The GeeksverseFantastic Four #604

Fantastic Four #604
Published on Friday, March 16, 2012 by

The end is here after almost three years of build-up. Was it worth it?

Published by: Marvel Comics
Written by: Jonathan Hickman
Penciled by: Steve Epting
Inked by: Rick Magyar & Steve Epting
Colored by: Paul Mounts
Lettered by: VC's Clayton Cowles
Cover by: Mike Choi w/ Guru-eFX
Assistant Editor: John Denning
Associate Editor: Lauren Sankovitch
Editor: Tom Brevoort

I originally wasn’t going to give this issue the full blown review treatment. But then I read it and realized just what a masterpiece Jonathan Hickman had created.

I’m not a fan of writing for the trade paperback, the compressed writing that is so common nowadays. It’s where the stories come in 4-6 issue arcs. There’s very little going from one arc to the next, very little in the way of sub-plots. I’ve always been a fan of the long form writing, like Claremont’s X-Men. He’d start a subplot and it would pop up here and there over the months and finally build up to where it became the dominant storyline for awhile (not necessarily falling into 4 or 6 issue increments). That kind of writing is very rare nowadays.

But that is exactly what Jonathan Hickman has done. Secret Warriors was similar, one long overall story, but it was compressed. Marvel didn’t compress the Fantastic Four story and we have an amazing epic to thank for it.

All of it was building to this and the pay-off is worth it. This is what I want comics to be. I want a creator to come on board and be invested in the story for years, I want to be invested in the story. I don’t want to read a year’s worth of arcs and feel like nothing has changed, the character hasn’t grown, he’s just had adventures.

I read serial comics for the ongoing nature. I enjoyed Bucky’s turn as Captain America, but I never felt the character was given the time to develop into Captain America. Yes, he was it for a couple of years, but because of the nature of the arcs (writing for the trade), there wasn’t a couple years worth of stories. The growth was limited.

But Fantastic Four? This reminds me of what I want most in comics.

Was the end result worth it? Yes, yes it was. The entire thing comes full circle. The epic started with a young Reed jumping into his father’s arms and it ends with a young Franklin jumping into Reed’s arms. Full circle and what a ride it was.

I’ll be sad to see Hickman leave the title in a couple of months.

I’m a huge Steve Epting fan, have been for awhile, and he has now been involved in two of my favorite storylines/extended runs of all time: Hickman’s run on Fantastic Four and the Bob Harras run on Avengers. I was glad to see him back for the finale of the epic story.

Fantastic Four #604 receives
5 out of 5

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