The GeeksverseFantastic Four #600

Fantastic Four #600
Published on Thursday, November 24, 2011 by

Published by: Marvel Comics
Written by: Jonathan Hickman
Art by: 1: Steve Epting w/ Rick Magyar; 2: Carmine Di Giandomenico; 3: Ming Doyle; 4: Leinel Franci Yu w/ Gerry Alanguilan; 5: Farel Dalrymple
Colored by: 1: Paul Mounts; 2: Andy Troy; 3: Jordie Bellaire; 4: Javier Tartaglia; 5: Jose Villarruba
Lettered by: VC's Clayton Cowles
Cover Art: A- Gabriele Dell'Otto; B- Joe Quesaday w/ Danny Miki & Laura Martin; C- John Romita Jr. w/ Klaus Janson & Dean White; D- Arthur Adams w/ Peter Steigerwald
Editors: Denning, Sankovitch & Brevoort

There will be spoilers so be warned and I’m sure most of you have probably heard already.

Johnny Storm is back.

It’s only been ten months and his death had a lot of meaning has he held back the annilation wave. Everyone knew he’d be back at some point, I figured it would be as soon as Hickman left the FF and the new writer wanted to make his mark. Well Hickman is the one that brings him back and he does a great job.

What makes this return from the death so special? It’s the way Hickman handles it. Johnny did die, only he got reborn, over and over again. There’s nothing overly shocking about the return, it ends up being a natural extension of the story that Hickman started where Johnny died. It involves everything about the anniliation wave and Annilihus, the birth and rebirth. Most resurrections are forced into the story but this one is just natural. It works within the confines of the story.

And poor Johnny just gets to keep dying over and over again.

The thing that bothers me is all the media attention that Marvel went for with Johnny’s death. It now reeks of cheap marketing. I’m kind of disappointed. I love the story, his death and return (and what a triumpant return), but I hate that there was so much media attention given when Marvel knew he’d be returning sooner or later.

This issue proves that Hickman is one of the greatest storytellers working in comics today. He laid so many plots in the FF and Fantastic Four. There’s the Universal Inhumans, the Light Brigade from the War of Four Cities, Galactus, the Anti-Priest, the alternate Reeds and the reborn Supreme Intelligence. With that many different threads it would be easy to get lost and for some to just be tossed away. But Hickman takes all of them and weaves them together into one epic story and in a way that makes sense. It’s like a giant jigsaw puzzle. Lots of little pieces but only when they’re put together is the entire image shown.

This is what the Fantastic Four should be like. Epic stories with greater than normal stakes.

And what could have been a very cheesy and horribly return ends up being a natural extension of the overall story.

There’s a couple of back-ups that help fill in some blanks and Hickman answers one of the oldest questions in the Marvel Universe. Everyone has always wondered how Medusa and Black Bolt communicate and now we know. Each back-up adds some more to the overall tapestry that Hickman is weaving. The Medusa story helps explain how easily and quickly she accepted the other wives. The Galactus story sets up a future storyline and the Franklin one picks up one of the other threads.

With the strength of the main features the back-ups could easily get lost, but these are strong and only add to the overall story.

The art is an interesting mix. I’m a huge fan of Epting, always have been. Di Giandomenico’s part of the story is nice as well. He does a good job with the Negative Zone details and creatures as well as the Torch’s energy signature. The different styles work well together, making each chapter stand out but not jarringly so.

Fantastic Four #600 receives
4.5 out of 5


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