Collects Fantastic Four # 579-582
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artists: Neil Edwards, Andrew Currie

This collection starts with Reed, essentially, calling an end to people fearing the future and instead tells them to dream and plan big. And because he’s disappointed in others’ inability to do just that he quits Singularity (apparently a place for all scientists to gather) and starts the Future Foundation where he had already gathered many of the world’s brightest young minds, including Valeria, Alex Power, Bentley (the clone of Wizard), and Dragon Man. This is both a pay-off from previous issues and a set-up for lots of future stuff.

Then we get a fun, wacky issue where Johnny takes Franklin and Leech toy shopping for Impossible Man’s new toys. However, they go to a store owned by Arcade and hijinks ensure! We also get glimpses of what’s happening in Nu-World and the story ends with a surprise: The Future Foundation kids just might have found a partial cure for Ben!

Next is a two-issue time traveling and dimension hopping adventure for Ben, Reed… and Victor von Doom. We finally get to know whatever happened to Reed’s dad Nathaniel Richards whom Byrne revealed to have been a dimension traveling scientist. Nathaniel has so big problems that he comes to Reed when Reed’s still studying in university. But the reason Nathaniel shows up is not to ask for help, otherwise he would have showed much later in Reed’s life, like Nathaniel admits, but to say good-bye to his son. Of course Reed wants to help his dad (duh!) but the only one with the required inventions is another student, Victor. We also find about what the future Franklin and Valeria are up to. And it’s huge!

This is the collection where the set-ups start to pay off. But 12 issues of set up is a long time. Still, I really enjoy Hickman’s characterizations, having the kids around and doing stuff, and the large cast around FF. Johnny’s and Franklin’s relationship is shown more than ever before (I think). Now, the two issue story here is a bit confusing even to me and I consider myself an experienced time travel reader. 🙂 Still, it’s overall a very enjoyable collection unless you really hate Arcade, of course.

Next up is “Three”!

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