By Jonathan Hickman (Writer), Sean Chen (Pencils), Lorenzo Ruggiero (Inks), and John Rauch (Colors)

Some Thoughts Before The Review: I read in an interview that Jonathan Hickman intends for the conclusion of Dark Reign: Fantastic Four to roll right into his run on the Fantastic Four ongoing series. If that’s the case, I have a feeling that I’ll end up appreciating the Dark Reign mini-series much more once Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch finish up their time with the Fantastic Four.

The Story: Sue, Reed, Ben, and Johnny have a standoff with Norman Osborn. Also, it’s revealed what else Reed learned thanks to the Bridge…

What’s Good and What’s Not So Good: I have a whole new appreciation for Dark Reign: Fantastic Four now that I see how the mini-series leads into Jonathan Hickman’s run with the ongoing F.F. series. While the mini-series ends with more of a whimper than a bang, the possibilities it introduces are quite intriguing. I look forward to seeing what else Hickman has in store for Marvel’s first family.

Creatively, Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #5 is quite a success. Sean Chen’s clean, attractive pencil work definitely gets the job done, even if most of the work consists of little more than people talking. As for Jonathan Hickman’s script, it does a nice job of setting things up for the future. While there isn’t a whole lot to it beyond wrapping up things with Norman Osborn and introducing the first plot threads for the F.F. ongoing, it reads well and proves to be entertaining enough.

Conclusion: There really isn’t a whole lot to Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #5, but consider it a must read if you are looking forward to Hickman’s Fantastic Four run.

Grade: C+

-Kyle Posluszny