Fantastic Four #606: “Adventures In Red”
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Ron Garney
Colors: Jason Keith
Cover: Mike Choi and Guru-eFX
The last time we really talked about the Fantastic Four on this site was when we were discussing the upcoming death of Johnny Storm back in 2010. Despite the team being a Marvel classic and a fan favorite, they just don’t get a lot of air time here.
The reason for that is the fairly large in scope stories the book tends to tell. If you miss one issue, you find yourself with your head reeling. That’s not a bad thing; I can appreciate a grand saga on an epic scope, especially when it’s done in a comic book, but FF is so underpublicized by Marvel these days that when I finally remember something has been going on in the book, I’m six months behind.
That being said, the book just wrapped up it’s first stories and already brought Johnny Storm back to life, rebooting the Fantastic Four title that had been gone since Johnny’s death (replaced instead with FF, still ongoing monthly). And with the last big story over with, a number of single issue vignettes have been released recently, and they’ve really touched the spirit of the family recently. Last issue was Reed and his father, Nathanial, looking into the future to see how things turned out for the rest of the team and following the life of Ben Grimm, as it’s revealed that Ben’s current rock form no longer ages.
This issue takes a note or two from The Magic School Bus, a reference I never thought I would be able to cram into a review for this site, but there you have it. The story begins in medias res, with the team’s ship crashing on a strange red planet surrounded by monsters. Braving electrical storms and many terrors, the team does finally find it’s objective. Throughout the way, we see the team planning the mission and discussing the importance of it in flashbacks.
It feels like a standard issue, but it’s the last pages that really make this complete. And, no, I won’t spoil it here, you’ll have to pick it up for yourself, but if you’ve ever kept up the the Fantastic Four, it’s an issue that really hits home. Hickman hits his stride with the team once again and reminds us that the FF aren’t traditionally superheroes; they’re explorers, adventurers, scientists and, most importantly, they’re a family first, and one that takes care of their own.
If you’re a fan of the FF or you’re just starting, #606 is definitely an issue you need for your collection. It’s nice to see a creative team who isn’t afraid to step away from big actions and Earth threatening wars in order to give us a look into the quiet life of our heroes.