“Where We Make Our Stand”
Written by Dan Slott
Pencils by Sara Pichelli
Inks by Pichelli and Elizabetta D’Amico
The Story So Far:
Reed and Sue Richards are believed to be dead. They and the Future Foundation (including their children Val and Franklin) appear to sacrifice themselves at the end of the Secret Wars event to save the universe. Ben Grimm also thinks they are dead, but Johnny Storm still believes that Reed found a way to save his family. During last issue, the first on the stands in around 2 years if you’re keeping count, Ben and Johnny go toe to toe over jut that argument. They both have hope when they see a signal that is broadcast across the globe. A “4”.
In issue #2 we find that the Future Foundation has been creating new universes to replace those lost during the incursion events of Secret Wars. Franklin is creating them, with guidance from Reed, and Molecule Man is imbuing them with his molecules to ground the new universes in reality.
Eventually, Franklin is spent. He cannot create more universes, and this comes to the attention of a being called the Griever, who is determined to set right what the Future Foundation has thrown out of whack—she believes that the multiverse cannot be forced back into existence. She kills Molecule Man and begins destroying the universe that Franklin had created.
Valeria decides that the Foundation should make their final stand on a world inhabited by an alien race (one of whom Val has a crush on). She is challenged by Reed, and she stands up to him; he’s got to trust her instincts.
The Greiver arrives and the fight is on. She gets the upper hand and starts monologging about how she has finally bested the famed Fantastic Four. Reed tells her that if the rest of the FF were really there, she’d stand no chance. Not one to back down from a challenge, the Greiver allows Reed and Sue to use a device that can call the rest of the FF to them.
Reed and Sue send up the sign that Ben and Johnny saw at the end of issue #1, and find themselves transported to Reed and Sue…along with every other person who has ever been a member of the Fantastic Four. “Meet my extended family,” Reed says as the issue ends.
Confession time. I’m not a huge Dan Slott fan. Some of his stuff I like, some I don’t. He’s not a terrible writer by any means, but he’s generally not going to sell me a book. Similarly, I’ve never been a big FF fan. So what am I doing here? I’m not sure. But I like where here is. Finally, an FF book that I’m enjoying. So, what works? The action. It doesn’t let up. When the Greiver shows up it’s balls to the wall action.
The surprise ending. Nice to see Hulk and Ghost Rider and Spidey, along with (almost) everyone else (Wolverine is missing, though I suspect that’s because his return isn’t official yet).
The scientific mumbo-jumbo is kept to a minimum, and frankly that’s been one of my gripes about the FF in the past—too science-y. Which is not to say that I dislike science. Just not in my funnybooks.
The Art: Sara Pichelli is a treasure. The pencils are smooth and fit the story very well.
What Doesn’t Work:
I’m not a fan of the “flashback” issue, generally speaking, and while this worked for the most part, it still stuck in my craw that they used a tired trope like that.