FANTASTIC FOUR: GRAND DESIGN #2
Writer & Artist: Tom Scioli
Rating: It’s fantastic. Just buy the f@#king thing ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ .
(**Possible spoilers ahead**)
Objectively, Fantastic Four: Grand Design by Tom Scioli has been a pure pleasure to read. Really. This second and final issue pulls out all the stops and play with all of the toys Jack Kirby and Stan Lee created during their time on the Fantastic Four. And when I say it pulls out all the stops, I mean it. Let me tell you about the *other* family I spent time with this Thanksgiving, The Fantastic Four and how their story ended.
This issue takes place where the first one left off. The FF and Silver Surfer face off against Galactus, the biggest threat they’ve ever faced. So the story ends when the four beat the big bad, right? Not exactly. The first half of the comic is tricks you into a sense of security.
Silver Surfer joins with the FF to fight Galactus and gets trapped on Earth. Then you witness the FF’s first showdown with the Black Panther in Wakanda (T’Challa first appeared in the pages of FF #52). From Wakanda we visit the Inhumans and later The Thing has a showdown with the Silver Surfer for the love of Alicia Masters. Doctor Doom steals Silver Surfer’s powers and becomes a demigod and the FF have to deal with Ronan the Accuser of the Kree.
What I’m saying is—there’s a lot of work that went into this issue. The first half of issue two is all history… the second half is a total mindf@$k where Scioli breaks out *all* the toys and lets his imagination go wild. Galactus returns and fights Ego the Living Planet. The planet eater goes to Earth and faces the FF, X-Men, Inhumans and Avengers. At some point, a Black Panther Voltron will show up to fight Galactus and you’ll say ‘the f@#k just happened!?’ This is followed by Secret Wars, some shattered dimensions, deaths, an affair, Days of Future Past and time travel… yeah.
Like I said in my review of issue one, Scioli succeeds in the Herculean undertaking of summarizing six years of FF continuity… then it blows your mind by referencing FF moments from *every* medium up to the modern day. Like the FF comics it’s based on, FF: Grand Design is a big ideas book. It’s sci-fi and creativity to the highest degree (but it’s also trippy as hell and entertaining).
When I talked to Tom Scioli, it was clear he wanted to create a book classic Fantastic Four fans would dig. But he also wanted to create a story that would attract new fans alike. As someone who is shamelessly a fan of the FF, this honors the spirit of the original comics in TWO issues. It’s also a great introduction for people who are new to the Fantastic Four. Seriously, this book is a gift that effectively condenses years of story without compromising the characters at their core. That’s the power Scioli has—he’s someone who knows Kirby and the FF in and out.
So in short, this book is fast paced and fun as hell. In these beautifully colored newsprint pages you’ll find hope, family, adventure in the unknown, drama, maybe some tears and a fearless sense of creativity.
Here’s my review of issue one. I think it breaks the whole thing down pretty well: https://www.thecomiclounge.com/single-post/2019/10/31/A-Celebration-of-Comic-Books-Bursting-With-Passion-Fantastic-Four-Grand-Design-1-Review
(PS: Tom, I talked to you about Galactus versus Ego and I can’t believe you actually put that moment in this book. Jaw hit the floor. Wild.)