Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #1 (Marvel – Hickman / Chen)
Dark Reign strikes Marvel’s first family—in an explosive way! Prepared to be blown away as: HAMMER agents attack the Baxter Building. Reed changes everything. The Human Torch suffers a horrible loss and Franklin and Val go shopping. There’s Time travel, Alternate realities, Celestials, Eternals, Deviants and Doombots… and more important than all of that, we find out the answer to the question: What is the Bridge?
So Reed is overwhelmed with the fact that when it all boils down to the basics, Dark Reign is his fault. The Illuminati caused the Secret Invasion, he worked with the skrull “Pym” to create the Initiative, he didn’t see the signs to help Tony Stark… Reed identifies himself as the common thread and puts it all the blame on his own shoulders and his problem is, how to set things right? In his own words, “There is no problem that does not have a solution”, so he gets to work creating a tool to help him find a solution… the Bridge!
The Bridge is a trans-dimension machine which will allow Reed to explore alternates time lines and dimensions to see how other worlds fixed this issue, or better yet, how they avoided the situation. This series sees Reed push the ticket with what appears to be his attempt to undo what has happened. This could be a bad situation… trying to alter the time line hardly ever goes well (He should read A Sound of Thunder). Well, bad goes to worse when HAMMER agents pull the plug on the energy grid from the Baxter Building just as Reed’s Bridge is in the middle of doing it’s thing. We aren’t quite sure what happened, but the elevator that Ben, Sue and Johnny are on gets thrown back to the origins of man in the Marvel Universe. Ooops.
This is a very good story, and for being a limited series attached to a “big event” like Dark Reign, it’s actually outstanding! Jonathon Hickman does a pretty spiffy job at his first time the control of Marvel’s First Family. This shows great promise for when he takes over the regular series later on in 2009 (with Dale Eaglesham).
I don’t know what impact this series will actually have on the Dark Reign story arc overall, but it looks like to be some good meaty fun for FF fans!
Issue grade: A