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Earth’s Getting Rather Crowded These Days

April 6, 2010

     Jonathan Hickman hops on the Inhuman retcon bandwagon in Fantastic Four #577, in which we discover that Earth was not the only planet on which the Kree conducted genetic experiments on the locals.  In a flashback, Black Bolt and Medusa give a mission to a single Inhuman, named Dal Damoc, leaving him behind on the moon.  In the present day, as Damoc and the Watcher look on, a large ship lands on the moon.  The Fantastic Four pick up the ship’s arrival from a satellite photo and, as expected, go to investigate.  When they arrive, Damoc leads them into the ship while paying compliments to the Invisible Woman.  Damoc explains that, in fact, the Kree conducted experiments on many races, and only on five was it successful.  It was also successful, through the use of different mutagenic compounds, with the Centaurians, the Badoon, the Kymellians, and the Dire Wraiths.  The Inhuman populations of each of those other four races has gathered on this ship, each led by a queen, to await the return of Black Bolt from wherever he is now.  And together, as a new race, they shall claim Earth as their new homeland.

     In total contrast to his first arc, Hickman seems to be using this story mostly to come up with a bunch of crazy ideas, all around the concept of the four cities (of which we have now seen three).  At first, it seemed like each one was tied to one character, like with the Thing and the High Evolutionary’s city, and the Invisible Woman and that other Atlantis, but this one doesn’t seem to have a character so clearly tied to it.  However, the main problem with all these awesome ideas is that all the exposition leaves very little time for the development of the titular characters.  This issue more so than previous ones just feels like another part of the Inhuman saga for which the F4 just happen to be along for the ride.  Hickman has already proven that he gets these characters, so it’s sad that we don’t get to see him do more with them.  Dave Eaglesham’s art is absolutely superb, as he seems to get Mr. Fantastic’s face down better.  He has some fun with the Inhumans from the four other races, and he manages to render them all beautifully.  I’m curious as to why the team’s costumes have reverted to their old ones, but then again, I always liked those better anyway.  Hopefully, once the last city is introduced, Hickman will get to the team again.  But something tells me that this will be an arc that reads better once it’s done and read all in one sitting rather than one issue at a time.

Plot: 8.0      Art: 9.2      Dialogue: 8.8      Overall: 8.2

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