By Don M. Ventura
Fantastic Four #588
Although not perfect, this was a strong final chapter to one of Marvel’s longest-running titles. Jonathan Hickman has finished the story off with class with an issue that is told almost entirely without words as we explore the fallout after the death of Johnny Storm.
Nick Dragotta is on hand to illustrate the painful last month of Marvel’s first family and the results are quite striking. Dragotta’s art is reminiscent of a contemporary mix of Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko; the only misstep is the artist’s version of Sue Richards whose look is somewhat inconsistent.
The book is made up of several two and three page scenes, my favorite being one in which Reed comes face to face with Annihilus, the villain responsible for the Johnny’s death. He smugly holds the fallen hero’s tattered uniform. I love good villain moments and this image stuck with me for days after finishing the issue.
Marvel missed an opportunity with this issue to provide a proper sendoff. Where are the pin-ups? Where are the words of farewell from the legendary writers and artists who have tackled this flagship title? A Spider-Man follow up after the main story was the books nicest moment; Spidey attempts to comfort Franklin Richards with a story about the death of his own uncle.