While there is still a feeling of set-up rather than all-out action in the Merry Marvel Manner, I really find myself enjoying watching young Val as she plots the future of the Earth and a predicted war based on a message from the future in this book.
Jonathan Hickman certainly knows all these characters and their voices and, after seeing how some of the villains in FF #3 were utilized in Avengers 12.1, it is a pleasure to see them acting more themselves here.
This mag, despite the overall lack of action – and certainly that cannot continue because the “War of Four Cities” is on its way – continues to have a Lee/Kirby feel about it from the old days, a time (if anyone is still alive to recall) when everything seemed important and eventually led to something gigantic! Sometimes cosmic even!
I loved the villains invited by Vic to a “Defeat Reed Richards” seminar – with Reed being present. Although not at the seminar, even the Mole Man reared his deformed head this issue. This is quite an accomplishment: a writer making a mag a great mystery without that pulse-pounding action we crave.
It was also nice to begin to tie the pieces of our war together with all its participants. And when Kid Annihilus said the word “Annihilation” it made me nostalgic – nostalgic and sad, for obvious reasons. (See the rest of Marvel Cosmic – or lack thereof – for further explanation.)
Steve Epting and his crew of inkers continue to turn out an FF that have great subtle expressions of emotion. His facial expressions and people are some of the best I have seen since Gene Colan and Tom Palmer were turning out Tomb of Dracula pages. I know the power of those same pencils will soon display some King Kirby magic when called upon.
And to put it bluntly, Steve does the best Thing I have seen in a long, long time. Hard to get emotional facial composition from a bunch of orange rocks, yet he succeeds!
Time for some payoff, Mr. Hickman. Let the war begin!