On the old and the new in Fantastic Four

Posted by CB Droege

FF #1 is out, and while fun for fans, it doesn’t look like enough has changed to pull in new readers for more than a couple issues.

Fantastic Four ended recently after a very long run. With the death of one of the original members and the founding of the Future Foundation. The spin off series FF has begun with Issue #1 this week, and it attempts to bring new readers in the story by starting with fresh plots, and new twists.

It honestly feels like not much has changed. I mean: yes, The Human Torch is gone, but the story is written as if it is simply a continuation of the story in Fantasic Four; as if it’s not a new series, but the same series with a new name, and new numbers.

The humor is still hokey, and the characters are still a little bit overly wholesome, but there are some changes going down in addition to the loss of a team member.

Spider-Man has joined the core team, Reed’s father is back from the future, The Wizard has been released from his super-powered prison, and an old nemesis is requesting membership in the new Future Foundation, which will perhaps shift the mood of the team a bit, while simultaneously introducing some dramatic elements.

While it’s true that it could be a good entrance point for someone who has been holding off on reading the Fantastic Four because of its daunting number of back issues, it’s not a clean break, and a new reader will still be very confused as to what is going on through most of this first issue, or at least in the dark as to why things are so heavy.

It seems like there is a plan to be more explanative about things, at least in the first few issues, but it will still take some effort to slog through.

With so many decades of backstory, it’s almost impossible for the writers to do anything that doesn’t require huge amounts of explanation.

FF #1 saw record sales, but will they keep up? It all depends on the success of the tremendous balancing act the writers have set out for themselves.