Review by: TheNextChampion

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Avg Rating: 4.7
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Story by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Ron Garney
Colors by Jason Keith
Letters by Clayton Cowles
Cover by Ron Garney, Jason Keith, & Michael Kaluta

Size: 0 pages
Price: 2.99

With his epic story already finished, just what more does Jonathan Hickman has to prove on Marvel’s first family? Well judging from this issue it seems like he wants to put away from loose ends. Or actually furthering those ends considering he’ll probably not have any time to actually finish any of these stories. So without making myself more confused here let’s get right to the grit of this issue.

The short description is that I absolutely loved this issue. Hickman is great a lot of things but people might not know how good he can be putting emotion in his scripts. Yes we get the time travel in this issue and some other futuristic moments. But at the heart of this story is Ben Grimm and just how much his family means to him. I love how Hickman wrote this because he gives us all of this emotion from Ben Grimm with him being barely in the issue. Seeing just the little glimpses of his life as he barely ages in 2000 years (thanks to the serum he took to turn human again earlier in the run) was really touching. My only quibble is that I’m a bit sad myself to see Hickman go because he brings so much to this issue we’ll never see. I doubt anyone will use this aging issue in future FF stories and the future of New York in the Marvel U is something I want to see. Why it’s called a ‘Territory’ in 4012 A.D. or ‘The York Perfecture’ in 5012 A.D. will remain a mystery. If only we didn’t have such a short time with Hickman left because I’m sure he has so many ideas on to elaborate this entirely if he had another three year run.

Now let me just outright say this: This issue is my Pick of the Week alone for the story in this. But I do have a confession to make as well: This issue is not perfect. In fact, as unbelievable as this sounds to his many fans I’m sure, Ron Garney’s art really hurt this issue for me. Not enough for me not to make this my Pick, but man there are some funky pages in this issue. I don’t know if Garney didn’t have enough time or was rushed to get this issue done but some pages look unfinished. Not ‘Greg Tocchini, oh my lord how does he have a job?’ unfinished but really sketchy pages in here. Nathaniel in general is never on model and at times Garney seems to just not bother drawing his face too much. There are some great pages in this though despite the sketchiness. The backgrounds are pretty detailed for the most part and his visions of a 1,000 to 3,000 year future NYC are pretty good. But then we have one more thing I have to nitpick about and it’s this:

Ben Grimm having facial hair in rock form is stupid. I’m sorry but that design did absolutely nothing for me and it got me pretty annoyed. How does that even work? I know it’s silly to think logically on this but….Seriously how does that work? He doesn’t even have hair on his head so how does the facial hair grow? I don’t know if Hickman thought of that or if Garney designed it for himself but…man that should have been revised before hitting the prints. It’s pretty bad.

So yes the art in this is not ‘5’ star material and giving it a ‘4’ might be generous in the long run. But you know what? I loved the story in this issue so much that a downgrade in art isn’t going to deter me from making this my pick. Hickman writes himself one sweet story for Ben Grimm and I guess I am a sucker for these types of futuristic ‘what ifs?’ I just hope that the next couple of issues, which do have Garney as artist, have an improvement in art. The last thing this run needs is a mediocre artist ruining an otherwise excellent story.

Story: 5 - Excellent
Art: 4 - Very Good


  1. I loved the bearded Ben Grimm! I imagined it as being similar to how grass occasionally grows through cracks in pavement, though that would imply he should have hair on his head as well. Meh. Otherwise, I completely agree with your review.

    • Look it’s all silly in hindsight. It’s a comic about a man who is a Rock monster and can somehow live to be well over 3,000 years old. But the concept of him growing facial hair while getting old just doesn’t make much sense.

      Why doesn’t he grow actual hair on his head? Plus if he can grow hair because he becomes human for a week, why not shave it? I can barely grow a beard but if I grow it for more then 4 days I’m going insane. Having a elder beard in rock form must be annoying.

  2. This was a nice simple, yet deeply emotional issue. This goes to show every comic reader that not every tale needs to be so far reaching, action packed, to make a good story. A very well done issue.

  3. I really dug the beard.

    It was like his millennia-old face started producing stalactites.

    Literally slipping off of his rocky mug.

    No Prize, please.


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