don’t even consider Mark Millar’s Fantastic Four to be the real one.  Jonathan Hickman’s Dark Reign: Fantastic Four is the real F4.  In this issue, Franklin and Valeria deal with Norman Osborn and Spider-Man (a.k.a. Venom) on their doorstep.  Valeria utilizes her wit and technicalities to force Osborn to come in by himself.  Meanwhile, as the Invisible Woman, the Thing, and the Human Torch tumble through alternate universes, Mr. Fantastic suddenly realizes something.  There is always a way to fix things.  And the way to fix things is for him to discard his humility and do what he’s supposed to do: fix everything.  Obviously, this will lead into Hickman’s first arc on the F4 proper.

     Hickman’s really getting a grasp on these characters as this miniseries goes on.  This issue showcases his grasp on Reed and Franklin.  He absolutely gets Reed, no doubt about that.  However, he has yet to utilize the one good plot point that has come of Millar’s run, which is that Valeria isn’t just smart, but amazingly smart.  She should have a larger vocabulary than she does here.  Sure, you can tell that her cognitive functions are higher than Franklin’s every so often, but you’d expect more.  Nonetheless, that’s my only complaint.  Norman Osborn’s involvement is tangential, but it’s necessary to make this a Dark Reign miniseries.  Sean Chen is still a good artist, but again, he’s still not THE artist for the F4.  With the crap that is the Marquis of Death in the main series, I can’t wait for Hickman to come on over and fix everything.  This miniseries proves that he’ll handle Marvel’s first family well, even if not groundbreakingly and shockingly well.

Plot: 8.8      Art: 8.5      Dialogue: 8.5      Overall: 8.7

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