Comics : FF #4

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This review was first published on: Jul 2011.

Background...

There are some evil, megalomanical, interdimensional Reeds on the loose! They plan to build a machine that will reinstate them to their former state of interdimensional supremacy! The machine will also cause a war on Earth and eventually lead to it's destruction. What are the FF to do? On Val's suggestion, they turn to some of their bad guys and ask them to join them in plotting the downfall of the evil Reeds. They've got Doom on the team and have asked Diablo, the High Evolutionary and the Mad Thinker to hang out.

In Detail...

"The Beating of Drums..."
FF #4
Jul 2011 : SM Guest
Summary: Spider-man Appears
Writer:  Jonathan Hickman
Pencils:  Steve Epting
Inker:  Butch Guice, Rick Maygar, Steve Epting
Cover Art:  Daniel Acuna, Marko Djurdjevicx
Lettering:  VC's Clayton Cowles
Colorist:  Paul Mounts
Executive Producer:  Alan Fine
Publisher:  Dan Buckley
Chief Creative Officer:  Joe Quesada
Editor In Chief:  Alex Alonso
Editor:  Tom Brevoort
Associate Editor:  Lauren Sankovitch
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Issue
Review

Reed and co. spend this issue in their 'war room' discussing how to defeat the evil Reeds. The discuss how the evil Reeds are possibly smarter and don't have any 'weaknesses' like family or loved ones to exploit. They know the evil Reeds are building a machine and hope to exploit that.

Meanwhile, the Thing is hanging around the door of the 'war room' in case the bad guys in there start mucking up. Bentley (the young Wizard clone) comes and gives the Thing a hard time, leading to the Thing the deciding he needs and break. He leaves saying to let Reed and Sue know he'll be away for a couple of days.

Sue and Spidey are hanging around the house, being domestic, until an alarm from Old Atlantis goes off. They gather a small team and leave without interrupting or telling Reed to deal with the problem. When they get arrive there is a battle as some of the inhabitants of Old Atlantis have banded together to take control of the city. Sue, Spidey and Alex get stuck into the bad guys, but just as they seem to be getting on top of things, the Mole Man arrives with a bunch of reinforcements. The Mole Man is accompanied by one of the evil Reeds, who is giving the orders. Sue is taken by suprise (I don't think she knows about the evil, interdimensional Reeds) and the issue ends.

In General...

This series seems to be continuing on it's upwards swing. There is still a bunch of stuff from the previous Fantatic Four volume that are part of the story, but not explained clearly. For instance, the reason the Old Atlantians come to Sue is that she is now their ruler, which happened way back in the last volume, but isn't explained here in any way whatsoever. As I have said in previous reviews, this shouldn't be happening, at the very least the editor should pick up on this and a flesh out the summary page a bit more.

These omissions weren't as frequent or as frustrating this issue. The three elements to the story played out fairly well. The only thing I don't understand is why Reed and Val don't think to clue in the rest of the FF to the dangers of the evil Reeds and also why Sue doesn't let Reed know what is happening when she jets off to Old Atlantis. I know each character is a bit preoccupied, but they are husband and wife, in the same building! A cursory, "Oh honey, I'm heading out to Old Atlantis to quell a rebellion" or a "Sweetie, keep an eye out for evil versions of myself plotting to destroy the world." I know it plays into the dramatic tension of the issue, but it's not very believeable.

I think the best scene of the issue was with Ben and Bentley, culminating in Ben leaving. I'm not sure if Bentley is purposefully manipulating Ben, just being mean or just being himself, but the interaction really brings out the humanity of Ben and the things he is struggling with.

Spidey Watch: Spidey has a bit to do this issue. Hanging out eating sandwiches and bashing up Old Atlantian rebelss.

Overall Rating...

This is showing some promise. I hope things continue to get better as the inevitable fireworks start in coming issues.