When Fantastic Four #588 ended the series, I figured it was only a matter of time, or rather 11 issues, until Fantastic Four #600 would hit the shelves of my local comic book store, and restore the Fantastic Four name. What I didn’t expect, however, was that FF would continue onwards from that point, after 11 issues where it was the only Fantastic Four-related comic book in town. Hickman wisely decided to take his mega epic and split it up, so that the Future Foundation parts of the story were relegated to the FF book, and the rest was confined to the Fantastic Four book. In both cases, the larger story comprised story elements that had been building up over the last few years, but were more manageable from a storytelling perspective split up. This collection features Fantastic Four #600-604, and although it has a relatively steep price tag for 5 issues, readers should keep in mind that issue #600 was a massive affair when it was originally published, with a packed lead story, as well as a variety of back-up stories.
This collection starts with issue #600, which spins the Future Foundation characters into their adventure that is chronicled in the recently released FF by Jonathan Hickman Volume 3. Issue #600 is a bit of a start and stop affair, as there are a few stories which put a bunch of pieces into position. This collection is a more action-oriented affair compared to the FF issues which were published at the same time, as they were more of a complex science fiction affair. Not having the FF issues integrated into this trade paperback doesn’t hurt the flow of this story as much as it does when reading the FF Volume 3 collection that omits Fantastic Four #600, although you are missing an aspect of the story (and after the Future Foundation kids disappear in issue #600, you might wonder just what happens to them next). This volume is high action, as the Annihilation Wave erupts from the Negative Zone under surprising leadership, the Kree Empire attacks, the Inhumans return to Earth, Galactus gets involved, and two visitors from the future arrive to save the day just in the nick of time. The scripting is phenomenal, as Hickman proves he’s just as adept at scripting high-octane, high-stakes action as he is engrossing science fiction.
There are a variety of artists who contribute to the issues collected here, as Epting and Kitson do most of the art chores, with a number of artists contributing to the smaller back-up stories that were featured in Fanastic Four #600. Kitson’s artwork is great looking, but Epting’s work makes it pale in comparison, which is saying something.
This is a terrific volume, boasting truly fantastic work from the creative team (pun intended). This is a most satisfactory conclusion to the grand Fantastic Four/FF epic that Hickman started with Dark Reign: Fantastic Four, and shouldn’t be missed. Highly Recommended!