Or – “Is You Is, Or Is You Ain’t My Torchy?”

Their tenure was only supposed to last for four minutes…  At least, that was the plan.  Weeks later, the interim FF team has been attacked by super-villains, lambasted by the media, and surprised to find that one member of their sister team HAS returned, albeit later than expected.  Is his tale of the death of the original Fantastic Four true?  Your Major Spoilers review awaits!

FF3CoverFF #3
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: MIchael Allred
Colorist: Laura Allred
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Editor(s): Tom Brevoort with Lauren Sankovitch
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $2.99

Previously, in FF:  Scott Lang didn’t want the job of leading the FF after the death of his daughter Cassie in the Children’s Crusade.  But, when Reed Richards asked him, he nonetheless stood up to take his place as the head of the Future Foundation and interim leader of a standby Fantastic Four.


The issue begins with the disturbing image of a maimed (and decades older) Johnny Storm explaining what happened after his team left our reality in issue #1.  Ant-Man is, understandably, skeptical of the identity of the newcomer, but has other issues to deal with; the disappearance of one of his teammates and FOUR of his students.  The Moloids (Mik, Korr, Turg and Tong) disappeared after the Mole Man’s attack last ish, while Darla Deering left the team believing she was out of her depth.  Fraction’s characterization is spot-on throughout the issue, from the wonderful interactions between She-Hulk and Medusa (Shulkie called in ex-boyfriend Wyatt Wingfoot to help confirm the identity of their wayward Storm) to Ant-Man’s attempts to get Ms. Thing back in the FF fold. Dialogue is also a big win here, with Alex Power getting a very very nice line after being told to go to bed (“It’s 4:30 and I’m nineteen and it’s New Year’s…  No.”) while Moloid Mik discovers a bit of steel in his spine in a surprising and effective moment.  The erstwhile Torch’s identity is confirmed by Wyatt, which makes his tale of a horrifying alliance between Doom, Kang and Annihilus even more frightening.


As for Darla, she is utterly miserable with her return to the shallow life of a rock star, thinking over and over that she doesn’t deserve the adulation and the fame, no matter how much the public loves her.  When Ant-Man sneaks into her room to try to woo her back to the team, she’s wearing nothing but a towel, which creates the implication of romantic tension (at least to me.)  Of course, things get even more complicated by the interference of the Yancy Street Gang, who have targeted Darla as an extension of their feud with The Thing, and set off a gag bomb full of whipped cream in her hotel room.  She proves herself to be more than capable, though, impressively leaping into action to stop the gang members still clad in her towel, and out-thinking Ant-Man throughout the chase.  There’s another slight relationship tease between Darla and Scott, and the issue ends with Ms. Thing returning to the FF in time for Ant-Man announce their new goal:  End the threat of Doom once and for all!


This issue is a very charming one for me, made even more so by the sight of a Mike Allred-drawn half-naked woman throughout the major action sequence, and the overall effect at the end of my reading is one of contentment.  I don’t know what’s up with the future Torch, but I have enough faith in this creative team to be willing to sit back and enjoy the ride.  Fraction makes different use of the Future Foundation kids than Hickman did, but in a very successful way anyway, and the return of Wyatt Wingfoot is a cheer-out-loud moment.  FF #3 is a book that I suspect will be an acquired taste for some readers, but I love the art and find the writing to be charming and unique among the darker-and-edgier comics on the stands today, and award the book 4 out of 5 stars overall.  If this book keeps it up, it could even eclipse the main Fantastic Four title in my good graces, a feat which would be impressive indeed…

Rating: ★★★★☆


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About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. I read it once, then a second time. I love MIchael Allred’s art, but on the second read, I was really took note of Laura Allred’s colors. This book’s team is wonderful.

    The Wyatt Wingfoot scene alone earned a whole slice of meatloaf from me.

  2. I can’t say I like Allred’s art. Is it just me or does it seem like the characters are somewhat “misplaced” in the page (like the pursuit in the corridor…). every few panels, I get an “out of place” feel, which I don’t like.

    Mind you, I’m not saying the art is bad, but just…I can’t find the word…strange? I’m definitely not a fan.

    I am a fan of mr Fraction’s writing, though. The story alone more than makes up. And I agree the Wyatt Wingfoot scene is great (at least to us old FF fans who remember fondly the Byrne era…)…

    I’m staying in, but not for the art…sorry.

  3. I never read Fantastic Four, but picked up this issue basically for the Allreds. And I have not been disappointed! FF has quickly jumped to the top of my read list.

    Question: I am loving the Future Foundation idea as presented (particularly in FF#1). Is it worth going back to pick up Hickman’s Future Foundation run?

    • Yes, yes and yes. Just make sure you read his Fantastic Four run too (from the beginning) as it starts there and won’t make sense.

      It’s probably one of the best runs on a comic in a few years.

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