If this was your final day on Earth, what would you do? If you had a chance to say goodbye to the people you care about before you left, what would you say? That's what this issue is about.
FANTASTIC FOUR #5 AU is written by Matt Fraction and features the art of Andre Araujo. There is definitely a lot that I enjoyed about this issue, but there were certainly some moments that felt a bit lackluster. First, on to the good stuff!
There are certainly some emotional moments, and some profound ones as well. Reed's final words to both his children is one of the best scenes in this issue, hands down. It is a moment of sheer honesty where Reed reveals and opens up to the both of them about what is essential to remember in life. Each character leaves Franklin and Valeria with a little bit of food for thought, and each moment really makes sense as far as which character is giving what piece of advice, except for one. There is one character that doesn't actually send the two kids a message, and there's a good reason for that.
The pacing of the story is pretty quick, so there is a good chance you will get through it rather fast because it is engaging. The story moves quickly and there is only dialogue when it is absolutely necessary.
This issue definitely feels like a tie-in issue; it doesn't feel very natural or as if it follows the sequence of events that we have seen thus far in this series, which is a little bit unfortunate. It basically reads more like a "what if" issue than it does as an issue that follows the natural progression of the story. In a way, it all feels a bit out of place. And while there were some emotional moments that were good, there were others that simply weren't built upon. There is a scene where Sue essentially watches her husband sacrifice himself so she can live. She watches him die and the reader doesn't really get to see the emotional reaction she should have experienced.
I was also not too crazy about the art. There is a lot of great panel layout in general (like the scene where Reed is communicating his final words to his kids), but as far as the way the characters are actually drawn, it isn't something I was too crazy about. The kids look a little bit awkward.
Overall, this issue is not as good as previous issues we've seen in this series mainly because it really feels as if it takes readers out of the main story. Basically, it feels a little bit forced. The result is a story that feels completely outside the continuity of this series. In addition, there are moment in this issue that should have been emotional, but weren't, and that was something of a let down.