A possible conclusion to the FF.
Writer and artist: Alan Davis
Inker: Mark Farmer
Even though the story’s name is “the end” it felt to me more like a new beginning than a possible ending to Marvel’s first family. The story starts with each of the FF doing their own thing and they don’t get together until near the end. John, not Johnny anymore, has joined the Avengers and is leading a team of Iron Man, the Vision, Thor, Captain Marvel, and the Silver Surfer. Reed is doing research on an FF asteroid all alone, Ben and Alicia are married and they’re living on Mars with their kids, and Susan is doing deep sea archeology.
Susan and Reed have been torn apart by a tragedy: their kids were killed in a confrontation with rather mechanoid Dr. Doom. While Earth and the surviving characters live in near Paradise like world, it’s underscored by tragedy: the mutant wars during which apparently all mutants died. So, even though Reed has come up with the Metuselah treatment which prolongs the lives of humans (or at least the character we’ve grown to love) and other technology which has greatly enhanced the lives of humans, it has a bitter sweet tinge, to me at least. Johnny and the Avengers are faced with a gang of criminals, the She-Hulk is trying to talk to Reed about his survivor’s guilt, and Susan runs into Namor. Together Sue and Namor explore some ruins deep in the sea.
All of the FF are still very much the same characters, even though this story seems to take place at least two decades from now. In fact, all the characters are pretty much the same, older but not more mature nor wiser, with the possible exception of Johnny. Also, the book is full of familiar characters from the FFs past both allies and criminals. This seemed to irritate some reviewers; I rather liked it.
I was actually more interested in the science fiction setting than in the plot. Humans have developed space travel and have colonies off planet but the solar system has been quarantined on the joint decision of humans and other species. In John’s storyline some supervillains are trying to break through the quarantine devices. Iron Man has apparently lost his physical body but is able to download his consciousness to different armors. The heroes wear Personal Environment Generators which allow John, and other heroes and criminals, to use their powers in space. And Reed works on an asteroid which is orbiting Earth, with the FF logo on its side.
This is a fun story, full of the technological wonders I tend to associate with the FF.