Where there is a ending, somewhere there is a beginning. The spirit of the Fantastic Four ended with the death of Johnny Storm aka The Human Torch, but in the wake of his death, the seeds of the future were sown and the Future Foundation arose. Can this ever growing family dynamic lead to a prosperous future? Take the jump and find out true believers.

FF #1
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Penciler: Steve Epting
Inks: Steve Epting & Rick Magyar
Color: Paul Mounts
Letterer: Virtual Calligraphy’s Rus Wooton
Covers: Steve Epting, Daniel Acuna, Marko Djurdjevic, Gerald Parel, Stan Goldberg, Joe Sinnott, and Val Staples
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99 USD

Previously, in FF: Spinning out of the events of Fantastic Four, the ever expanding Richards Family has excepted accepted Spider-man into the fold, as they move forward to make the future a better place.


The issue opens with Agents of A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics) looking for “new ideas” as they jump into something that resembles a Stargate. Cut to a still grieving Richards Family, reeling from the loss of Johnny, as Spider-man enters, to join the team to make the world a better place. But with some of the family not yet ready for a replacement, mainly Ben, and Franklin, the latter of the two who still reserves a seat for his dead Uncle, something that Spidey knows all about. With A.I.M. out to set free the Wizard, and Valeria Richards out to bring a new guest into the “Club“, this already chaotic environment, will grow even more so.

I only read Hickman’s run of Fantastic Four up to the first HC/TPB. I just didn’t care for Marvel at the time, I had loyalty to the writer, not the book. I came up with Hickman and his independent work on The Nightly News, Pax Romana, Transhuman, and the often delayed, Red Mass for Mars, all pretty revolutionary stuff. With the unconventional path he started in Fantastic Four, I figured the editors wouldn’t allow it to continue, but I was wrong.

Though I was missing a lot of what happened previous to this issue, since this book is very continuity heavy, the family dynamic is easy to digest. Every character feels real, and the interaction between Reed, his long lost father, Nathaniel Richards, and Valeria, was top notch Richards Family big brains clashing at it‘s best.


The artwork by Steve Epting is nothing short of a brilliant. I have been a fan of his since his work on Captain America, and in 26 pages of story he has to work with he shows his mastery of characters, their expressions, and the backgrounds they romp in. The twisted visage of The Wizard, the melancholy demeanor of Ben Grimm, it would work within text, but it takes a talented artist such as Epting to convey it on the page, and make this fictional character come to life.

In one panel that has Sue giving Spidey a sit-rep of what has been going on with the Family, there is a scene where they are passing through a den of sorts that has Dragon Man sitting in a chair with his glasses, reading a book. For some reason the way he is depicted makes me laugh, and really intrigued at the same time. If that is a simpatico of the writer and the artist than so be it. I just know that the detail displayed is stunning.

At first I was averse to the design of the “uniform’s” for the Future Foundation. But after seeing them in this issue I have come around to liking them, and after thinking of it, this variation is not awful at all. But nothing is, when you compare it to the costumes of the early 90’s, where Sue dressed like a Times Square Hooker circa 1977, and the Thing wore a bucket on his head. My how the times have changed for the better.


This is a fantastic first issue, no pun intended, but it is. I can’t wait for the second issue, and that is always a good sign, all that characters are interesting, and of course I hope Dragon Man and the kids of the Future Foundation do get their equal share of the spotlight, I could read a arc, or three about them. The simple task of saying Grace at the dinner table is a both hilarious and informative of who they are.

My only complaint is that there is a two page sequence that involves Spider-man swinging through the air of Manhattan, on his way to the roof of the FF’s headquarters, it feels like a waste of two pages. I am not really a fan of splash pages, and 4 of the 26 pages of this comic were splash pages, and maybe only one of them was necessary. But, oh well, can’t win them all.

As a whole, this comic offers a lot, and I enjoyed every bit that it gave me, I look forward to a long run of FF, and will not leave unless something happens in the same vein as the Death of Lian Harper, or a Deal with a Devil to erase a marriage. But I give Jonathan Hickman the credit not to stoop that low.

Final Verdict, FF #1 receives a astounding 5 Stars, out of 5.

Rating: ★★★★★

The Author

Larry King

Larry King

It is hard being a King, especially when your first name is Larry. Well, not really. In Larry’s Kingdom the re-imagining “Battlestar Galactica” is superior, “The Wire” is the greatest crime show ever, and “ROM, Spaceknight” is the hero of the realm.

