By John Byrne

Collects Fantastic Four #251-257 and Annual #17, Avengers #233, and Thing #2.

Fantastic Four in the Negative Zone!

I’m sure many readers where wondering what Byrne could do to top the Galactus-story. The answer, of course, is something completely different. In these stories the FF travel in the Negative Zone exploring the (strangely familiar) cultures while at the same time Annihilus is ravaging Baxter Building and is preparing to annihilate two universes.

In the first story the FF leave to the Zone while Alicia stays to baby sit Franklin. However, soon after they have left, Annihilus takes advantage of the portal and arrives to the Baxter Building.

In the second story, the FF arrives and immediately meets a tribe which sacrifices women to a metal building which they believe to be a god. Unsurprisingly, the FF interferes. The whole story has been drawn sideways highlighting the strangeness of the Zone.

Next, the FF encounters a huge generation ship. After a brief fight, they find out that the crew of the ship has been searching for a new home for 500 generations. The rest of their people are in hibernation. The FF decides to help.

The next story takes up three issues and the Avengers tie-in. The FF arrives to another planet and this time Reed wants to do undercover investigating. However, it doesn’t take long for the local overlord to notice the FF. The ruler invites the FF for dinner but it turns out that he’s after Reed’s brain. The result is perhaps one of FFs most strangest adventures.

At the same time, the Avengers and Daredevil have noticed that a large and invisible force field is around the Baxter Building and it is growing. They try to take it down.

Finally, there’s a story about Galactus devouring the Skrull homeworld. His new Herald Nova doesn’t seem to have many human feelings left.

This is a very good continuation of Byrne’s FF run. My only complaint is that the Negative Zone cultures aren’t any different from the modern day USAians.

Otherwise, FF show once again a great mix of scientists and superheroes. They each have their own distinctive personalities and the villains are properly villainous. Also, not everyone they meet are villains