Five issues in and finally we get some action in FF!
Among the CBN offices, I think that has been the biggest gripe in regards to Jonathan Hickman's run on both Fantastic Four and this title - that the action is intermittent. It seems either title gives us an issue or two of cosmic action followed by the talking heads that start to bobble, or babble, I suppose. And that is just how I find myself reading this title - sporadically.
FF and its predecessor have been more of a roller coaster ride; however, there have been too many uphill climbs as opposed to the stomach-turning downhill slopes! In Mr. Hickman's defense, when we actually are presented with that great big drop - it's a doozy (case in point the initial "Council Of Reeds" arc, and of course, the death of Johnny Storm). And, again, in Mr. Hickman's defense, I often do find myself trying to hunt down back issues, but with only an issue or two - out of six or eight - really grabbing my attention (writing for trades?), it is becoming harder and harder to stick around.
Getting to the issue in question, I am happy to state: Tighten your belt and raise your arms as FF#5 begins that downward descent we all love! What Hickman began way back in Fantastic Four #572, and continues with the Four Cities, seems to be coming to a headway led by none other than the return of King Black Bolt!
This issue sees the Four alternate Reeds attack the city of Old Atlantis in an attempt, from what I gather because I missed those issues (see, I told ya!), to destroy the Four Cities which somehow will return the Reeds to their home universes. Sue Richards, the Amazing Spider-man and Alex Power(!) are there to put a stop to that - and they are sporting cool black versions of the FF costumes (replacing the black with some kind of dark blue tint might work, too!). Alex Power separates himself from the rest of the pack (pun intended) showing us just what he is really capable of! Wow! Not without repercussions though.
From there, Hickman takes us to a scene with big Ben and Alicia; considering what we know becomes of The Thing as a result of "Fear Itself," not to mention already losing his best bud, you really feel for the big man. Finally, the Four Reeds are shown at the Forever City - and that's when "Elvis" enters the building!
This was a great issue!
To top it all off, Barry Kitson brings his A game - as the FF haven't looked this good since Dale Eaglesham. Kitson really comes through in regards to the emotions expressed on the character's faces. The same holds true for Spider-Man, where Kitson uses hand positioning to depict the wall crawler's current state of affair. Once again, Ben Grimm hasn't been drawn better, and I sure wouldn't want to me married to Sue (at least for this issue)!
With FF#5 it looks like the war has finally come home - and it couldn't come at a better time! The story enthralls and also encapsulates, leaving you longing for more and desiring that which you may have missed! Good job all the way around! Now, I'm heading to my LCS for the issues I missed!