X-Men/Fantastic Four #1 Review - The X-Men? Yeah, Screw Those Guys!
Updated: Feb 5
If you've been following this blog for a while you know that I'm not the biggest fan of the current direction of the X-Men comics. There are flashes of greatness (House of X - Powers of X) but the line is oversaturated with subpar creators and a lack of thematic unity.
The only real consistent thread is that the X-Men are based in Krakoa and sometimes they act weird AF. There is also the real issue that the X-Men have become segregationist, supremacists, and based on the direction of this comic, series villains. Where Jonathan Hickman goes with the series is up in the air but what is not in dispute is that these are not your classic X-Men.
I'm not currently reading Fantastic Four so I'm not quite sure of their current status quo in 616 Marvel. However, at the outset of discussing the actual plot of the comic I want to mention that I'm 100% on the side of Reed Richards and the Fantastic Four. This may change as the series develops but as of Issue #1 when it comes to the X-Men, F*ck those guys.
The comic book centers around Franklin Richards. Franklin's powers are waning and Reed is getting nowhere in trying to solve this problem. Meanwhile, in Krakoa the Quiet Council discusses Franklin's dilemma and decides this is the time to bring him to Krakoa. They enlist Kitty Pryde and use her connection to Franklin and their previous relationship to influence him. The two characters have prior history established in the original X-Men - Fantastic Four crossover that was released in 1987.
The book shifts to the confrontation between the two teams. The X-Men leadership move in to discuss matters with Reed and Sue. Meanwhile Kitty and Franklin talk 1 on 1. The conversation falls off pretty quickly with the Fantastic Four telling the X-Men basically to Fuck off. They don't want their child going off to Krakoa unsupervised. It's also revealed that Reed has masked Franklin's mutant genome so that he can't enter Krakoa even if he wanted to.
The comic tries really hard to justify the X-Men's position here but it immediately falls flat for me because the Fantastic Four have all of the valid points. The Invisible Woman straight up calls the X-Men out for being segregationists. Reed takes a different tact and says that the confrontation could have been avoided entirely because Franklin would be of age soon and could make the decision to join the X-Men on his own.
Reed's logic isn't good enough for the X-Men who seemingly wants Franklin's power at any cost even going as far as to use manipulation and deception to influence his decision.
I'm a parent with teenage children. There is no way in hell I'd send my kids off with the X-Men The mask blocking Frankin from entering Krakoa is cited as being a huge betrayal but from my perspective as a reader and parent, Reed is justified as the parent of a minor child who could potentially endanger the entire world with his abilities.
The X-Men on the other hand are clearly on some bullshit. Magneto and Apocalypse are in leadership positions and the group is operating as Drug Dealers and Pirates depending on the title you're reading.
The art from Terry and Rachel Dodson is nice but a bit too clean for this material at times. I would have preferred a Brett Booth, Liam Sharp, or a Frank Quitely to convey just how weird the X-Men are behaving. The comic also seems to break the timeline. Kitty Pryde is dead in Marauders. She's also wearing the wrong costume here. I also noticed that Franklin Richards has Black hair for some reason? I'm not sure if this is a recent development but he's been blond in pretty much every incarnation of the character I'd ever read.
The story is great and I loved seeing Susan cut loose on the X-Men. It's great to see other heroes call them out for their actions. The Fantastic Four hold their own against the X-Men even though on paper they have always appeared to be outmatched.
I'm constantly trying to figure out if Hickman is trolling us with this incarnation of the X-Men. In my eyes, they are clearly villains but they are treated as heroes in their own series even though all of the evidence presented by their own account says otherwise. Zdarsky has created an interesting scenario regardless of where you stand on the X-Men issue.
This is a great comic and easily the best since the start of Dawn of X. If you haven't got into the Hickman run or have strayed away from Dawn of X like me this may be a point to jump back in.