By Mark Millar (writer), Bryan Hitch (art), Paul Neary (inks), Paul Mounts (colors)

I don’t mind  one or two pop culture references in my comic books, but this is getting out of control. I know the Ultimate line of books are full of these. Mark Millar loves this stuff, and normally it doesn’t bother me. But when he asked Captain America what “Myspace” was during Civil War, it was just downright stupid.  Well, Millar, continues this trend and it hampered my reading experience. It’s not clever and it only dates the story. Stop it!

Gripes aside, if you manage to skip (or read) past the first five to six pages you’re in for some fun. Reed bores an elementary class out of their minds (which is brilliantly illustrated by Bryan Hitch), until Ben turns on the fun and hits on their teacher!

From here we actually get into the meaty part of the story. Sue is working out the kinks, discussing a new super hero team as a side project for charity (with gal pals Wasp and She-Hulk), when an old flame (Alyssa Castle) of Reed’s arrives. She’s a bit snide to Sue, but as soon as Reed enters the room she’s all over him. It doesn’t help either when Ben oogles over her. Anyway, Alyssa wisps Reed away to an undisclosed, classified area where it’s revealed that her and her husband are working on something big, very big (which I won’t get into for spoiler reasons).

Millar promised us a science fiction story with high adventure and this issue lays down the foundation for that. I’m not convinced by some of the characterizations presented in this book (Johnny Storm), but all in all, the concept and plot is exactly what a modern Fantastic Four book should be. We all know what to expect from Bryan Hitch when he draws and he doesn’t let us down. His art is nothing short of breathtaking. (Grade: B)

– J. Montes