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Fantastic Four by Jonathan Hickman, Vol. 1…
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Fantastic Four by Jonathan Hickman, Vol. 1

by Jonathan Hickman, Sean Chen (Illustrator), Nick Dragotta (Illustrator), Dale Eaglesham (Illustrator), Neil Edwards (Illustrator)2 more, Steve Epting (Illustrator), Barry Kitson (Illustrator)

Other authors: Mark Brooks (Illustrator), Andrew Currie (Illustrator), Adi Granov (Illustrator), Butch Guice (Illustrator), Scott Hanna (Illustrator)4 more, Rick Magyar (Illustrator), Paul Neary (Illustrator), Mike Perkins (Illustrator), Lorenzo Ruggiero (Illustrator)

Series: Fantastic Four (Hickman 1), Fantastic Four by Jonathan Hickman (1), Fantastic Four - 1961 (Hickman Vol. 1|570-574)

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992187,398 (3.64)1
Inside a room kept secret from even his closest friends and family, Reed Richards had scrawled upon the walls 100 of the biggest and boldest ideas his brain could produce. And, recently, he added a 101st, the most audacious ever: "Solve everything." It would be a mantra that would lead the obsessively intellectual Mr. Fantastic to doing great works on behalf of humanity - and, in typically fantastic fashion, lead him into even greater trouble! For, as the big brain of the Fantastic Four will find out, solving everything carries with it a great cost, and one that is perhaps too much to pay.… (more)

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I realize that not everyone reads comic books exclusively in the form of trades, but I know a lot of people do, and I'm one of them. If you don't, my objection to Volume 1 of Jonathan Hickman's Fantastic Four Vol. 1 will not be relevant to you.

When I read a trade, I expect a full and complete arc. If the trade encapsulates 6 issues, all 6 of those issues should work to tell a single story. If it's 7 issues, or 5 issues, same deal - tell one complete story, and finish that story by the end of the last issue. The problem I had with Fantastic Four Vol. 1 is that it violates this principle. It's a 5-issue collection, and issues 1-3 are one story, and 4-5 an entirely different story. Actually 4 and 5 are really just standalone stories. These stories do not relate in any way, the first has no real payoff in the second or third. It's just a random collection of separate arcs into a single "volume" and I find that to be very obnoxious.

The first arc was the most infuriating. It's really not a "Fantastic Four" story at all, it's a "Fantasic One". Reed Richards is pretty much the only character in the entire thing, we occasionally hear from the other members of the group, but it's really a one-man show. Richards invents a device that lets him travel between universes. This seems like pretty standard stuff for FF, but what's neat is that he discovers that the Reed Richardses in a ton of other universes have already done the same, in fact they all meet together and have a secret society of all Reeds. This is a neat idea, and it's made even more interesting when the group members basically tell him, you have to leave your family behind to join the group, they'll just hold you back and distract you. I hate to spoil things, but Reed basically decides to turn this offer down because he loves his family, and his father wanted him to be a good family man. It's schmaltzy, sure, but the real problem I have with this is that it completely shuts down this entire story permanently, and so it goes absolutely nowhere. It'd be like, if Luke Skywalker told Obi-Wan he won't join the rebellion, and then supplied a series of reasons for doing so, and Star Wars went on without him. You'd wonder "why did we even meet this Luke guy?"

The second arc is actually less interesting. Kind of standard action stuff, save the world, the entire team comes together. And the third is just as separated, and has Spider-man because Spider-man.

What's so annoying to me is that this notion of a Reed Richards society is interesting enough to fill 5 issues if fleshed out more completely. But instead it just ends early without being really explored, and then two random unrelated stories are thrown in. I'm sure this would be fine if you were a week-to-week reader, in fact you might even appreciate the episodic nature of these issues, but as a trade reader I found it annoying. ( )
  rodhilton | Nov 14, 2014 |
Great start to the Hickman FF run. I read the Dark Reign FF mini a while back, now onto the main event. ( )
  JonathanCrites | Sep 23, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jonathan Hickmanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Chen, SeanIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Dragotta, NickIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Eaglesham, DaleIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Edwards, NeilIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Epting, SteveIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Kitson, BarryIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Brooks, MarkIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Currie, AndrewIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Granov, AdiIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Guice, ButchIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hanna, ScottIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Magyar, RickIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Neary, PaulIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Perkins, MikeIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ruggiero, LorenzoIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Susan of the Richards, Susan of the Storm, envoy of man and emissary of the Peak. Return from where you came, and spread the word...the Old Kings of Atlantis have returned.
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Collects Fantastic Four (1997) #570-574. Ben and Johnny prepare for a trip to Nu-Earth while Val figures out what her dad is up to. See what happens when Reed Richards tries to SOLVE EVERYTHING.
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