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Review of Fantastic Four 557 (4.5 stars) May 20, 2008

Posted by lotrking in Comic Book Reviews.
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Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

With this issue, Millar and Hitch have brought their first FF run to a satisfying close. It opens with Sue rescuing Ben from the ocean with a force field bubble, before we quickly see that CAP continues to cause destruction and evacuations around the globe. Then, we are treated to an insanely awesome piece of art as we see a full page view of Reed’s Anti-Galactus suit (so cleverly foreshadowed in FF 554). As a side note, I love Reed’s reason for the similar look to Galactus (“it looks cool”). Reed uses the suit as bait for CAP, who “bites” and tests his hunch that he is also on CAP’s “do not harm” list. Reed, as always, is right and beats the crap out of CAP. This scene is made all the more awesome by Hitch’s aforementioned phenomenal artwork. Truthfully, I can think of several artists that I like more than Hitch, but Anti-G’s “pwning” of CAP was by far some of my favorite artwork yet to appear in FF.

In the aftermath, we see that the world’s governments are going to cover up the destruction, as they still believe that the Earth Trust’s work is essential. Personally, this was the only thing the disappointed me in this issue is that we didn’t get more resolution of this plot thread. (Plus I really want my theory about Earth Trust being sinister to be right!) Hopefully, this will be resolved later in the Millar/Hitch run.

Next, Alyssa tries to convince Reed that they both married the wrong people and once again tries to woo him but Reed explains that while Sue may not be his intellectual equal, he still loves her, and Alyssa can never change that. The story then transitions to Reed and Sue’s anniversary dinner as Reed reveals that the reason he had to travel to the other end of the universe two issues ago was to obtain a microgalaxy to fashion his own ring for Sue. He further reveals that the location of their dinner is in a restaurant right by where the first re-met as adults. Sue’s gift is only “Bob Dylan’s new CD,” but they both understand and enjoy each others gifts. Stuff like this (along with the following the scene involving Johnny and a certain seductive super-villainess) proves that Millar simply “gets” the characters of the FF, and shows why his writing is so strong.

In the final scene, we meet a potential new nanny for Franklin and Valeria (call me paranoid, but I suspect there is something wrong with the nanny too!) before Doom barges in and commands that Richards be found immediately. Being a huge Doom fan, I’m eager to see what trouble may have befallen him to require Reed’s help so soon. His prescence here leaves a bit of a question though, the footnote on the intro page explains that this takes place after Mighty Avengers 11, in which Doom is placed in jail. Doom escapes in Secret Invasion 1, but the arc cannot take place during Secret Invasion (otherwise the Baxter Building would be in the Negative Zone), so does this take place after SI? If so, are we meant to assume that the real Spider-Woman was fighting alongside our heroes? This really does throw somewhat of a wrench into continuity, so if Millar made sure to throw that footnote in, I’m hoping we’ll get some explanation of where this fits chronologically later. Nonetheless, this issue was extremely enjoyable and a great ending to the first arc.

-LOTRKing

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