Marvel publisher two X-books last week: Marauders #7 and X-Men/Fantastic Four #1. Which will take the top tubed-meat-themed honor in all of comics? We'll find out here in your favorite weekly X-Men recap column…
Sworn to sell comics for Marvel executives who feared and hated the fact that Fox owned their movie rights, The Uncanny X-Men suffered great indignities, but thanks to a corporate merger and a line-wide relaunch, the X-Men can finally get back to doing what they do best: being objectively the best franchise in all of comics.
X-MEN FANTASTIC FOUR #1 (OF 4)
(W) Chip Zdarsky (A/CA) Terry Dodson
KRAKOA. Every mutant on Earth lives there … except for one. But now it's time for FRANKLIN RICHARDS to come home.
It's the X-MEN VS. the FANTASTIC FOUR and nothing will ever be the same.
In Shops: Feb 05, 2020
What happened in X-Men/Fantastic Four #1?
The Marauders arrive at Krakoa where they're greeted by Quentin Quire, who makes fun of Kate Pryde's inability to pass through Krakoan gates. The Cuckoos give him a disciplinary mind-blast and inform Kate and Storm that they need to meet with Professor Xavier. Xavier and Magneto explain that they need to recruit Franklin Richards to come to Krakoa. Franklin has recently been aged up into a teenager and his powers deplete each time he uses them. Xavier claims the X-Men can help him. At 4 Yancy Street, Reed Richards experiments on his son in an attempt to solve that save problem, but Franklin's teenage hormones lead him to get mad at Reed for lack of progress. A scientific notebook entry from Reed explains a theory that superpowers come from an unlimited source of energy called the godpower, and that Franklin has seemingly lost his connection with it. At a nearby diner, The Thing tries to calm Franklin down and convince him his dad is trying his hardest, but Franklin suggests that Reed is motivated not to solve Franklin's problem or Ben's.
Johnny Storm interrupts to let them know the Fantastic Four have visitors. The Marauders, Cyclops, Wolverine, Xavier, and Magneto have arrived, and Sue Richards doesn't offer a warm welcome. The X-Men aren't allowed inside Sue's force field until Kate arrives, phases through it, and gets a big hug from Franklin, who has a connection with her from back in the 1980s Fantastic Four vs. X-Men series. Everyone goes inside to drink tea and discuss the X-Men's desire to bring Franklin to Krakoa. Sue isn't having it and gets into an altercation with Magneto. As things escalate, Kate and Franklin slip out through a wall. Kate brings Franklin to a Krakoan gate, but she tells him it's entirely his decision and she'll back him no matter what he wants. The Fantastic Four and X-Men arrive on the scene and a fight breaks out again. Franklin decides he's going to go through the gate and charges for it, but he passes right through to the other side. Reed altered his genetics so the gate won't recognize him as a mutant. The X-Men leave, satisfied that this has done more to convince Franklin to take their side than anything, as Reed's family is disappointed with him. Later, Valeria encourages Franklin to break the rules while Ben lectures Reed about what he's done.
Later, in the middle of the ocean, Kate finds Franklin and Valeria stowed away aboard the Marauder. But the Marauders isn't headed back to Krakoa… they're on their way to rescue some mutant refugees, but before Kate can say where they're going, they're interrupted by an attack from Doctor Doom.
Was it any good?
This first issue was very efficient at establishing its premise and then moving the story along, which is necessary since there's just four issues to tell the complete story. It made references to past continuity, which I always appreciate, and it builds on both the general happenings in the X-books and the specific story that's been being told about Franklin Richards in Fantastic Four, as he goes through a very relatable teenage struggle to understand and be understood by his parents. I'm not the biggest fan in the world of stories being told out-of-sequence, as Kate Pryde is currently presumed dead in the pages of Marauders, but that's just a fact of life when you're publishing as many X-Men comics as Marvel does in a given month and they're all told in five or six issue arcs. Overall, this was a decent start and unlike many recent past Marvel hero vs hero stories, no one here was portrayed as a clear villain (though Reed Richards is portrayed like a dick, but that's in-character).
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