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  1. eric
    March 25, 2011 at 3:30 pm — Reply

    You mean to tell me that creativity was so stiffled that a company has to kill a character to create interest. That is the lack of creativity.

    • March 25, 2011 at 4:27 pm — Reply

      You are so wrong it hurts. That has so little to do with this comics and Hickman’s writing here, it physically hurts.

    • Lando
      March 26, 2011 at 6:10 am — Reply

      Killing a character, beloved or not, is not a lack of creativity, it is the fallout that comes after it that matters. Hickman proved, at least to me I won’t speak for anyone else, that when done right you have yourself a great story.

      Personally, It’s one thing to kill a character to create interest and to advance a story, its another to kill a character just for pure shock value. DC did this to start off in Titans, the only reason that book is still even going is because it is tied to Brightest Day. Now that book has a huge lack of creativity.

      • March 26, 2011 at 9:00 am — Reply

        Killing a character, beloved or not, is not a lack of creativity, it is the fallout that comes after it that matters.

        Agreed. Killing a character is just a tool in the comic writer’s toolbox, and saying that it is the problem with any given story avoids the fact that some of the greatest comics stories ever told (Watchmen, The Dark Knight, Fables, Powers, even A Contract With God) use that tool and use it well.

  2. Brainlock
    March 25, 2011 at 4:00 pm — Reply

    accepted = included
    excepted = not included
    expected = you knew someone was going to call you on this, like the missing “and” between Dragon Man AND the kids of the FF…

    “I’d say an ounce of prevention
    is worth a pound of attention span”

  3. March 25, 2011 at 4:35 pm — Reply

    Reminder: We hold Spoilerites to a higher standard than some of the other sites out there. While you may agree or disagree with things that are posted, you should keep a civil tongue and be respectful of others.

    • March 25, 2011 at 4:50 pm — Reply

      If you’re referring to me, what I said was correct. Hickman’s interviews have basically said as much. He’s been planning this the whole time, and it speaks nothing of lack of creativity.

      So he is as wrong as he can be. It’s not a difference of opinion.

      • March 26, 2011 at 9:04 am — Reply

        So he is as wrong as he can be. It’s not a difference of opinion.

        I believe Stephen was making a general statement of policy and not castigating anyone in particular… Eric’s opinions sound quite a bit like trolling in the classical intarweb sense, and don’t seem to have anything substantive behind ’em. Mileage varies, and now we’re cha-cha-ing.

  4. Jericho
    March 25, 2011 at 5:04 pm — Reply

    I went into the story with no true expectations. I thought to myself several times — “Do we REALLY need another comic book starring Spider-man?”. It’s almost gotten to the point these days that some comic books need to either “fake-murder” a character (ala with the X-men books in recent years such as Magneto, Legion and Colossus to name a few) or have a major game player join the fold. All I kept thinking in the end was — in a few months, maybe a year, lo and behold, Johnny Storm will return and GASP! He’ll be alive and well but changed forever! Yeah until sales begin to shift again and then viola! Something will occur that will change the FF’s lives — forever. I don’t mean to sound cynical here but it just feels like I’ve been down this path before only with a different title, different set of characters but the same type of venue. Shock and awe. For me, it was more like — shock and yawn.

  5. Erik Waddell
    March 25, 2011 at 8:26 pm — Reply

    It’s been a while since I indulged in a Marvel title, but the art in FF#1 is what really caught my eye at first. Just fabulous, fabulous stuff. Once I sat down to read it and got to enjoy Hickman’s writing, I was hooked. There’s something about this first issue that just left me feeling optimistic, happy, and really looking forward to seeing what more is to come. While the contrast of this with the melancholy in the aftermath of the Human Torch’s death is there in the issue, FF really has the feeling of a new beginning.

    Last time I was really into Marvel was with X-Factor (the original X-Factor), and this reminds me of some of the earlier issues of that comic. It was also a treat for me to see Artie and Leech are still together and part of the FF team.

    I can’t wait for issue #2.

  6. Crash
    March 26, 2011 at 7:19 pm — Reply

    Picked up this comic without have read anything FF in the last 4 years. It was meh in my opinion. Too much going on that I couldn’t keep up with.
    Also when did the Wizard become a big deal that they need all 4 of them to take him out? Spider-Man used to kick his but along with 3 other goons all at the same time.

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