Writer: Ryan North
Artist: Ivan Fiorelli
Color Artist: Jesus Aburtov
Cover Artist: Alex Ross
Publisher: Marvel Comics
The Fantastic Four are back! They have reunited but are sticking to the road for some quality time. And just as they were heading to Ben Grimm’s Aunt Petunia’s, they were attacked by some old enemies, and from there were forced to take a trip to a micro-world whose ecosystem could decimate Earth’s if it returned with the heroes. But once they found their way back, some of the mirror bacteria came with them. See how the heroes solve this new microbial crisis in Fantastic Four #6!
Ok, this comic had me then it lost me. This issue definitely felt like more of a weird misadventure that readers can skip, until they reach the middle portion of the comic. From there, Ryan North does something that could come back to bite him on the butt if he’s not careful in how he handles this. Readers will know what I mean later in the review. There will be a SPOILER section to discuss those details.
As mentioned above, some of the mirror bacteria from the micro-world hitched a ride with the Fantastic Four and now it’s spread to a local lake at a nearby beach. Now, it’s not end of the world just yet, so the Fantastic Four get to work quickly trying to end the bacterial threat. But it’s to no avail since the microbes will spread too far too quickly for the FF, and supposedly anyone else, to do anything about it. That is until they try a final idea, and this is where the comic goes too crazy for me.
Overall, the art by Ivan Fiorelli is good as before, he continues to maintain the same vibe and feel that Iban Coello’s art had when it comes to depicting the FF. From Reed’s casual use of his stretching powers to assess the situation, Ben Grimm looking lively as The Thing, Johnny rockin’ that mustache and beard combo, and Susan’s invisible powers looking they have a presence to them. And despite some story issues, North still nails the characters and their team dynamics and having each of them interact with each other like a family of heroes. Now, on to the crazy flaw in this comic.
So, the extreme solution to stop the mirror bacteria from spreading is proposed by Johnny: Have the Invisible Woman make the Sun invisible to kill the mirror bacteria since they feed primarily on sunlight. Obviously, it’s an awful plan but Reed surprisingly agrees and through science jargon, that may or may not be true, says that they don’t need to make the whole Sun invisible just parts of it and do it for three days. And that the Earth should be fine since the planet’s core will still keep it warm and the oceans won’t freeze over and. Yeah, I couldn’t take it seriously either.
And don’t worry, Ryan North knows that this is the kind of thing that would piss EVERYONE off and scare the crap out of people worldwide. Because that’s exactly what happens. For some reason, Reed and the others think that people will honestly just be okay with it and go along with this plan. They don’t and it turns into a PR nightmare for them. And lo and behold, the general public hate them more than before. Plus, Ryan North crams in Dr. Octopus in the comic for no real reason. This makes no sense since he could’ve used any of the Fantastic Four’s huge lineup of villains to show up, like the Mole Man. And no, the fight with Doc Ock isn’t cool, it’s actually very short, making his appearance in the comic all the more gratuitous. And when it’s all over, Sue and Johnny are greeted by Maria Hill and U.S. special forces who’ve come to have a little talk with Sue after she, you know, made the Sun invisible for three days.
This rightly scared the U.S. and others now that they know that the Invisible Woman could casually cause a mass-extinction level event at any time. This is what I meant in the beginning of the review when I said that Ryan North just made a huge problem for himself now by making it that Sue can just do that now. What’s more, the comic’s ending is clearly leaning towards the “heroes on the run” kind of story as the FF are now fugitives of the U.S. The thing is, this really is the type of problem that would and should scare people and make the U.S. government, the general public, and the whole world more distrustful of the FF. They’re not totally unreasonable for not simply having faith that Sue won’t one day do that knowingly or against her will. It wouldn’t be the first time that Sue broke bad for a bit, or that she and the FF were mind-controlled and made to do bad things. The bigger issue now is how will North reconcile this new feat that Sue can do and the PR nightmare that the FF have put themselves in. The cover for the next issue gives me the impression that their troubles are far from over.
Fantastic Four #6 picks up where it left off with the FF discovering that some of the mirror bacteria hitched a ride and they need to stop it from spreading. But they come to a very extreme solution that just throws powerscaling for the FF a little out of whack, and expectedly leads to the general public distrusting them even more. Admittedly, the writing between the Fantastic Four members is still entertaining and heartwarming here, which slightly balances out things. Hopefully, the creative team can reconcile things in the next issue without downplaying the gravity of what happened.