Review By: Blake M. Petit BlakeMPetit@gmail.com
Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: Forever, Part 2
The reunited Fantastic Four leads the charge against a Kree invasion!
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Pencils: Steve Epting
Inks: Rick Magyar with Mark Pennington & Steve Epting
Colors: Paul Mounts
Letters: Clayton Cowles
Cover Art: Mike Choi & Morry Hollowell
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Last issue, the Future Foundation assembled Earth’s heroes to draw the line against an invasion of the Kree. As the battle raged, Spider-Man was summoned back to the portal to the Negative Zone, where he saw something totally unexpected, presuming of course that you have never read a comic book before in your life. If you really want to remain unspoiled, read no further.
In a revelation that shocked literally no one, the Human Torch emerged from the Negative Zone, ready to lead the charge against the Kree. Please don’t misinterpret my snark here – I love Jonathan Hickman’s writing and I think this was a fine issue. It’s just impossible to be surprised by the revelation that Johnny Storm, whose death was really spectacular except for the little tidbit that we never actually saw him die or saw a body after it was over, is not actually dead.
Last issue’s giant-sized goodness showed us what Johnny’s been up to since we last saw him, but this issue really goes a long way towards showing us how much he’s changed. When he comes out of the Negative Zone, there’s an automatic moment of energy across the battlefield, a really powerful moment when Ben Grimm sees that his friend is still alive and draws strength from it, lots of little things like that. But when Johnny actually takes action, it becomes clear that he’s not the man he was. One of my biggest problems with Mark Millar’s run on this title, right off the bat, was how he had Johnny jump in the sack with a supervillain in the process of a robbery. It would be a stupid thing for any superhero to do, but it was ludicrous for someone with Johnny’s experience. The Johnny we see this issue is even further removed from that man than he was when he disappeared in issue #587, except this change is not only justified, but executed perfectly. “Here, hold my Annihilus” is a late entry into the race for best comic book line of the year.
Steve Epting continues to impress me on the artwork. I like Johnny’s new look here as well – the way he’s incorporated some of the Negative Zone tech into his look suits the character, although I don’t think I’d want to see him keep the rather Witchblade-like armpiece permanently.
Great issue, part of a great storyline, and it ain’t over yet.