Fantastic Four #1 (Marvel Entertainment)
by Matt Fraction, Mark Bagley & Mark Farmer
This is another one of the Marvel Now! relaunches that caught my attention with the creative team. Matt Fraction has proven himself with several projects at Marvel, but his best to date has been his run on Invincible Iron Man, in which he demonstrated his skill at conveying futurism, among other things. His script here is in keeping with traditional FF storytelling; longtime fans of Marvel’s First Family will no doubt enjoy what they find here. After I read this issue, I had the same thought I had after reading the first issue of Kieron Gillen and Greg Land’s new Iron Man title: other than an attempt to boost sales, why is this a first issue? Fraction’s story is quite consistent with what we saw from Jonathan Hickman’s Fantastic Four and FF. The plot driving this first story arc appears to be the waning of the title character’s powers — again, hardly the newest concept for the team. The family aspect is properly emphasized here, as is the adventure-seeking goals of the group. But if I had to sum up my reaction to the story in one word, it’d probably be, “Eh.” There’s nothing technically wrong with the storytelling here, but there wasn’t anything about it that excited me either. Mind you, I do like that the premise here is opening the door to an oddball new FF, to debut in a couple of weeks in the relaunched FF title, with art by Mike Allred.