Fantastic Four Issue 587 Review
The Fantastic Four changed the comic book industry. They are one of Marvel's most respected teams and have saved not only the world, but WORLDS and heck, even the universe a time or two. For nearly 50 years, Marvel's First Family of comics have remained virtually unchanged, unshaken, and have proven to be classics. However in a sea of new comics, new teams, and extreme changes to comics, it seems that many find the Fantastic Four to be stale. With the same characters for 50 years, how could things possibly be fresh? Enter Jonathan Hickman. Fresh off of his acclaimed work on Secret Warriors, Hickman set off to change the Fantastic Four and take them back to their roots all at once. Now with Steve Epting in tow, Hickman comes to the climax of his Fantastic Four run, the end of THREE. So, with all the coverage this issue is getting, one has to wonder if it will give these characters the send-off they deserve. Let's dive into Fantastic Four issue 587 and find out.
Our issue opens with each member of the Fantastic Four in extreme danger. Sue stands between two nations on the brink of war. Reed races to save the population of Nu-World, and Ben and Johnny desperately try to hold back an invasion from the Negative Zone. As Ben and Johnny fight, it is in fact Franklin who takes down the wave, only for the pair to realize that they will have to go into the Negative Zone to stop the assault. Meanwhile, as Sue goes to confront the old Atlanteans, she realizes that all is not as it may appear. Reed finds this to be true on Nu-World as well, and learns how to save everybody. In the Negative Zone, the Future Foundation kids realize that in order to save the Earth, somebody has to stay behind. Sue is confronted by Namor as she makes her last stand to prevent a war. Reed finds himself face to face with the new Maestro Hulk before he can escape Nu-World. Ben and Johnny realize how to save the Earth. And of the four heroes, one finds their demise.
Jonathan Hickman came onto this book with this death planned from the start. He knew what he was going to do, he knew who would die, and he knew exactly how make you feel it. I won't say who die, as I went explicitly out of my way to avoid this and I'm sure many of you are as well, but I will say that I was shocked. At the same time though, it felt as though it was coming from a mile away. Having just read all of Hickman's run last night in preparation for this issue, there are many hints and clues that led to this issue, and I'm happy that the death was handled with this much care. With the Fantastic Four, you don't really want to see anybody go, because each character is so heavily valued for both their experience and their personality, each an icon in their own right. With this death having occurred, I am extremely intrigued to see how Hickman moves forward from here, and I am saddened by the ripples this will bring to the Marvel Universe.
Steve Epting was brought onto this book only a few issues ago, but his art is a natural fit for this somber issue. Epting has never been an artist to inspire joy and optimism through his work, instead bringing an incredibly weight and sense of drama. Having handled the death of Steve Rogers, Epting knows how to work with such sensitive issues with plenty of grace, creating an issue that stands out as some of his best work to date. Every character looks truly amazing, and the death is handled incredibly well. That last page hits you like a ton of bricks and I wish I could show it without spoiling, because it truly is deserving of acclaim. As the image on Steve Rogers on the court steps will be forever remembered, so too will this page. I cannot save enough for this issue on the art front. Even Alex Power looks incredible, his abilities brilliantly showcased by the colors of Paul Mounts.
Overall, this is an issue you want to buy. It is well crafted, significant, and promises to have effects for years to come. I have been reading Fantastic Four for nearly eight years now, and this is by far one of the most satisfying chapters I've read. Buy this book, pick up the rest of Hickman's run, and prepare yourself for what comes next. 4.5 out of 5 stars. R.I.P. Fantastic Four.