For five months, FF was proving to be one of the best relaunches of the year, as tales of the Future Foundation were gripping, the characterization fantastic, and on the whole it represented the culmination of years’ worth of Hickman’s storytelling, finally bearing delicious, deserved fruit.But then out of nowhere, this issue and the last have instead switched gears entirely, focusing instead on the Kree Empire, The Supreme Intelligence, The Inhumans and Black Bolt.And that would be fine, if it wasn’t for the fact that while focusing on all those things, he completely neglected the Future Foundation.And I don’t mean pushed them to the side and they acted as bystanders in their own book, they’re actually completely persona non grata.That and the abrupt change in artwork really manages to interrupt what was a great run, and shakes my confidence in this title.
I understand that for Hickman to use Black Bolt, as shown in the cliffhanger ending to issue #5, explanation was necessary, considering his fate at the end of the War of Kings.But this two-issue dalliance hasn’t actually answered how he survived in the first place, and although there’s some vague mentions of a summoning, the why isn’t yet all that concrete or substantial.As a fan of Hickman’s, I normally have no problem waiting for him to wrap it all together, he’s definitely earned that much trust from me as a reader, but to do it in this fashion, it just was too much.This issue and the last may have helped fill in some blanks, and show us how another piece ends up fitting into the puzzle, but whereas before we already knew the pieces, and then saw them click together, he just brought in a new piece out of nowhere, and the how isn’t that good.
The artwork on this issue and the last is provided by Tocchini, and although I will admit that his artwork has some merit to it, it’s nowhere near the high level of excellence set by the first few issues of this series.Whenever I see his artwork, he’s usually having to follow someone who’s a tough act to follow, whether it be Andy Kubert on the 1602 mini-series (he did the first follow-up mini-series), or Barry Kitson here.
The story here has tons of holes, we see things happen but aren’t given much of a reason as to why they are happening, and we don’t get proper context either. The return of Black Bolt is a HUGE thing for the cosmic universe, and yet it happens here so cavalierly, so haphazardly, that for fans of Marvel’s Cosmic Books, it’s a huge disappointment. I can’t wait for this book to swing its focus back on its true stars, because this two-issue diversion has been just that- a diversion, and one that quickly wore out its welcome.