X-Men/Fantastic Four #1
KRAKOA. Every mutant on Earth lives there ... except for one. But now it's time for FRANKLIN RICHARDS to come home.
It's the X-MEN VS. the FANTASTIC FOUR and nothing will ever be the same.
Franklin Richards, born a mutant but also born of the Fantastic Four, is an enigma often left to play the role of deus ex machina by many writers. Chip Zdarsky, one of the brightest stars in Marvel’s bullpen, was given the job of figuring out just where Franklin belongs in the greater Marvel Universe, particularly given the massive paradigm shift of Jonathan Hickman’s X-vision. Given the strength of Zdarsky’s writing, it should come as no surprise that he handled this first issue quiet well indeed.
As the X-Men status quo has altered course over the course of “Dawn of X” there has been a noticable disconnect with the world outside of Krakoa. There are interactions based almost exclusively in violence but very little discussion of the repurcussions of segregation until now. Using Franklin’s “foot-in-two-worlds” status as a catalyst, Zdarsky finds the entry way into exploring these topics in an organic way. Charles Xavier notes that Reed and Sue Richards are not your typical “suburban parents” who are terrified when their child develops powers but their actions in this issue almost gesture towards a notion that, in some ways, they are. Sue notes that they live on Yancy Street so their children will experience diversity but fails to notice that diversity in the post House of X/Powers of X world in the Marvel Universe has changed and with it many expectations, threats, and comforts change with it as well. It is an interesting thread to follow and one I have found myself questioning as well over the past few months.
The artwork provided dominantly by Terry and Rachel Dotson (with assistive inks by Karl Story and Dexter Vines) proves to be exactly what you would expect for an event such as this one. Marvel pulled no punches ensuring this series, which could very well determine quite a bit about the future of the Marvel Universe, was done by superstar talent from top to bottom. Laura Martin continues to be one of, if not the best colorist in the industry and lends her exceptional skills to this book.
The issue raises more questions than it answers as fans not currently following Dan Slott’s Fantastic Four have some catching up to do but Zdarsky is careful to incorporate details on a need-to-know basis and masterfully avoids heavy exposition dumps (with the exception of the issue’s single infographic, a hallmark of contempory mutant books). Where the book will go from here is anybody’s guess but given the talent assembled to tell what is such an important story, there is no doubt in my mind that the ride will be unforgettable.
X-Men/Fantastic Four #1(Zdarsky, Dodson, Dodson, Vines, Story, Martin, Caramagna) begins the journey of figuring out Franklin Richard's place in the New World Order of the post-Krakoa Marvel Universe with a bang!
X-Men/Fantastic Four #1: A Foot in Two Worlds
Writing - 9.5/10
Storyline - 10/10
Art - 9.5/10
Color - 10/10
Cover Art - 9.5/10
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