Review: The Fantastic Four # 581

Published on August 1st, 2010

Fantastic Four 581. Wow. For the longest time I have been invested in Hickman’s run on the Fantastic Four wondering where it was going.This is the payoff issue! We have seen Marvels first family go into parallel universes and fight seemingly lame villians (Arcade I am talking to you) but one of the biggest mysteries as of late is what was going on with the older Franklin coming to the younger Franklin and whispering something to him on his birthday.It really may seem like I am building this issue up but just keep reading and you will understand it all pays off in 581.


At the start of the issue we have the older Franklin and Val discussing the events that played out when they saw their younger selves.They also utter the phrase “All hope lies in Doom”.Then the big reveal, we  then get to see Nathaniel Richards. The very same Nathaniel  Richards that just one month ago we sawin the pages of S.H.I.E.L.D.They begin to discuss some sort of a plan and Nathaniel then jumps through time to visit his son Reed back in his college days.At this point Nathaniel tells Reed, Ben and there college friend Victor that he needs there help, that when he and Howard Stark tried to stop the mechanical man in S.H.I.E.L.D. #2 that, because he was touching the man, he gained powers and can no longer age at the rate that most men do. He also points out that not only did this happen to him but this also happened to every other version of himself from every possible universe. He now needs Reed and his two friends to accompany him to another universe and take down Immortus ,who has pitted all the different Richards from all the different universes against each other.This is basically kicking off this new story arch in a big way.

This issue does so many things for the Fantastic Four that it needed.In addition to linking them to an already great story with S.H.I.E.L.D. it lets us in on Reed’s father and makes it even more interesting that Val and Franklin are working with a grandfather that up until now we have known very little about. The Fantastic Four are at it’s core exploring different qualities of different versions of four and by doing so are allowing us to see what makes the team so special in the first place.

Final Verdict: This book was close to being forgotten by me but this issue solidly puts The Fantastic Four back where they should be gliding that line between science, super-heroism and adventure!

Sheldon Lee