Fantastic Four #557 (Marvel – Millar / Hitch / Neary)
“World’s Greatest” concludes! It’s the ultimate engine of peace pitted against Reed Richards’ most lethal invention, for all the marbles! And a shocking final page that’ll have you feeling every minute of the thirty-day wait until the next issue!
I have to admit, the initial story arc from the Millar / Hitch team was much better than I thought… until this issue. Alyssa Moy’s team inadvertently released “CAP” on the world… a peace keeping robot with unlimited power, strategic processing and teleportation that runs afoul and takes out the Avengers and the X-men in less than a minute. Reed saves the day with his “Anti-Galactus” armor (*ahem*… lame…why not bring out the Ultimate Nullifier while you are it), and correctly making the prediction that he is on the “safe” list. When CAP was being designed, Alyssa built into him a “safe” list, a protocol that identifies people that CAP cannot hurt. See, Alyssa is still infatuated with Reed and that makes him “safe”. *Warning* – reused Robocop plot device* So, Reed beats the tar out of while CAP just stands still. This issue comes and goes with most fanboys reading and going “really? is that the best they could come up with?”.
The issue rounds out with Reed shutting down Alyssa after she makes her big seduction move, and the last panel showing Doom’s return and need Reed’s help. I will give Millar credit, his vision of Marvel’s first family is genius, fresh while still staying true to the characters at the same time. And his portrayal of Reed being more of a George Clooney and less of a Stephen Hawking is very fun. But this 4th issue wasn’t not up to his standards.
Issue Grade: B