The first few issues of this series as well as Fractions new take on FF have been more on the light-hearted side. The story line, up to this point, has been a little bit less complex than the stories we saw in Hickman's run of FF and FANTASTIC FOUR. This issue is where all of that changes. Since Fraction took over this series I have been curious to see whether or not he would be able to pull off a highly analytical Reed Richards in his dialogue, and he's done it. Not only does Fraction capture the complete essence of Reed Richards, but he does so flawlessly. It's not just his interpretation of Reed that is fantastic, either. Fraction captures each of these individual characters incredibly well making this a very entertaining read.
Mark Bagley does an absolutely stunning job bringing these characters to life with his pencils, and it is as if the artist was made to draw the Fantastic Four. I loved the way he captured this alien planet and the alien environment that these characters enter into in this issue. I felt his work here was extremely detailed and very creative. He had some help from awesome artists like inker Mark Farmer and colorist Paul Mounts, too, and these guys together make a fantastic (no pun intended) artistic team.
So far, Reed has managed to keep his cool, as we see here, but something tells me that this won't last that much longer. I also think that this issue serves as a sort of foreshadowing for the reader, and this is sort of emphasized in the issue's final page. In the final scene Sue Storm makes a toast with her team saying "here's to a lovely, quiet year with no more surprises." It is in this scene that we first see the guilt on Reed's face, something that Bagley captured really well.
No complaints. Another great FANTASTIC FOUR issue from Matt Fraction.
I am definitely excited about this series, and really looking forward to seeing how everything develops in the coming issues. One think that Fraction does well is he sets up a story with a lot of layers that makes the reader want to continue to read. Beyond the fact that Reed has this life threatening disease, he's also lying to his family. Fraction emphasizes trust and honor, and I think that's really important to see here. If you haven't been reading, this is definitely a great place to pick up the series and start.