By Matt Fraction, Mike Allred and Laura Allred
With the main family of the Fantastic Four heading off into unknown territory, Reed Richards makes the decision to build a replacement team… just in case things go wrong (as they often do). Turning first to Scott Lang (Ant Man II), he appeals to the fellow scientist’s brilliant mind and need for some outlet for his grief over his daughter’s death (which I missed, I must have blinked) and lead the new team in his stead.
Lang is a great character who has been kicking around the MU waiting for a purpose for some time now. A former lab assistant-turned crook to help his family, Lang has lots of potential. It’s nice to see that Fraction and the Allreds will be taking the opportunity to flesh out yet another big brain adventurer (personally, I like those guys).
Jaennifer Walters, the green She-Hulk (since we are now resorted to color coding Hulks) is an obvious choice and again I am more than happy to see her getting some attention. One of Marvel’s first high profile superheroines, She-Hulk is a fan favorite and both the John Byrne and Dan Slott-penned series of the past are dear to me. The inclusion of Walters in this book has lots of possibilities and given the flair of Allred and the ingenuity of Fraction, I think we’ll be seeing her put to good use.
The remaining two members of the team are head-scratchers. Queen of the Inhumans Medusa has been bopping around through several crossovers and events with plenty of development, yet that still leaves her presence in the team a mystery. Just why did she leave her entire population? To stop worrying about her husband who’s current status which will apparently be cleared up in Hickman’s New Avengers. Whatever. I still don’t get it.
But that leaves the biggest confusing member, Johny Storm’s girlfriend Darla Deering alias Ms. Thing. I have no idea who she is, why she is in a Thing suit (apparently in issue 2) or… anything. It’s not that a big deal, but it doesn’t help sell the comic book to anyone on the fence. The scene where Johnny tries to ‘tell her about that thing’ (see below)
The big appeal of the book for me is the mixture of humor and humanity along with the pop-tastic art by Allred (whom I have followed since I first picked up Madman). Both of these facets come together to complement the other big attraction, the future foundation. This is a love/hate thing as the kids, mutants and Dragon Man are incredibly entertaining. Reed hopes that Lang will find some kind of happiness in taking care of them all.. and he may be right.
The only drawback (aside from the aforementioned confusion over Ms. Thing and Medusa even being in the book) is that so little happens in the first issue. I signed up for a year long subscription on the appeal of the creative team and possibilities… so both better come through.