X-MEN/FANTASTIC FOUR #1
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Penciller: Terry Dodson
Inker: Rachel Dodson w/Dexter Vines & Karl Story
Colorist: Laura Martin
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Out of ALL the X-Men books to spin out of HOX/POX, besides the main X-MEN book, this is the one I was looking forward to the most. Chip Zdarsky has quickly become one of the best writers Marvel has in their stable. He has been killing it on DAREDEVIL and his past books MARVEL-2-IN1 & PETER PARKER: SPIDER-MAN were amazing. So the thought of him digging into these characters had me pretty stoked. Then you pair him with the Dodson's on art, and you have something really special.
We all knew it was only a matter of time before the X-Men came and recruit Franklin Richards to Krakoa. He's not just a mutant, but an Omega level mutant. With his powers on the fritz, and Reed unable to figure out why, it seems like the X-Men would be the perfect solution, right? Well Reed doesn't think so. But Xavier is so powerful, that he knows about Franklin's issue and sees this as the perfect opportunity to bring him "home". He uses a past connection between Kitty and Franklin, that harkens all the way back to another crossover FANTASTIC FOUR VS. X-MEN from 1987. I never knew about this previous relationship and it definitely adds a new element to this book. Leave it to Zdarsky to pull a tick out of his creative hat.
But this wouldn't be a crossover book if there wasn't a fight. With Reed and Sue unwilling to let their son go with the X-Men a fight breaks out. While it seems Xavier was trying to prevent that, a protective mother is someone you don't wanna mess with especially Susan Richards. The back and forth between Magneto and Sue was the highlight of these pages. Who knew Magneto could be manhandled so easily.
With Kitty's help they leave behind the drama between the Richards family and the X-Men. But an unexpected revelation leads to Franklin losing faith and trust with his dad. Having already questioned why Reed cant seem to solve the problems of both himself and Ben, but can solve everything else. This new discovery was the straw that broke the camels back.
This book is full of great character moments and is full of that signature Zdarsky humor. It's beautifully illustrated by the Dodson's. It makes you wonder why this artistic couple doesn't do more comics. While this style may not be for everyone, I definitely think it's perfectly suited on a book like this. They provide the perfect compliment to Zdarsky's script.
This book really shines and feels important to the overall narrative sweeping over the X-line of books, without feeling overly complicated. It does tells an interesting story and feels like it's setting up some interesting threads moving forward. The best part, is that you can read this book on it's own and enjoy it without having to read to much else. This is a great example of how to do a crossover book and is my favorite book of the week. Plus don't even get me started on that last page!!!