FF #2

by BradBabendir on December 21, 2012

FF feels like a series that Marvel NOW! really needs.

Until now, most issues have been good, but all of the X-Men and Avengers related issues have been pretty firmly planted in sorting out the AvX aftermath and what exactly that means for the Marvel Universe. But while Captain America and Cyclops were comparing dick sizes for a summer, the Fantastic Four kept on keeping on, and now Fantastic Four and FF are caught in the wonderful little web that is Marvel’s “We swear it’s not a reboot” reboot.

And Matt Fraction, the wonderfully talented man that he is, took the opportunity to start something new and actually started something new. It wasn’t necessitated by the ridiculous canon that Marvel has locked itself into, it was just a nice time for a welcome change, and that’s what readers got.

FF is not what it used to be, quite literally. As opposed to being made up of the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man and other closely related parties, it is now Ant Man, She-Hulk, Miss Thing and Medusa. An unlikely team thrust together by each individual member of the Fantastic Four meant to hold together the Future Foundation for the four minutes that Reed Richards and family are gone.

Fraction spent most of the #1s setting this entire plot up (I’ll admit, it’s a bit convoluted), but wastes little time getting things moving in issue #2.

The Fantastic Four were supposed to be gone for four minutes. But it’s been longer than that. The kids are getting restless and so are their leaders. Though things move quickly, nothing feels rushed, and the issue culminates in a genuine payoff during their first fight as a team.

The action is good, and I don’t mean to downplay, but what Fraction does spectacularly, and deserves to be commended for, is his use of the children in the Future Foundation as a way to inject humor, curiosity and most importantly, fun into the book. The little characters are truly delightful, and they’re easily my favorite part of this issue.

Fraction has already given the story and the characters a new feel, and despite being blessed and cursed with both Fantastic Four and FF, he works them well together but carefully makes each one a supplement to the other, not a necessity. The books are cultivated with care and precision. And more than that, this book is really good.

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