This issue of FF is really just too dull to be considered a comic book. Why include Spidey on the team if he's just going to be a messenger service? Where's the spider-strength and the spider-agility? Where's his crack-wising? In FF, he sits still, just like the story, and uses reverse psychology rather than comedy to humiliate the bad guy. Yes, it's mildly clever, but anybody can employ such a tactic. The Hulk at his dumbest might manage it. Contrast Spidey's characterization in FF from that in last week's Heroes for Hire, and you'll see a big difference: "Whatcha doin?" "No. I know you. I know your voice. You're..."
It's amusing to see the FF's foes gathered under the aesgis of Val Richards. However, the story stagnates when Hickman and company turn to the staid antics of the Reed Richards from the multiverse. The execution strikes me as another sad case of padding out the story for trade paperback length.
We didn't need to know about the one Reed killing an amphibious sentient to do something with Atlantis. Instead, we could have figured out that Reed took over Atlantis, excuse me Old Atlantis, once the FF traveled there and found it under his control. Readers can add.
The artwork, while still sumptuous, doesn't do anything to alleviate the ennui. There's little action to be had in these pages, and the Reeds themselves are ridiculous looking. The one Reed appears to have bought Charles Xavier's Shi'Ar floaty chair at a rummage sale. The other one seems to think strapping Cyclops' visor to his forehead is haute couture. Perhaps, he dressed as a Cylon for Halloween and became obsessed. Are these the best variations you guys could think of?
If you're looking for a book with FF action, pick up this week's Amazing Spider-Man instead. It's got "clobberin' time" all over it, as well as the Secret Six, Scooby-Doo pirates, a Doctor Who reference and Spider-Man doing what he does best. Saving lives. Mind you, those Carlie Cooper moments bring the book to a dead stop.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Travis Walecka also reviewed FF #3. Read his thoughts, too!
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