Review: Fantastic Four #588

Published on February 28th, 2011

The Fantastic Four are no more. Long live The Future Foundation! The Richards family have gone through a lot on Jonathan Hickman’s run on The Fantastic Four and it seems as though there is only more hard times to come for Marvels first family. Since Hickman started his run he has changed the family dynamic and , in my own humble opinion, taken the Fantastic Four in a bold new direction.  But is this a direction that we can all be on board for or just another misstep for the team? Find out as we review Fantastic Four # 588 written by Hickman and drawn by Nick Dragotta.

ff588When last we saw the first family they were scattered about each handling their own big problems. Sue was in the deepest fathoms of the ocean handling an  underwater debate, Reed was dealing with Galactus, and Johnny and Ben were fending off a wave of Annihilus bugs with the kids. I guess you could consider this just another day in the life of the Fantastic Four. As we all know by now Johnny did not make it and was trapped behind the portal gate to fend off the wave of attacking Annihilus bugs and was assumed to have died thus leaving the Fantastic Four short a very long term important member. Issue #588 is the fall out of the last issue and for all purposes is considered the last issue of the long running series to make way for FF #1 in March.

“My GOD….”  these are the next to the last words spoken in what will be considered the Final Issue of the long running series. Primarily there are no words in this issue. This is considered a “silent” issue consisting of panels of people in mourning. I will say right off the bat that this issue was necessary to tell the continuing story of all the remaining family members and how they deal with the pain of losing a family member and friend. Each member is shown dealing with this in different ways. One of the most chilling of all these was seeing Valerie Richards and the kids in a no nonsense way.  Val stands in a class room amongst the other kids and writes on a chalk board “Kill Annihilus ” with a deadly serious look on her face. This along with Reed Richards being handed Johnny Storms torn uniform by Annihilus was worth your time  for this issue. It was actually touching to see the team be emotionally torn down and did not feel forced at all.The regular issue ended with Reed’s father coming back and saying “Hello Son…I’m Home”. The loss of one family member and the return of another.

I can safely say that FF is in the right hands with Hickman at the helm and while we all know that Johnny is not gone forever..for now he is lost and a new beginning has been forged. I would like to add that as a back up to this issue there is a short story about Spider-Man and Franklin Richards. This short story basically has Franklin and Spidey swinging through New York talking about the loss of  Johnny. In the end, Spidey reveals that that he too lost an Uncle and that Franklin is not alone. Now while this is a nice little story I would rather have seen this happen later on in a issue of FF. While this story is “OK” it just seems to break up what was already a great silent issue.

Final Verdict: The Fantastic Four is a book that has been dated for years. Hickman is changing everything in the very best way possible! Read this and anything  he is a  part of!

Sheldon Lee

Sheldon@comicimpact.com