Jonathan Hickman has been crafting this epic Fantastic Four story since 2009. With a slight hiatus as the series transformed into FF (Future Foundation). Hickman has taken on storylines from the previous run by Mark Millar along with new ideas and made them all his own. With recent events so big, only the return of the FANTASTIC FOUR series could contain it.
If you like the Fantastic Four/Future Foundation, getting one hundred pages of NEW material is a heck of a way to celebrate the 600th issue. If the pages of FF, we've had Doctor Doom a prisoner of an evil Reed Richards from another dimension, the Anti-Priest working with Annihilus trying to open the doorway to the Negative Zone, the return of Black Bolt and the Supreme Intelligence of the Kree as well as a massive attack against New York City with the FF and Avengers at the defense. We also have Steve Epting handling the art for the first/main part.
There is a lot that happens during the battle. Each member has their own important role. As a Spider-Man fan, it's great seeing him do his part assisting Reed with technical support as well as simply being a hero. Are there twists and shockers? There definitely is. The tricky part is to not even hint about them here. Thankfully I was not exposed to any spoilers before reading the issue and that definitely enhances the joy of the story. That's not to say that the different events that unfold here are all that the issue has to offer. The way the story is written and everything is laid out is well done. You might have an idea or guess at some of the things that might happen but that still doesn't prepare way as you very slowly turn the page in anticipation. All the answers you might want are not here but that just means the story is not over yet. There is plenty more to come and that's a good thing.
The second story has art by Carmine Di Giandomenico. It deals with one of the 'shocking' moments but even knowing what happens doesn't quite fill you in when you read the details of it. The third is drawn by Ming Doyle and focuses on Black Bolt and Medusa. The fourth story has some spoilery moments with art by Leinil Francis Yu and the final story focuses on Franklin Richards with art by Farel Dalrymple. All of these stories are written by Hickman.
The price of this comic is a bit much. You do get 100 pages of brand new content all written by Hickman and all consisting of important elements for the main story. For the average comic book shopper, especially those on a budget, they might be faced with the decision of buying this or (almost) three other comics. For the Fantastic Four (or Marvel) fan, the issue shouldn't be missed.
Of course with FF continuing with issue #13, do issues #1-12 really take the place of FANTASTIC FOUR # 589-599?
This is what anniversary issues should be about. Often with these over-sized, 100-page issues, we tend to get reprinted/classic material. This is all 100% pure brand new Fantastic Four material. Hickman has been pioneering the characters since he came on board with issue #570 (which I reviewed here in video format). You can see how everything that has happened has been building up to this point. There is a reason for what's been going on and even prior events are still having an impact. The story is not over yet. Don't dismiss this celebration due to the high price tag. It's worth the purchase and there is still plenty more of the story to be told. Try to read this before you discover any of the spoilers. Even if you do, seeing what happens before and after will satisfy your comic reading desires. If Hickman set out to become the premier Fantastic Four writer of this generation, it's safe to say he has achieved that.