Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Art: Terry Dodson, Rachel Dodson, Ransom Getty, Karl Story, Laura Martin, and VC’s Joe Caramagna
Release Date: February 26th, 2020
Krakoa is for all mutants. Well, after Charles and Erik’s pitch to the young Richards last issue, it appears as though Franklin and Valeria have become stowaways with the Marauders as they head back to Krakoa… or so we thought. However, readers discovered last issue that Reed actually genetically manipulated Franklin with some type of inhibitors to block his “mutant” gene making him unable to use the Krakoan gates. Could this also be the reason Franklin’s powers are out of whack? And, does Reed know this, which is why he isn’t working tirelessly for a cure? Let’s jump into X-MEN/ FANTASTIC FOUR #2 by Chip Zdarsky and hopefully get answers to some of these questions as well as see what Uncle Doom has in store for the Marauders!
Anyone who has ever read ANYTHING involving Doctor Doom knows that there is always something scratching beneath the surface. There is always some angle he’s trying to pick at in order to get what he wants. Well, it appears as though after reading issue two, readers are given the foundation of this series… and it’s not necessarily a fight between the Fantastic Four and the X-Men. It appears as though this is a story about how Franklin got his groove back! But, does Uncle Doom really care about any of this? And if so, why would he care? Inquiring minds want to know!
Well, regardless of Doom’s motives, Chip Zdarsky uses this week’s installment as a continuation of Reed Richards’ greatest flaw; his character and problem-solving desire. Would there even be a mess right now if Reed was honest with everyone? Furthermore, would the dilemmas in Hickman’s FANTASTIC FOUR run have occurred if not for his seclusion and secrecy? Secrets have driven a wedge between his family in the past and now that wedge has grown so deep that his children find themselves escaping to Krakoa and eventually in the hands of Doom. Zdarsky hammers home the idea that intelligence in one area may not necessarily make you the smart guy in the “every” room about “every” topic. For example, genetic manipulation of your children in hopes to pre-stop them from escaping to Krakoa without telling them “may” be one of the dumbest things Reed has ever done.
As for the aspects of the issue that were the most appealing this week, Zdarsky’s transitions and flow from one plot thread to another were spot on. Everything in this issue is smooth, easy to follow, and ultimately makes total sense. Truth be told, the story isn’t exactly what I thought it was going to be when the series was announced. However, if by the end of this mini-series we see Franklin back to the true Omega-Level he should be, then the series would be worth it in my eyes. Additionally, I find the entirety of the event being more Fantastic Four centric than X-Men centric, which is certainly fine by this reviewer, especially with the bombardment of X-titles on the market. But this week’s installment cofounder me equality shipwrecked with the Marauders wondering about what really progressed in this issue.
Readers, this issue just… is. It’s not bad by any stretch. However, there is nothing jarring or overly shocking that leaves this reader on the edge for next month. There isn’t anything that packs a huge gut punch or simply has a ton of strength behind it. Don’t get me wrong; the overall narrative is interesting and sound writing but as a whole, it’s just an average issue that’s setting up a showdown between the X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Doom with Franklin and Valeria in the middle. I have faith that Zdarsky will add just the right spice that’s needed to kick start this series and augment just enough twists to give this mini-series the weight that will affect the Marvel Landscape and beyond. However, when an issue can be summarized in a matter of a handful of sentences to get the idea, is it really necessary?