Writer: Dan Slott
Artist(s): R.B. Silva, Paco Medina, & Will Robson
Colorist(s): Jesus Aburtov, Marcio Menyz
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Release Date: 10/21/2020
***SPOILERS*** (THIS ISSUE IS WAY TOO BIG TO AVOID TALKING ABOUT BIGGER PLOT POINTS)
Dan Slott, when given the page count, can shine through and through. Was there a McGuffin in this story? Yes, but everything else that surrounded that McGuffin was immaculate. Slott drew me in with a mysterious character, great dialogue, heartbreaking realizations, and something big to look forward to.
I’m usually not a big fan of these “(enter random number) hours before/from now” openings, but it was followed by someone I just flat out did not know, with a decent enough design to make me interested in the character. Also, small knit pick, there’s too many “heralds” in the Marvel Universe, tone it down Marvel. This mysterious duo crash land on Earth their target being somewhat affiliated with the Fantastic Four.
Everything in this book just flowed. Nothing felt too forced, except for that McGuffin I was talking about earlier, but we’ll get there. Slott’s books recently dragged on for what felt like forever. Nothing exciting was coming out of his stories and maybe it was just the rules of the trade. I have been on and off Marvel as a whole, but I have kept my eye on the first family because of how important this title has been in the since of fanbase, marketing for when this series debuted, and for the eventual appearance of these characters in Marvel’s MCU. I’d like one story, then hate the very next one because I felt nothing happened. Within the first 6 pages of this book, I’m in. It was one small piece of dialogue but it hit like a bag of bricks. It made me want more.
Susan Storm has been a secret agent for Fury and Fury mentions it would be a “quick job” and that “[her] family will never notice [she] was gone.” Her reply? “Nick, they never do.” Now yes, I know Marvel has been through the whole marriage counseling bit with Susan and Reed, he’s too busy being one of the world’s smartest humans and he doesn’t leave much time for Susan and the family, but to just have Susan say it out loud to a colleague like Fury, you have to think Susan may not be okay with it. It has weight to it, potential. And that is what we need for these characters. Now Sue and Reed confront each other about their secrets and all seems well, but it still leaves room for them to explore a more emotional story in the future.
***MAJOR SPOILER TERRITORY*** GO READ FF#25!!!!
Even as a new Marvel reader (2017) you tend to learn about some of the major events that took place prior to you starting. One of them being, The Death of The Watcher. It happened during Original Sin back in 2014 and his revival took place recently in the “Aftermath” of Empyre. That storyline didn’t intrigue me as much but to see all of it here and to see Dan Slott tease something massive really got the blood pumping. Seeing the “original” Nick Fury reminds me of when the “original” Superman invaded the New 52 Universe over at DC. That gave birth to Rebirth, does that mean a reboot is in the works now for Marvel? Or just another event? Either way, Dan Slott grabbed my attention and made me feel something other than complete boredom with a comic, which I had been feeling for quite some time now.
The art team stuck the landing and then some with this oversized anniversary issue. The color pallet was great, no inconsistencies in facial features or bodies. Dan Slott took advantage of the bigger page count to put as many double page spreads that he could and it paid off well, it’s very obvious that Slott used those spreads in order to fulfill that page count but it was met with great art and great content within.
This is nearly a perfect issue. If it weren’t for the McGuffin I think it may have made the cut for a perfect issue. But a perfect issue needs to be perfect in every way. I’m nervous that I may be right in regards to the awesomeness of this issue being solely due to the page count but I’m willing to see what Dan has planned for the next few issues. There’s plenty threads to play with by the end of this issue, Sue and Reed’s relationship, Reed and Doom’s relationship, Valeria having a new boom in confidence, and Franklin losing his powers, don’t fail me now Dan!