Writer: Dan Slott
Artist(s) Sara Pichelli (with Elisabetta D’Amico), Simone Bianchi, & Skottie Young
Colors: Marte Gracia
Letters: VC’s Joe Caramagna
It’s been a few years since the Fantastic Four graced the comic’s shelves. It was a frustrating and sad time for fans of the FF as there was a giant hole in their hearts as each month went by without an adventure of Marvel’s First Family. Thankfully that wait is over and that hole is once again filled since Fantastic Four #1 is finally here and although the wait was hard the return is a magnificent comic book that I hope will restore the Fantastic Four to their rightful moniker of the Worlds Greatest Comic Magazine.
Fantastic Four #1 is a triumphant return of greatness but anyone expecting a quick reunion of the FF hasn’t read comics for the past decade. Rather Fantastic Four #1 sets the stage for that reunion but does so with heart and grace. Acceptance is the final stage of grief & loss and for Ben Grimm and Johnny Storm they are both entering this stage. Since the disappearance of Reed, Sue, Franklin, and Val in the wake of Secret Wars the two remaining members of the FF have been all over the planet and galaxy separately adventuring while also keeping their minds off the fact that their family is incomplete and they don’t have anyway to fix it. In recent months Johnny and Ben have come back together in Marvel Team-Up and also moved on with their lives and this is where Fantastic Four #1 picks up the tale.
Moving on with their lives is the theme of Fantastic Four #1. Ben is doing better than Johnny as he and Alicia (Alicia is Back!) are moving forward with their relationship and taking a very big step. Johnny on the other hand has a glimmer of hope, especially when some Yancy Street hooligans fire a Fantastic Four signal flare into the sky (very reminiscent of Fantastic Four #1 in 1961). Ben has two big questions in this issue, one is a happy response while the second sends Johnny on a tirade that finally allows him to accept that his family is gone….but then the sliver of hope appears. Fantastic Four #1 also has a flashback story of the entire team that is delightful and takes a trip to Latveria, which has fallen into Marshall Law without the iron boot of Doctor Doom. The Bendis era of Doom the hero is over and if this issue is any indication everything in the Fantastic Four Universe is going to be restored and returned to greatness.
Marvel’s brilliance on this issue was choosing this creative team. Fresh off of his extended tenure on Spider-Man Dan Slott was the perfect choice to write this title. Its obvious Slott has a deep love for the Fantastic Four as well as a healthy respect for their history. He also writes amazing stories and will no doubt leave a lasting legacy on the Fantastic Four. Sara Pichelli is a gem. Her art is pitch perfect for this title with emotion radiating from the pages. Her expressive faces and detailed layouts have grown over time and she is at the height of her game with this issue. I can only hope for a long extended run on the Fantastic Four from this A List team. Simone Bianchi joins Scott for the Latverian tale and his dark and moody art oozes from the page and amplifies the darkness and danger that is Doctor Doom.
Verdict: I took a deep dive into the Fantastic Four this summer to understand the team and the legacy of this title (read My Fantastic Journey 1, 2, 3 here) and along the way I became a fan. Reading Hundreds of Fantastic Four comics over the last few months only grew my anticipation for Fantastic Four #1 and it did not disappoint. Marvel has nailed it with this issue because they put Dan Slott and Sara Pichelli on this title who created a perfect first issue and I can’t wait to see them restore the Fantastic Four to the Worlds Greatest Comic Magazine.