The Fantastic Four has been relaunched with a new direction that sees Marvel’s First Family split up. This is because Reed Richards did something that caused a massive crater to be in the middle of New York City and the public turned completely against the Fantastic Four. In the first issue of the new Fantastic Four series, we saw Ben Grimm and Alicia Masters-Grimm have decided to go on a couple’s road trip to get refreshed. Now it’s time to see what Reed and Sue Richards are up to after what happened in New York City. Let’s find out what’s up with them in Fantastic Four #2.
Writer: Ryan North
Artist: Iban Coello
Colorist: Jesus Aburtov
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
At a diner, Sue Richards tries her best to get Reed Richards off what happened in New York City. They are suddenly attacked by an army of Doombots that have disguised themselves as townspeople. The fighting is stopped when a cop shows up and the Doombots put their disguises back on.
Reed and Sue sneak back into the city and notice that the Doombots’ disguises only activate at a radius around a woman named Mary. Reed discovers that Mary took Victor Von Doom when he was a student immigrant and Victor promised to repay her kindness. Reed and Sue figure out that the Doombots in the city were programmed with their prime directive being to help and protecting Mary.
When they talk with Mary, Sue picks up wavelengths that show that Mary died a long time ago and that the Doombot directly responsible for helping take care of Mary took her corpse and created a shell around it so it did not appear to fail its prime directive.
Once the other Doombots also discover this all of their prime directives are automatically switched to “Destroy Reed Richards.” Working quickly Reed and Sue use an EMP blast to disable the Doombots that attacked them.
After investigating more Reed and Sue discover the Doombots were so deep in protecting Mary that some even shut themselves down to replicate death. Reed and Sue then decide to remove all their lethal programming and have the illusion fields automatically activated when near humans so they can live normally. End of issue.
This second issue of the latest Fantastic Four series further enhances what Ryan North started with the focus on Ben Grimm and Alicia Masters-Grimm to begin his run. Now we have an issue focused on Reed and Sue Richards not just establishing their status quo at the beginning of the new Fantastic Four. By going with this direction North is also establishing the voices for Marvel’s First Family in a way that is spotlighting each one of them before getting into big things.
Like the first issue, Fantastic Four #2 works because it tells a complete story in one story. There is of course the bigger story of the Fantastic Four’s status quo in the Marvel Universe that needs to be fully explored. But before getting to that North is giving time for that story to breathe by developing how whatever mysterious event truly impacted each member of the Fantastic Four. To do that North is telling smaller stories that help spotlight each member of the family.
This one-shot story approach gives North the opportunity to develop the voices of Reed and Sue as he did with Ben and Alicia in the previous chapter. With that, we see how the key to being in a supportive and loving relationship is what has kept Reed and Sue going strong in their marriage. In this case, we do see how Sue understands that Reed is in guilt mode of taking full responsibility for whatever happened in New York City. Understanding that Sue made sure to be there for Reed while still letting him do his thing, like the investigation they conducted.
This made Sue’s letter to Jen Walters, aka She-Hulk, an effective narrative device. North was careful to not give away what happens in the story. Instead, it is more of getting in Sue’s head of their current status quo and how no matter what happens she is there for Reed and the family. This lays the foundation for Sue to be even more of a key character in this run as we see the strength he has in keeping Reed grounded even in a crisis. Hopefully, this is something that continues as Sue deserves to be a leader of a major run that she never really has had the opportunity to get.
The entire Doombot plotline also worked to showcase the wide range of stories that can be told with the Fantastic Four. North along with Iban Coello make great use of how Reed and Sue utilize their powers to conduct an investigation. It shows the veteran instincts they have in how they look into things. We also see how Sue’s powers have grown as well as how she uses them to figure out that a Doombot was posing as Mary after she died. Seeing more extensions of the powers in this way is hopefully what we see more of.
The story with the Doombots also does a good job of setting the groundwork for Doctor Doom in the future. Seeing that Victor Von Doom has this other side to him of showing care for those that showed him kindness before becoming Doctor Doom. It’ll be very interesting to see what North has planned for Doctor Doom’s presentation when he finally appears and how that could reflect what was done in Fantastic Four #2.
Fantastic Four #2 told a fun one-shot style story that established the way Ryan North and Iban Coello plan to present Reed and Sue Richards. The adventure itself was well done with its connection to Doctor Doom. More importantly, this issue successfully established the voices of Reed and Sue in the wake of whatever happened in New York City that turned the world against the Fantastic Four. If you haven’t checked out the new Fantastic Four series yet I recommend jumping in now as this has been a good jumping-on point.
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10