The Background –
The Fantastic Four have been reunited – with some old friends making some appearances as well. With a powerful enemy defeated and the Future Foundations escapades through space wrapping up it is time for the team to officially return home to Earth. Reed, Sue, Franklin, and Val have been absent from the planet for far too long, and their return should cause some waves. I mean, Reed and Val are two of the most intelligent characters in the universe, and never mind Franklin’s unfathomable powers. But, for now, let’s enjoy some easy going FF books.
The Cover –
Who the heck are the Fantastix? And, are we just jumping into an alternate reality right off the bat? I am not gonna lie, they do look pretty cool – except this extra nerdy version of Mr. Fantastic. But, what do these new characters have in store? Are they the good guys or the bad guys? Should be an exciting read below this cover.
The Story –
Who else would be the first FF villains to show up in this new series but the Wrecking Crew? I am pretty sure they were also the last villains to appear in the original run. But, it is the Crew that is taking the opportunity to rob a jewellery store as all of the former FF members have mysteriously vanished from Earth. Thankfully, there is a new superhero team in town to save the day, The Fantastix, 2-D, Hope, Iceberg, and Ms. Fanastix. A little side note, these are all former members of the Liberteens, a group formed during the Avengers: Initiative.
Meanwhile, the Fantastic Four are ready to return home, and they say a temporary goodbye to all of their friends. The Future Foundation has decided to continue their travels through the stars without their mentors Reed and Sue. And, like that, the six members of the Fantastic Four are ready to return home to the Baxter Building in New York City.
Unfortunately, their triumphant comeback is overshadowed by the show the Fantastix are putting on across the street. As the FF decides to join the battle they seem to cause more bad than good. Thankfully, Val figures out that the entire struggle between the Wrecking Crew and the Fantastix is all just a publicity stunt for the new team. Naïve to the fact that their manager staged the battle, the Fantastix make a deal with Reed that they may keep the Baxter Building for themselves. With the Fantastic Four left with nowhere to go, Ben invites them into his home, and the team has a new headquarters on Yancy Street.
The Review –
First, let’s talk about this new team rolling in and taking over the Baxter Building. The Fantastix are a team built out of necessity. In a world that has depended on the FF to save the day countless times, a new team would have to take over. Essentially, isn’t that how so many other iterations of the Fantastic Four were born? But, why are they so late to the scene? Is arriving on the same day as the FF’s triumphant return just bad timing and bad luck? And, at what point did the Liberteens disband so that these members could form their own project? So many questions.
As for the Baxter Building no longer being the FF’s home base, thank goodness. Okay, that may sound crazy coming from someone who always touts about his love for this comic title, but hear me out. As Volume 5 of Fantastic Four comics rolled down to cancellation Reed Richards life was falling apart. A significant piece to that puzzle was the legal issues that Reed was caught up in regarding the Baxter Building. All of the inventions and attacks caused by the FF remaining in the centre of the city had created so many issues for their neighbours over the years that it caused backlash. At this point, the smartest man in the universe should be able to discern that he should probably move. With all of his technology, does it really matter where on Earth his headquarters are located? Heck, build whatever base you want in the middle of the Mohave Desert, would it really matter, there are plenty of other superheroes to cover New York, and you can still get there in a minute should you need to. Besides all that, Reed has no right to the Baxter Building anyways. That deed got sold to Peter Parker years ago and then sold over after that. The Fantastic Four don’t need that old building any more, it’s time for an upgrade.
That is pretty much it for this issue. It’s all about establishing that status quo. And, to really settle things in we have the marriage of Ben and Alicia coming up in the next book. Issue 5 and we already have a wedding special, which is crazy, but also, what took this couple so long? So, I am happy with how this book was put together, more of a family book than an action one, which sometimes is essential.