Valeria is a naughty girl
The Good - It´s amazing art (pencils and inks by Eteve Epting and colors by Paul Mounts) with briliant writing (by Mr. Jonathan Hickman). This is supposed to be one of Marvel´s greatest events for 2010 and I´m very optmistic that this book is going to be a home run. Reading this book was like having a constant feeling that Reed Richards is having his whole world shaken and that all his past is coming back to bite him on the buttocks. I would never guess that Valeria could be capable of the things that she´s done in this issue: the fact that she´s smart (Reed Richard´s smart), no one questions this, but to be so maquiavelic, so intriguing and political like Hickman´d portraited her? That´s beyond all you think about a 10 year old girl. Not just the fact that she´d broke in Reed´s lab to get info, but that she´s thinking for herself on how she can save her father, that´s an interesting plot for itself. The thought that all Hickman´s writing (even before his run with Bryan Hicth) is coming together as a revelation, that´s what I really dig about comics: coherence - a story that has a beggining and an end. And this is the first chapter of the end.
The BEST - Ok, call me a fanboy, whatever you want, but this is going to be a well deserved comment about Steve Epting - THE MAN IS A FREAKING GENIOUS - I just can´t have enough of his art: he´s such a talented artist and you see this in every panel, with so much details and diversity. You begin with a marvelous one splash page with the FF dealing with some minions, then you have Valeria as Tom Cruise in MI, followed by a Reed´s image projection (so well designed, the way that the binay code formed his image is awesome). So we go to Latveria, where Doom is about to make a very difficult decision, when he´s interrupted by an unannounced guest (the interior of Doom´s castle is very impressive: the shadows and the contrast with new and old). Valeria´s trip to the Councils´reality and scaping from the Celestials are speechless (and it´s all art, with no ballons of thought or dialogue - that´s an indication that the writer truly trusts in the penciler´s skills). And back with the FF again, wrapping up their battle (amazing shield by Sue) and coming home, to their "angels".
The Bad - It´s not common that the comics publishers sink their events, but I didn´t liked the fact that Silver Surfer has shown up in the last page with the body of Galactus, laying lifeless. And what about "Thanos Imperative"? Is that an important piece of information to this plot (The Three) or just a thing to avoid our atention? I really don´t know.
The Verdict - I´m not a FF´s fan, I´ve bought this mainly because of Steve Epting and I say without any regret that I´d just loved this book and that I´m still astonished and a little stunned about it - if you like a solid writing and precious art, this is the book for you. Although this was clearly a "build up" issue (because there´s no indication whatsover of whom is going to die), I´m icthing to get my hands in the next issue, # 584, what´s an indicative that this is a killer book, but I hope that all the events in this issue are connected, if not, it would be a shame.
5 out 5