Fantastic Four #1 (Marvel Comics)
It's been a dark time for Fantastic Four fans. The past few years have seen the team removed from the Marvel publishing slate, and whether that was due to declining sales, a way to build up anticipation for their inevitable return, or because the head publisher didn't want to be promoting a property that Marvel didn't have the film rights to, their absence has been felt. But luckily with the team returning with Dan Slott and Sara Pichelli's Fantastic Four #1, the team is brought back to their glory days, and are ready to take back their title as “Marvel's First Family”.
Just not in this issue.
If you're waiting for the Fantastic Four to return to their former glory, you'll be waiting a little longer than you might want to. I won't spoil the events of this issue, but I will say that those of use who've been following The Thing and the Human Torch in Marvel Two-In-One will definitely feel a lot of deja vu while reading this opening issue, and possibly even get some spoilers from that series as well. You do get a nice flashback of an unknown adventure with the team, which showcases Dan Slott's ability to effectively give each member of the team their own unique voice.
Speaking of Slott, I was a little concerned over how he'd handle the Four. While I've been a defender of his run on Amazing Spider-Man, I've been pretty cool on his work on Silver Surfer and the recent Tony Stark: Iron Man. Unfortunatley, there's not a lot to gleam from this issue for his take on the whole team, but he does have a solid handle on Ben Grimm and Johnny Storm, giving the two of them some very nice, brotherly moments, so I have high hopes for his takes on Reed and Sue.
Sarah Pichelli is easily one of, if not THE, best artists that Marvel has right now, and Fantastic Four is a great showcase for her. While there's a definite lack of crazy space adventures in this issue, her depictions of the Thing and Human Torch are of the same quality we've come to expect from her, and like Slott's writing, I have some high hopes for this run under her pencils.
While Fantastic Four #1 isn't the slam dunk, outrageous opening issue that I was hoping for, I'm still extremely curious in what lies ahead for Reed, Sue, Johnny, and Ben. Slott clearly has a lot of enthusiasm for this aspect of the Marvel Universe, and that's one of the reasons why I thought his run on Spider-Man was so well done. While I don't think he'll be on FF for quite as long as he was on Spidey, his enthusiasm is contagious, and I can't wait to see what's coming down the road for the Four.