The End of Fourever…The End Is Near.
So, yeah…a three panel that reminds us, in case we forgot from the last time I took a cheap shot, that Reed Richards is a sexist jerk. The fact is, I wanted to lay down some withering criticism of last week’s Fantastic Four No. 644, but there just was very little to work with. Reed sort of confronts the Quiet Man. Not much happens. Namor, Jim Hammond, Sue, and the Sleepwalker go into the dimension of Franklin Richards’ dreams. They find out not a whole lot. Ben and the Avengers fight creatures and knock off Franklinverse Avengers. Not much happens. Johnny and Wyatt, with no powers between them, guard Franklin in the Baxter Building. Nothing happens.
We do learn that the Hulk has moved into the Baxter Building, to live rent free while it is abandoned. Smart guy that Banner. That’s the best part of the issue.
You see why I needed to fall back on just calling Reed a sexist pig. So little happened. Also…in dividing up the tasks, he sends Sue into a dream dimension, guarded by tough guys with powers, and sends Ben out to fight….an ENTIRE ALIEN INVASION. His own job is to…you know…DEFEAT THE MASTERMIND. Those are BIG deals. Not just a fact finding mission into your kids dreams with a B-list 90’s guy. Reed is true to form here.
Figure that he would bench our hero, with her generic but Kryptonian level superpowers…because in his mind, she’s just window dressing. I would go over the number of times that has been the case before in the F.F., but I’m pretty sure I did that post recently. In fact, I know it.
On the first couple of pages, when Mr. Fantastic gives pronouncement that “the time for talking is over. It’s time for action.” In a comicbook?! You don’t say, Reed? I sure wish that was the goal for many other comics on the stands today.
Despite such a resolution, Mr. Fantastic proceeds to give us nothing but massive exposition, and an explanation to the villain how he tracked them down. The Quiet Man in turn says “I can’t wait for your conclusion.” Should I even be summarizing this? I mean…that’s really all that the characters in the story do, summarize what led to that point. Oh…and generally be sexist about Sue Richards, the token female character that they compete for.
Calendar check. Yes, Mr. Robinson, it is in fact 2015.
If there’s one thing this run of FF has done, it’s give us hints of various permutations of the four-person team. In this issue, we have a version of the Fantastic Four that’s Invisible Woman, Sub-Mariner, the original Human Torch, and Sleepwalker. Would not have seen that coming. Sleepwalker is there because you know, dreams are his thing. Still, the number of times the roster has changed, expanded, or morphed in this run, it gives you the feeling that readers are being encouraged to think of the F.F. as any four character, preferably ones owned by Disney and not Fox.
In terms of story and execution, we are one chapter from the end, and very, very little is happening. There’s not even that much for me to take cheap shots at. I considered a Sleepwalker joke, and there may be one coming in the intervening MONTH until the double sized finale.
Comics ship today, True Believers! Go forth and be consumers!
Next Issue: Cybertronian Street Art!