Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Mark Bagley
I have always liked the Fantastic Four but have never been a huge fan. This is probably due to poor stories and films and although there has been some Fantastic Four stories I liked (Mark Millar and J. Michael Straczynski's runs and a couple of Jonathan Hickman's stories) but there have always been some poor stories in between. I was actually not planing on getting this series as besides a couple of stories I didn't like Hickman's run but being a fan of Matt Fraction's work decided to give F4 one more try.
This issue sees the Fantastic Four return from a trip in time (2.6 Million years ago) and Reed has injured his arm and discovers the Unstable Molecules that cause his powers are breaking apart, and him along with it. As Reed is trying to solve his problem Johnny is on a date with Darla, Thing has a run in with the Yancy Street Gang and Sue is making sure the children are in bed.
This wasn't a bad first issue and although this issue was a bit slow, due to being more of an introduction issue it was, and not Fraction's best start to a series a good start for this series. Fraction does however seem to understand the Fantastic Four characters and their individual characteristics. I also liked that Fraction kept most of the side cast from FF in this series and although a few are missing (Spider-Man most noticeably) he's kept the more important ones.
I have been a fan of Mark Bagley work since he worked on Ultimate Spider-Man and was happy to see he was doing this series. I think Bagley's did a great job on this issue and due to the series fun and silly nature think that his art work suited it perfectly. The detail throughout the issue was brilliant whether it be space, Reed's injured arm or even just Franklin scared in bed and although there was the odd panel which wasn't perfect overall it was still very beautiful work. Paul Mounts colours throughout this issue were also amazing and made Bagley's art look even better than it already was.
Reed's problem with the Unstable Molecules looks like it might be interesting and has potential for a great story line whether that during the current story or later. I would have preferred to have learned more about it this issue as we only really learn about Reed discovering that his are breaking apart in this issue. It will also be interesting to see if any of the other members have similar problems or not and if so how they will react when they find out that Reed already knew.
Johnny's date with Darla in the Negative Zone was very entertaining and very funny. I wont go into detail about the date to avoid spoiling it but thought I'd mention that I though it was the most entertaining out of the (apparently) irrelevant sequence.
I thought the "fight" (not a proper fight) between the Yancy Street Gang and Thing was fun but a bit too silly and more of a filler as I don't think we will see any progression to this any time soon. I also thought that the Yancy Street Gan took Thing down to easily and even though Thing wasn't prepared for a fight and that a lot of the members rushed him that it would have still taken more to knock him down.
I felt really sorry for Franklin this issue as he's a child who's parents go on all these crazy adventures and has only robots and a Dragon for a nanny to comfort him when he has a bad dream. This shows that even though the Fantastic Four are a superhero team going of to save the world most of the time that they still need to think of their children and although both Reed and Sue love their children lots which is shown later in this issue and during the previous series that sometimes whilst they're away that one of their children might need them to make them feel better.
A good start to the new Fantastic Four series and it looks like this series might be fun. I would recommend buying this issue and am looking forward to reading the next.