This titanic new issue of Fantastic Four celebrates fifty years of the team, as well as their six hundredth issue (if you add together all of its various incarnations and volumes). This is one heck of a hefty book, clocking in at 100 pages, and going for nearly three times the price of a typical comic. But make no mistake, this package is most definitely worth it, as it presents 100 pages of all-new content, which is definitely rare these days, especially in anniversary issues.
Hickman writes the whole shebang, with the lead story being the most entertaining and thrilling. It has the best sense of pacing, and although I loved the entire issue’s contents, I do wish that the story had encompassed the entire issue. It was one of those stories that had everything going for it, brilliant art, and the sense that all the plot threads were coming together in one mammoth showdown. It’s everything from Hickman’s run coalescing at the same time into one gigantic, thrilling, amazingly written story. About half-way into the issue we get a flashback story – no spoilers, but it’s exceptionally well-done, fitting for the character, and doesn’t feel unnatural. The rest of the stories maintain a high level of energy, as well as a sense of foreboding, as plot elements pull together and promise one hell of a resolution.
The artwork is handled by various artists, each taking on one of the individual stories, with the work by Epting on the lead story being the standout, which is saying something given the other artists involved. Epting’s work stands out because of how he effectively conveys not just the story Hickman is attempting to tell, but how he also ratchets up the sense of pacing in the script, so that as the book unfolds you’re unable to look away from the gorgeous panels for fear of missing something important. Epting’s pages give the story a more cinematic pacing and intensity.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, WELL WORTH THE PRICE!