Fantastic Four #605
Fantastic Four #605
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Ron Garney

Since Hickman took over the book three years ago, his run on Fantastic Four has really been the story of Reed Richards, and how his actions affect those that love him the most. After an epic struggle in which the team managed to change the course of history itself, Reed gets a glimpse of what is yet to come, and more importantly than that, is reminded to keep his perspective.

Hickman has done an excellent job of maintaining a balance between the human and the cosmic throughout his run, but this is truly a very quiet issue, solely focused on character. Reed discovers that while he may not always be around to see the fruits of his work, that doesn't mean that other members of his family won't be, and the answer to who will be around to carry the torch, long after most of the Fantastic Four are gone, may surprise readers. What follows is one of the most touching issues of an already heartfelt and emotion laden run, which ends showing what Reed has learned not just in the course of this issue but over the entirety of Hickman's run as a whole.

As was the case with the events that Reed's father and children were trying to alter, there were certain constants that would always come to pass, where as there were certain smaller events where there was room to maneuver, to change, so to, with Reed's character there are certain constants that cannot be altered. Reed's curiosity and thirst for knowledge will always be an insatiable addiction, he will always be consumed by his work and his research, facts that his family has come to know and accept. However by the issue's end it is clear that he has learned that he needs to slow down, and enjoy the time he has, and has fought so dearly to reclaim, with the family that loves him, supports him, and would follow him into hell and a thousand different more horrifying places without question.

Ron Garney turns in a satisfying job on pencils that I would even call great if not for the inevitable comparison to the synergistic and versatile tag team that is Steve Epting and Barry Kitson. Garney is given a busy issue to work with, and does a fine job of showing shifting time periods and character appearances. Where he falls a little short is the scratchier character renderings that loses a bit of emotional subtlety really needed to sell an issue like this.

This is easily one of the better issues to come out of a run that has already secured its place as one of the greatest in the titles history. The beauty of Hickman's work on the title is that everything builds on what has come before, not just what he has written, but the title's long and storied history as well. This book is a modern day classic, and the kind of run that reminds you why you loved comics in the first place.

Grade: A-

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