Collects Fantastic Four 605.1-611
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artists: Mike Choi, Ron Garney, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Karl Kesel, Ryan Stegman,
This collects a series of shorter stories with various artists. They feel quite disjointed after the previous long storylines.
In the first issue we get to see a Fantastic Four in a world where the Nazi Germany conquered USA.
In the next issue our familiar First Family does some exploring in dangerous circumstances.
Next up is a two-issue story set in Wakanda. T’Challa has had to abdicate the throne and his sister is the new queen. But T’Challa has another quest and he asks Reed to accompany him. Reed has to confront the magic which is the source of T’Challa’s powers.
Then, in another one issue story, the Defenders from the Future are going home in a strange way. Essentially, the Nu-World storyline is wrapped up here.
Then, it’s A.I.M. and the Wizard vs the Fantastic Four plus Spider-Man. A.I.M. has bought themselves a whole island and the US president is worried about it. So, he sends Reed’s team to see what the A.I.M. is up to. The story continues with Bentley, the Wizards’ young clone, in a FF comic which isn’t in the collection.
The trade ends with Dr. Doom which feels appropriate. In the FF comic, Doom was left on the Bridge to secure the others’ escape. Now, Reed, his dad Nathaniel, and the adult Valerie return to the Bridge.
Hickman’s run was a wild ride. I bought the individual issues and rereading them I remember the long wait between them. I got them about every four months, three-four issues at the time which turned out to be a good way to read them. He did use a lot of set-up which I understand can frustrate some readers but the pay-off was worth it. In these final issues he sets up future adventures, too, intertwining Reed and T’Challa’s destinies together and showing some of the background for his own stories, too. Most of the time I enjoyed them a lot. His characterization was very good, especially with Susan. He used classic elements and foes like Galactus and the Inhumans but also brought in new things. Great stuff! That said, this last volume isn’t a necessary read.