Nothing Lasts Four-ever.

That shield really can mess up a giant Baxter Building Closet Cannon.

That shield really can mess up a giant Baxter Building Closet Cannon.

The next chapter of the Fantastic Four, which I have had no end of fun criticizing and doing art about, ships on the day of this post. At this writing, I haven’t read it yet. Still…the cover art, used as the reference for the pencils above, gives some basic hints as to what will be happening.

First of all, they are going back to ORIGINAL numbering, making this issue No. 642. Thanks, Marvel, for making issue numbers meaningless.

Secondly, it begins the final plot arc before cancellation, called “The End Is Four-ever.” See where I got the header? House of Ideas, people.

For some reason, the Invaders (we will get to that) clash with the Fantastic Four as they search for Reed Richards….who is pretty much where he is supposed to be, in John Eden’s headquarters. Granted, the team doesn’t know that John Eden is the disturbed Quiet Man…but it seems to me you might look for Reed where he is supposed to work. Go figure.

The Quiet man will be revealing his plan…which, I will tell you, needs to get a whole lot better than what we have seen. Seriously, Reed asking Sue out on a date first? That’s your motive for amassing massive technology, wealth, and shapeshifting powers? The Quiet Man is a villain with self esteem issues, True Believers.

Also, we know from the last issue, and the teaser blurb, that Franklin Richards (the kid, everyone) is once again rolling with Unlimited Cosmic Power. That’s somehow a part of the Quiet Man’s plans, which only makes him more creepy in a “don’t live near my house” kind of way. Not a Doctor Doom fun to read about kind of way.

The Invaders (The android Human Torch from WWII, The Falcon-style Captain America, the Hulk, and Namor) are hunting for the FF. Perhaps because of the numerous court orders they have violated, maybe because they broke Ben out of superjail…who knows? This is apparently the centerpiece of the issue. To be honest…I’m not too interested. Fal-Cap has been pretty lackluster, I know that Namor isn’t long for the world, seeing as his demise was depicted LAST WEEK…the Thing fights the Hulk often enough, and the Human Torch is…meh. That’s the cover, and not that enticing.

Sigh. Going in, I’m down on it. Bad sign.

Also, Marvel announced a lot today. A whole lot. Short form…they are doing a kind of “reboot” of continuity, a la DC’s Crisis On Infinite Earths. Let’s review:

Here it comes folks. Axel Alonso has announced the main (6i6) Marvel Universe and the Ultimate Universe colliding. Tom Breevoort gives them eight hours to find out how to stop it.

And…they don’t. Nope. Total FAIL. In Secret Wars No. 1.

Marvel said that all of the titles that they will be publishing during the Secret Wars are building the new Marvel Universe going forward. None of them are stand along. And that each will contribute to the new normal. All the book they have been teasing are included in the new universe and they are only the tip of the iceberg.

According to Marvel, it won’t really be a reboot. All of the 616 history will have happened. We’ll just have Miles Morales in main continuity (Ultimate Spider-Man). Perhaps a few more duplicate characters that sell well, and Isaac Perlmutter approves of.. Although, Tom Brevoort was said to have such a gleam in his eye when he said “The Marvel Universe as you know it is done. The Ultimate Universe as you know it is done.”

And before that all happens, the Fantastic Four, arguably the start of Marvel Comics as we know it, will be done.

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