Fantastic Four: The New Fantastic Four by Dwayne McDuffie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
As the mess created by Civil War dies down, Reed and Sue Richards leave the Fantastic Four for a while to work on their marriage. Taking their places are Storm of the X-Men and her husband, The Black Panther, king of Wakanda! Can this Fantastic Four stand against the foes of the previous version?
I'm a sucker for The Fantastic Four, especially when they're using a lineup other than the usual one. This is one of the unusual lineups.
544 - Gravity's grave is empty and the FF go to the Watcher for information!
I like the setup here of Black Panther and Storm joining the Fantastic Four because Reed's Thor clone wrecked the Wakandan embassy and they're crashing at the Baxter Building. The now human Deathlok, Michael Collins, guest stars. When the team finds Epoch, they unwittingly lead a certain herald of a certain planet devouring force of nature right to her.
This issue was mostly setup but it was still enjoyable and surprisingly funny.
545 - The Fantastic Four battle The Silver Surfer and Stardust to save Epoch!
There are some cool things happening in this one. Gravity is resurrected as the protector of the universe, but more importantly, The Black Panther puts the Silver Surfer in a cross face chicken wing. Oh, and Galactus shows up.
546 - The Fantastic Four and Gravity go up against the Silver Surfer, Stardust, and Galactus!
I've always been a Fantastic Four fan but I'm really digging the Black Panther this time around. Once again, I have to mention the humor in this volume. Also, Michael Collins' mustache is pretty spectacular.
547 - Reed can't stop working on his second honeymoon with Sue after he finds a strange asteroid. Meanwhile, the new Fantastic Four can't stop bickering.
It looks like the Frightful Four is waiting in the wings and there is an intergalactic menace on the way. Good times. I'm really digging this version of the Fantastic Four. It reads like a couple kids getting a new set of parents.
548 - The Frightful Four has Sue and Reed and the new Fantastic Four are on their way to Titan save her.
For a super-genius, The Wizard is kind of a dumb ass. It's cool that Reed tagged along but I have a feeling The Black Panther could have handled things without him. Hydro-Man, Titania, and The Trapster are okay but could use a little more firepower.
549 - And now, Reed and the Fantastic Four take on the Frightful Five!
This issue showcases how the Invisible Woman is the most powerful member of the Fantastic Four under the right circumstances. Klaw wound up not amounting to much. It was really cool when the Black Panther sent the Frightful Four back to earth on a trip that would take over six years.
550 - Reed, Sue, and the new Fantastic Four take on the menace of the Contrasepsis. What do hundreds of Watchers have to do with things?
Holy shit! Eternity is dying because of a weapon someone tried to use against the Contrasepsis years earlier. The Fantastic Four, Black Panther, Storm, The Silver Surfer, Gravity, and Doctor Strange have to work together to save the universe.
Closing Thoughts: The short lived lineup of Black Panther, Storm, The Thing, and the Human Torch was a nice change of pace. I have new respect for the Black Panther. It would have been cool to give this version of the Fantastic Four a full year, though. 3.5 out of 5 stars.
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