The X-Men and the Fantastic Four are two or Marvel’s most well-known and beloved teams of heroes. So when the two of them share a single comic, it’s kind of a big deal. Chip Zdarsky’s “X-Men/Fantastic Four #1” brings the two teams together but not in a way we’re used to seeing.
The heroes aren’t exactly joining forces to take on some common enemy or greater evil. Instead, they’re going toe-to-toe, debating the future of a very powerful young man and it doesn’t take long for tensions to escalate.
This first issue begins with a bit of context provided by Franklin Richards, the son of Reed and Susan Richards. He explains that he was once able to see and create the future, making him an incredibly powerful mutant. But now, his powers are fading and no one is sure why.
That bit of contest if very important for new or casual readers. Franklin Richards isn’t exactly the most popular Marvel character so anyone picking up this issue without knowing how powerful he is or the fact that he’s a mutant would very quickly get lost. It’s a nice opening to this new series.
There is not much context provided however in regards to Kitty Pryde and her team of Marauders. For an unknown reason, Pryde is the only mutant unable to walk through the portals that take mutants to and from Krakoa (the new mutant home island that you would also only know about if you’ve read recent X-Men-related comics). As a result, she has been tasked with leading a team on a ship to rescue mutants in need and return them to Krakoa. My point is, there is a lot of information that goes into this one comic.
To summarize the situation between the X-Men and the Fantastic Four, they both want different things for Franklin. Reed and Sue want to keep him home until Reed can figure out a solution to his fading powers. The X-Men want to bring Franklin, a mutant, to Krakoa where they believe he would be safe from those who hate and fear mutants. The one person no one is asking though, is Franklin.
That’s where Pryde comes in. Charles Xavier brings Pryde along to talk to Franklin because they are old friends. The only problem is, while she’s talking to him, things become heated between the Fantastic Four and the X-Men.
This is fresh story with an interesting clash between heroes. The thing I enjoy most about this new series, is that there really is no right or wrong side. It follows that same moral dilemma of something like Marvel’s “Civil War” story arc, where readers are given a valid case from each point of view and can really choose a side for themselves.
Of course, Reed being the typical all-knowing scientist who will do whatever it takes to do what he thinks is right, without asking for anyone else’s opinion, does something a little extreme that causes a rift in the Fantastic Four. So I guess not everything in this first issue is fresh.
Still this is setting up a very interesting story moving forward. It also sets up two very intriguing plot points in the last couple of pages that I will hold off and let you read for yourself. I am very excited to see how it all plays out though.
Marvel’s “X-Men/Fantastic Four #1” is available now.
Mike is a writer that has covered comic cons, theme park events, video game showcases and other fun events. He is a fan of theme parks, sports, movies, Marvel Comics and is a self-proclaimed “nerd.”