Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #2 review

Reed Richards is looking at alternate worlds to see where it all went wrong with the Superhero Registration Act. Little does he know that Sue, Johnny and Ben are at the mercy of his alternate world viewer, which seems to be throwing them from reality to reality. And Franklin and Valeria are cool.

Seriously cool. Within three pages they see off Norman Osborn’s STRIKE flunkies, there to shut down the FF, but it’s not via their on-again/off-again powers. Nope, it’s their precocious charm and pluck that wins the day. And that’s the Dark Reign business speedily dispatched so the rest of the issue can be devoted to a fun series of What Ifs, as Reed sees why the Civil War ended peacefully in various sections of the Marvel multiverse.

The best of these places Sue in the role of Queen Elizabeth I, angered by ‘the man with the iron heart’ who wants a republic (I guess this is her own dark reign). This motivates one of my favourite exchanges so far this year. Writer Jonathan Hickman seems fascinated by Reed and I’m happy for him to invest plenty of page time in the bendy boffin, as he was so damaged by his involvement in the Civil War. A humbling of the man to Stan Lee levels would be fine by me.

Sean Chen and Lorenzo Ruggiero provide pleasingly fresh, open artwork, and it’s coloured in jolly style by John Rauch, who’s particularly adept at facial modelling. It’s just a shame that for the second issue in a row we get a rather unpleasant cover – Pasqual Ferry and Dave McCaig present a particularly weird Human Torch; he looks like Abe Sapien rather than the hothead wee know and love.

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