Written by: Dan Slott
Art by: R.B. Silva
Colors by: Jesus Aburtov
Letters by: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Release Date: 11/18/2020
NON SPOILER PORTION:
Dan Slott knows exactly how to crash land the hype of a prior issue. Starting off with characters that have nothing to do with the main plot, and using this anticipated issue as a “Oh I forgot about those characters, let me end their story here.” situation. Slott is the type of writer, like most, that will always want to tie everything up in a bow in one issue. As a reader, I absolutely hate that. It creates strands of story that I couldn’t care less about, but at the same time, leaves little to no room for the plot points that I am interested in.
R.B. Silva and Jesus Aburtov were great on the issue, I enjoyed every panel for what it was and the colors popped where they needed to. I’ve always loved the color pallet of the Fantastic Four books, the focus on the blues and purples give off the cosmic feel and makes objects like the Forever Gate looks beautiful.
I wanted to make a separate section for spoilers because there is one moment in this book where I believe Dan Slott may have just completely screwed up. It’s a bold move that I’m interested to see how the rest of the comic book community feels, but I think overall, it was the wrong move to make. Franklin Richards the mutant that was, or in this case the mutant that never was. Slott has now revealed that Franklin was never a mutant to begin with, instead Franklin basically wished really hard and used his cosmic abilities to alter his DNA to look as though he had the X-Gene. This was a huge mistake. And yes Slott attempts to cover his own tracks by giving Franklin the “out” by saying he just didn’t know, but if this were true, why were the mutants so adamant that Franklin go to Krakoa? Cyclops was sent to retrieve Franklin not so long ago in X-Men/Fantastic Four #1 by Chip Zdarsky. Franklin’s struggle with his powers and sense of self was something I enjoyed in the book, this just completely crushes it. Especially now with little to no hope on if he can get his powers back and now with zero help from what most would have called his second family.
Franklin was only one piece of the pie that molded this issue to just not be great. The wrap party Slott created in this book was a bit annoying within itself. The power pack story just conveniently finishes in this issue, taking up unnecessary space, as well as a random appearance of Man Thing that wasted three pages in the beginning of the book. Skye and Human Torch’s plot line is an eye rolling sense of deja vu. We’ve seen the trope of the womanizer characters unable to settle down and be happy. Most fans want to see these heroes be happy. For some reason publishers think otherwise. Just in the last few issues Johnny was seen talking about possibly settling down and having a family, just to see him be alone again just reminds me of a not so married couple over there at DC Comics. But at last we come to the final bent staple in this comic, the return of Griever. She couldn’t have come at the worst time in comics. Perpetua has been a big name over at the other big comic publisher and now looking at Griever, they are basically one and the same. So this is more so just bad timing. I really enjoyed the introduction to her character in the first arc of this series. Hopefully Slott can bring back the spark of that first arc and issue twenty five to make the next issue worth while.
Dan Slott chose to wrap everything up at just the wrong spot. Most of these plot points deserve their undivided attention and could have been better paid off in a send off mini series or annual. I hope Slott has some kind of redemption arc for Franklin because as a character that has been put on the sidelines for being too strong and now not strong enough just really hurts the reasoning for him even being in this series at all. Slott left a lot of unanswered questions at the end of issue twenty five and I hope we get them soon.