Ultimate Fantastic Four #50 (Marvel – Carey / Kirkham / Regla) – Thanos returns as a new story arc begins in our fateful 50th issue! The F.F. return from Siberia to find the Baxter Building—and the rest of New York City—under siege! The prize is the greatest force in existence—the Cosmic Cube! And in the race to command this deadliest of weapons, treachery and overkill are the order of the day…even from former friends! Writer Mike Carey has been building up to this saga for months—and new series penciler Tyler Kirkham. I feel like it’s a Holy Grail week in my personal pull-box this week. First Countdown does not suck, and now I am actually drawn into a UFF storyline that involves Ultimate Thanos. Egads! This was not something I was looking forward to at all, because the first Thanos storyline that ran through UFF (God War #33-38) could possibly be the worst modern story-arc ever (that doesn’t involve Spider-Man). But hats off to Mike Carey, this blew me away. The story was crisp, the characters were in character and the action and drama of the plot delivered. The Four get back from their Russian trip to find that the Cosmic Cube prototype that Reed was working on, went into defense mode and put a “time freeze” cube around a couple square miles of Manhattan. The defense mode popped up because the forces of Thanos have come to collect the cube. So far they are having a much rougher time retrieving it, given that this piece of technology with almost limitless power is thought activated and controlled by Reed. The issue ends with the galactic forces doing some literal “thinking outside the box” to try to defeat Reed. As far as the look of the book, Tyler Kirkham is a welcomed addition to the UFF team. Tyler is a fan-favorite from his work on The Gift, New Avengers / Transformers, Amazing Spider-man and many other books. This combination of Carey and Kirkham might bring this cornerstone book right back up the readership it deserves.
Issue Grade: A