**This article contains spoilers for Fantastic Four #1. You have been warned.**
Fans of the Fantastic Four have been excited about their reunion since it was announced earlier this year that they were returning. The “four” have only been two – Ben Grimm and Johnny Storm – since Reed Richards, Susan Storm-Richards, and their two children disappeared at the end of Secret Wars #9 (March 2016).
The absence of comic’s First Family left such a hole that DC even created a team to fill the void. CPG had a blog about The Terrifics when they debuted in March.
Now the original FF is back with a brand new Fantastic Four #1 (October 2018) the lead story of which was written by Dan Slott, drawn by Sara Pichelli and featuring this beautiful painted cover by Esad Ribic.
It was finally the moment we were all waiting for! A teary-eyed reunion between the four lifelong friends! A group hug where the rocky ridges of The Thing’s arms all but swallow up the other three!
Except…none of that happened. Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman don’t appear (other than in flashbacks) until the end of the story. It felt like the excitement wasn’t paid off. The issue just fell flat.
The interesting thing is that Slott knew this would be a complaint and tried to head it off at the pass with a one-page Impossible Man story at the end of the book (illustrated by Skottie Young) addressing the very problem with the issue.
Fun, yes, and it delivers the promise of making it better in issue #2. However, instead of giving us that, why not just give us the reunion that we wanted? I can appreciate trying to build up anticipation, but that is what the recent Marvel-2-In-One series was all about with The Thing leading Human Torch on a trip through the multiverse searching for their lost teammates.
Even if a Fantastic Four fan didn’t read that series, the fact that Reed and Sue have been absent for more than two years already had us eager for their return, and especially to see the four of them together. It was a poor choice and hopefully, Slott doesn’t string us along past next issue.
by Rob Otto