My rating: 3 of 5 stars
OK, I’m still unconvinced that FF is the series for me. There’s some good stuff, some great stuff, but also some ridiculous stuff.
Fraction has the potential to be awesome (Hawkeye) but also way too ADD for me (Vol. 3 of this series). The best stuff is on the personal level. Ben has a day as his human form (this from the kids research to cure Ben during the Future Foundation days, I recall reading that one) and goes back to Yancy Street to stand up for the little guys, though I keep wondering if the FF forgot to watch Star Trek’s Prime Directive, for not interfering.
There’s an Ultron tie-in, with the 4 leaving messages to the kids as they go on a suicide mission to stop Ultron after his return to Earth, and it’s perfectly done. The art is a little sketchy, but whatever. I found it perfect that Reed couldn’t even talk, he had to write down his thoughts, and his rational science beliefs end up with a perfect meaning of life for religious and atheist alike.
I also enjoyed the time-travel where they went to Ancient Rome and met Caesar, only to see that things were a little different than they thought…that’s a time-travel one done right. The future implications are interesting, and I’d love to see that pop up again…
Ben also makes a startling revelation to the kids, which sets up a chunk of Volume 3…he thinks he’s responsible for the accident that transformed Victor into DOOM!
Downsides? There’s WAY TOO MUCH TIME TRAVEL. Sam already hit the nail on the head that Marvel is exhausting us as readers with every time travel story. This doesn’t help. I love ideas as much as the next person, but at some point, there can be too much, so much so that you lose sight of the story. Matt Fraction has proven he can do great stories about people (see above, or any of the Hawkeye stuff), so he doesn’t need to rely on Time Travel, Space, etc.
There’s some stuff with Blastaar, some alien race who mistakenly believes Sue to be their Goddess (we’ve seen this before with the FF and Atlantean races…not that long ago either…so that’s a somewhat recycled idea). However, we also have Sue discover Reed’s secret; that their family ‘vacation’ has actually been a fact finding trip to help cure their deterioration from whatever is pulling their molecules apart and destabilizing them.
I wasn’t interested in half of the stuff here, because at some point, travelling from the beginning of time to the end of time to free a super-villain from captivity, just in order to put him back into a different kind of prison is kind of a waste of time.
I did like how Valeria especially is questioning Reed’s decisions on many things, and pointing out that he arbitrarily makes rules and decisions that he shouldn’t have the power to do. I am sure this foreshadows some developments in the future (assuming they pick these themes up).
It’s a mixed bag; there’s good, there’s ho-hum, and there’s really interesting stuff as well. Long story short, this isn’t “Shallow” enough for our group LOL.
That and I’m going to tell you all about Vol. 3!!!