OK so issues 1-4 = 5 Stars. 5-7 = 3 stars…ergo, 4 stars. (3.5 really, but I enjoyed the first half a fair bit)
This premise could have fallen on it’s face and been played for laughs, but instead it focuses on the family, the bonds, the connection, and the reality of what can happen to anyone.
The FF goes broke, in the wake of the US gov’t stopping all science funding to the Baxter Building, and on top of that, one of their accountants stole their savings (also Tony Stark, Hammerhead, and some others). So they’re literally destitute.
They move into a dive hotel in Manhattan, and they realize they need to get jobs. Sue, the rational one, is first to get one, as an English teacher at a High School (thanks to Alicia Masters, Thing’s on again off again GF). Thing gets a construction job after saving some workers from a falling slab of concrete. Johnny and Reed are a little slower on the uptake…
Johnny realizes he can’t act, his agent doesn’t want him, and his airhead supermodel girlfriend is now seeing Keanu Reeves instead…(there’s a few Keanu jokes). It takes him a while, but he has an epiphany, and ends up seriously training and studying to join the FDNY…which is a cool idea.
Reed is so lost he doesn’t know what to do, and tries to think himself out of the problem…only issue is, he forgets to pick Franklin up from school and Sue chews him out for it, telling him he needs to accept the situation, and do something about it.
He finally does, and goes to the Unemployment office and has some eye opening chats with other recent people to lose jobs, and has the clerk about to close the office when he’s next in line…but of course, she was saved by the FF in the past, and so she gets him a job…
As an IT Temp for a Law Firm. Yup. You think your IT is slumming it, when they show up in their Assassin’s Creed Hoodie and Big Gulp and fix everything in 10 minutes? Yup.
So they’re all settling into lives as they are now, and after initial reservations and worries, they of course realize that it’s making them closer as a family and that’s all that matters.
I have to admit, I am turning into a sucker for the emotional stuff in comics, when it’s done well. Case in point: Reed walking to work one day, and there’s a crowd because some jumper is about to do it…so Reed stretches himself up and just talks to him (actually lets him talk mostly). Finds out that the man’s teenage son died in a car crash, his wife divorced him 6 months later, and he recently began coughing up blood, only to discover that he had advanced throat cancer and was going to die.
Reed asked if he was afraid of dying, and he said no, just dying alone, because he had no one…
Of course, Reed puts himself in the man’s shoes, thinks about Franklin dying, Sue leaving him, and being alone…then tells him he won’t be alone, and pulls out a scrap of paper and writes his number on it for the man. Tells him to call when he thinks he’s near the end, and Reed will be there to hold his hand. (Even if he’s in the middle of fighting Doom he tells the man).
OK I blubbered, it’s very dusty in here…allergens and such…(Anne, you really shouldn’t have fapped all the Kleenex away).
The second half of the book is about aliens in the backwoods of New Jersey…kinda lame, but there’s decent stuff about Reed trusting in Ben and Sue and so he doesn’t have to worry. Other than that, not much.