By James Robinson & Leonard Kirk
Robinson’s first Fantastic Four issue had a lot going for it. It also felt awkward. This was primarily because of attempts to reintroduce the characters to new readers. Now that issue #2 is here, that appears to have gone out the window. Confusing continuity is an old friend of ours. Welcome back.
At the end of last issue, these weird demon things came out of a portal within the Baxter Builder and are attacking New York City. Just about every hero is around to help with the crisis, but as always, it’s up to Reed Richards to find a solution and fix the problem. However, this solution comes at a great cost to Johnny Storm. His downward spiral has now begun. James Robinson’s seeds have been planted. This is some juicy stuff.
Now, let’s talk about that convoluted canon. Those demon thingies happen to have come from the pocket universe that Franklin Richards sent the team into after the events of Onslaught. This was called Heroes Reborn and was a failed attempt at a reboot. Nineties comics, you so crazy. Needless to say, Marvel eventually scrapped this idea and brought things back to status quo. While you may not need to know that entire story to understand what is going on, new readers may find themselves feeling like outsiders. Not to mention the references to the previous volume. If the first issue was meant to rope people in, #2 may scare some potential readers off.
Not everybody will like Leonard Kirk’s art, but they really should. Mostly because it’s awesome. It’s the kind of superhero art that warms the heart. Watching Ben beat the crap out of monsters is brought to a whole new level. There’s an epic scale to Kirk’s art that leaves us in awe. Every page is powerful and full of silver age action that has been brought to a modern era.
While this may not be a great issue for noobs, it does everything that a longtime fan needs it to. Robinson has started the team’s fall and hints that it will get ugly very quickly. With Leonard Kirk on board, that ugliness will sure look pretty. The new Fantastic Four is definitely a keeper.