Dating back to 2015, the Marvel Universe has not felt whole – as if something essential was missing from its publishing line. That feeling of incompleteness has just been repaired because Marvel’s first family has had their long-awaited return, courtesy of Dan Slott and Sara Pichelli. The Fantastic Four are back (sort of, more on that later) and the duo have set the stage for a brand-new slew of adventures.
Family is a core part of this franchise and Slott makes it the center of his first issue on the series. The story starts by exploring the impact of Reed and Sue’s absence on the remaining Fantastic Four members. For those that haven’t been reading Marvel Two-In-One it is a quick and effective reminder of how the characters are not themselves when divided. Slott makes it clear that the team is stronger together, building anticipation for the reunion that will undoubtably occur. The result is a very slow-paced story, but Slott’s attention to the characters and their emotional vulnerability make this a comic a worthy addition to the venerated franchise.
Pichelli’s art was fine, with her figure work and character expressions enhancing Slott’s sharp script. What did bother me about the artwork over-all was the coloring, which just seemed off-putting. It clashes too much with Pichelli’s elegant linework and creates a muddled image. There were even a few panels where her line work was completely overtaken by the coloring, which was disappointing. It truly was the only con in an otherwise great main story.
A Slott penned Doctor Doom back-up story accompanies the main feature and it is truly the highlight of this massive single issue. This story builds off of Bendis’ Invincible Iron Man finale with the now facially disfigured Doom having returned home to Latvaria. Slott presents a Victor Van Doom that has been changed by his experiences, yet still has the forceful personality and ego that define the iconic villain. It handles the character’s status quo shift perfectly and puts him on tack to come into conflict with his old rival once more. Simone Bianchi’s art in the backup is great and perfectly conveys how dangerous Doom can be when he’s not trying to be a superhero.
This was a good read with great character work, mostly impressive art and an interesting back-up feature. The Fantastic Four are back and this first issue is a sign of good things to come. A highly recommended read.
What did you think of the Fantastic Four’s return to the printed page? Leave a comment and et us know below.