Fantastic Four #587 (Marvel Comics)
by Jonathan Hickman, Steve Epting, Rick Magyar & Mike Perkins
I’m a fan of writer Jonathan Hickman’s work, and his and his editors’ development for a new direction for the Fantastic Four seemed like an opportunity to revisit his work with Marvel’s first family of super-heroes. As I waded into this highly promoted issue of death (dah-dah-duhhhnnn), I was intrigued by a number of the elements I found in the story, but I was more surprised at how inaccessible this comic book is. Now, there’s always going to be a learning curve when a new reader comes into a story arc in the middle or the end, but with episodic fiction such as this, I’ve always felt that creators and editors need to acknowledge the potential that every issue is someone’s first. And with this issue in particular, those involved knew ahead of time that there would be thousands of new readers checking it out for the heavily marketed character death. I was quite interested in the school for the gifted that the FF seemed to be operating, but I didn’t know who several of the characters were. And the script provides little information about Ben Grimm’s reversion to human form or why that status changes later in the issue. Furthermore, I wasn’t terribly interested in the Nu-World plotline or the undersea politics of war, and I’ve always found the Namor/Invisible Woman dynamic to be forced and boring.