Review: Fantastic Four #587

Published on January 28th, 2011

Warning! This review WILL spoil the ending of this comic book.

This week was absolutely epic for comics, I personally walked out of my local comic shop with about thirty books (Don’t judge me). You know what the first book I read was? Fantastic Four #587. Was this book worth all the hype it got? In my opinion, absolutely not. I’m a huge fan of the FF, it was one of the first books I started reading on a regular basis and by the time I was done reading this I don’t think that I could have been more pissed off. You’re probably thinking that I’m pissed about (SPOILER ALERT) The Human Torch being killed. I’m not, I’m pissed because it meant nothing.

ff587Marvel has been very clear that by the end of this story arc one of The Fantastic Four will be dead. So at this point all four characters are in a situation where they could easily be killed, and we’re supposed to be on the edge of our seats reading this. The Invisible Woman is trying to establish peace between Old Atlantis and Namor’s kingdom, and Namor believes they will sacrifice her. Mr. Fantastic is trying to evacuate everyone on Nu-World before Galactus destroys it. And The Human Torch and The Thing (Ben Grim, he’s depowered at the moment) are trying to keep the kids of The Future Foundation safe from a breach in Reed’s Negative Zone portal.

So the question is, who’s going to die? Reed? Nope. Fortunately every citizen of Nu-World has had their minds absorbed into Natalie X, so after a brief encounter with Hulk Jr. (whatever his name is) Reed and his pals escape Galactus in one ship. Neat, huh? What about The Invisible Woman? She’s fine. Sue actually becomes the queen of Old Atlantis because Namor killed the king in the last issue and since Sue was made the next in line as the ambassador, she’s the head cheese. So after kicking Namor’s ass (best scene in the comic) Sue has settled the problems in the ocean and decides to go home.

So it’s down to Ben and Johnny, and you would think that since Ben is stuck in his human form he’d be the one to get the ax right? Nope, The Thing died like a year or two ago, it wouldn’t be fair. Nope. When the time comes for somebody to stay behind in the Negative Zone to shut down the portal, Ben volunteers, but at the very last second Johnny shoves Ben back through the portal with the kids. And of course the second the portal closes Ben turns back into The Thing to watch as his best buddy is swarmed by Annihilus’ army.

So that’s it, The Human Torch had his last stand, and now I get to turn into an angry fan boy and bitch about why I’m pissed off. Here’s the problem, we all knew someone was going to die. If you saw Ian’s New This Week video on Monday, he called The Human Torch as the one going to die. It was obvious, he’s the only one that hasn’t been killed, it was just his turn apparently. Marvel went to all the trouble of releasing it a day early and sealing the book in a black bag to make this a huge surprise, but it wasn’t. It was just a big fat let down. Plus, we all know he’s going to come back, I don’t care what anyone says, he’ll be back. I don’t even think he’s dead, he just got swarmed in an alternate dimension. Unless I see his head torn off or his heart ripped out of his chest, I don’t believe it. And the black bag it was sealed in? Total rip off, first off it hides the actual cover which is pretty damn cool, and second it just makes people want to keep it in its bag and never read it because it could be worth something. What’s the point of keeping it a secret when you post the ending on your official website? Oh I know, it’s so people will buy two and keep one trapped inside its pretty bag. I hate that mentality, comics are meant to be read and enjoyed.

The worst part is that a death story when written well can really be a good story. As cheesy as it sounds the death of a character, especially someone who’s been around as long as The Human Torch, should really pull at your heart strings. By the time I was done with this it should have felt like Hickman reached into my chest, pulled out my heart, and stomped on it. I barely felt anything, I felt more in the previous issue where Ben was having the best time of his life as a normal human. That was good writing, this just didn’t do anything for me.

Finally I have to say, that this whole thing just felt like a gimmick to boost sales, which I know it did. It was a mistake. The Fantastic Four shouldn’t be about gimmicky story lines. I like Hickman’s writing (S.H.I.E.L.D. is amazing), but overall I’m disappointed with his run on The Fantastic Four, I would much rather see someone like Fraction writing this book. At least I can keep reading Ben Grimm in New Avengers.

Ken Zeider