Hey Midtownites, Raph here with a special treat: I’ve got a review of FF #1, and an interview with Tom Brev0ort, Senior VP for Publishing for Marvel Comics.
Before I get into the review, I’ll share what Tom had to say in response to my questions. I want to thank Arune Singh over at Marvel for helping to set this up:
Raphael Soohoo: It’s been 2 months since the death of Johnny Storm at the hands of Annihilus’ horde. How has fan reaction been?
Tom Brevoort: It’s been about what you’d expect, some people are upset about it, and a lot of people are checking it out, which is nice.
RS: It’s arguable that the new direction for FF could’ve been done without a death, what went into the decision to choose Johnny? Why not one of the others?
TB: I think you’re thinking about this backwards. We didn’t start with, “We want a new direction, who can we kill?” Jonathan started with, “Where do I want to take this series, and the concept of the Fantastic Four“, and that led him to Johnny’s last stand. This is all part of a larger uber-plan that Hickman has mapped out in his brain–we’re still pulling together all of the assorted threads and elements that he’s been laying down for a year and a half now. So this is really around the midpoint of what he has planned, maybe not even that.
Point being that killing any of the other characters was never an option. For the story he wanted to tell, it was always Johnny.
RS: Fantastic Four #587 didn’t just kill off Human Torch, but reintroduced Nathaniel Richard back into his son Reed’s life. We also saw some S.H.I.E.L.D. tie in with Secret Warriors. Will we see cross pollenation between FF and S.H.I.E.L.D.?
TB: I think you’ll definitely see that, and with SECRET WARRIORS as well–basically, everything that Hickman writes. There are touch-points between all of these series, and the further we go, the more apparent those will become. Nathaniel’s return is a life-changing event for the FF even apart from Johnny’s death–it’s going to have a profound impact on Reed, on Sue, on Franklin and Val–on everybody, really.
RS: Will we see an FF/Celestials showdown?
TB: That’s maybe the least of what’s coming up.
Thanks to Tom for taking the time to answer my questions, he helped illuminate the reasoning behind Jonathan’s Marvel work: it’s interwoven intricacies and solid game plan. In a day and age where fans are cynical about the death of a character, it’s encouraging to hear that there’s a vision behind the death, as opposed to a cheap ploy for attention. I’ve been a big fan of Hickman’s since Pax Romana, and I enjoyed Fantastic Four and now, with Future Foundation, the saga continues… on with the Review!
FF #1 REVIEW
It’s been a few months since the death of Jonathan Storm. The team is rebuilding, and they welcome (47 years after his first tryout) the Amazing Spider-Man to the roster of the brand new Future Foundation. The Foundation consists of the the remaining members of the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man and the children under the Richards’ care (including Franklin and Valeria). Their task? Solve the problems of today and ensuring tomorrow. As mentioned in the discussion with Mr. Breevort, Nathaniel Richards, the father of Reed Richards, has also returned to get involved with his family and prevent a possibly disastrous future. The issue ends with a cliffhanger, but those of you who have been reading Fantastic Four will have seen this coming.
The issue reads with a lot more heart and family moments than you’d expect in a sci-fi epic. The added family dynamic of having Nathaniel Richards around is interesting, from Nathaniel chiding Reed to sharing the exasperation he had with Reed that Reed now has with Valeria, the family feels organic, unforced. The addition of Peter Parker is a natural; he’s a genius in his own right and he was Johnny’s best friend. Despite the specter of Johnny’s death, there’s a sense of optimism throughout the book, and a tease of high adventure, in the tradition of Stan and Jack. Hickman has never steered me wrong, and Future Foundation looks to be another exciting book.
That’s all for now, see you guys next time!