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REVIEW: Fantastic Four #579

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FANTASTIC FOUR #579COVER BY: Davis, Farmer & RodriguezWRITER: Jonathan HickmanPENCILER: Neil EdwardsINKER: Andrew CurryCOLORED BY:Paul MountsLETTERED BY: VC’s Rus Wooton Spoiler alert! I am trying to be patient with Jonathan Hickman and his attempt to bring wonder and awe back into Fantastic Four. These one-and-done issues, all interlinked and leading up to something (I assume) with the Four Cities War have been, well, fantastic and a bit of our story continues in that direction in FANTASTIC FOUR #579.But the much larger part of the main story deals with Reed Richards and follows up on his decision earlier in Hickman’s run to dedicate himself to making things “right” – especially with his family, but also with the world. Not only will he help with the day-to-day problems as a hero, scientist and explorer, but he is taking a proactive approach to the problems of the future while still maintaining that vital link known as “husband, father and friend.”And he is doing this by utilizing tomorrow’s minds today!Thus here, we start to see Reed’s plan, peeled back layer by layer, for bringing the young Moloids, Artie and Leech, Alex of Power Pack and the Wizard clone who calls himself Thirty-Two into the Baxter Building. I do not know if this great experiment is heading toward a gifted youngster program similar to Professor X’s original concept for the X-Men or a more intriguing fruition, but I am totally on board.In my opinion, no one has handled the Fantastic Kids, Franklin and Val, as well as Hickman has. Adding these other stimuli to the kids’ adventures just ups the ante. I love the time devoted to their games and the interplay between them all, and with the FF. (Artie certainly had quite a surprise for Val this issue!)What has been missing is, as Stan used to say, some “pulse-pounding action in the Mighty Marvel Manner.” We haven’t had a lot of reason for Johnny and Ben to yell “Flame on!” and “It’s clobberin’ time!” recently and that may be the ingredient that is missing from this fine soup. Last issue, the War of Four Cities seemed to be joined, and now we return to the Future Foundation leg of these one-and-dones. In that vein, I am looking forward to the collaborations of Alex and Reed. Glad to see some of these kids growing up. (How old is Rick Jones now?)Dale Eaglesham is very much missed from this title, but Neil Edwards does a competent job in bringing everything together. I love his Dragon-Man (not so much his Val) and was happy to see the android back this issue. (I did not know he needed glasses, lol!)Mr. Hickman brought me back to the FF and I intend to stay to see how all this comes out. But let’s have a punch or two while we are viewing the wonder of it all, OK, Jonathan? Super-heroes, especially in the Heroic Age, do not live on exploration and family doings alone!