After the last two issues of this series went on an Inhumans-centric tangent, it was nice to see this issue go back to business as usual, as the reader jumps back to the main action unfolding on Earth as the Future Foundation tries to get between the alternate reality Reed Richards and the denizens of the Forever City, as Black Bolt and the Inhumans arrive to take the city for themselves.
There's much more forward momentum in this issue, which helps alleviate the annoyance of the last two issues, which took the reader far from Earth, and into space to check in on the Inhumans, both far in the past, and in the more recent past. Although I'm sure there was a good reason for diverting the narrative so, Hickman managed to disrupt his own momentum, which was a shame considering how stellar the first five issues of this series were.
This issue is a welcome return to form, as there's tons going on, the story moves forwards, and the stakes get raised. Black Bolt descends upon the madness going on in the Forever City, Sue confronts Nathaniel about his true motivations for being involved, Reed and the Future Foundation's recent villainous additions head to the Forever City, and there's a betrayal by one of the new Future Foundation members.
Amidst all of that, we also get hints as to there being something particularly bad about the presence of one of the Reed Richards, plus Valeria is rescued from her time-out.
The script is crackling with energy and possibility, and is fast-paced, and quite a fun read. The artwork by Epting remains fantastic, highly polished with a great knack for visual storytelling. When I saw the cover to this issue, I was originally worried about the art, as I was afraid it would all be handled by Acuna, so it was a pleasant surprise that there were different artists involved.
This issue is a fun, enjoyable return to form, one that I hope continues moving forwards without regression, in addition to story slowdown. Recommended!