Jonathan Hickman pays a visit to one of the odder creations of the Millar/Hitch run on FF as he has the team visit Nu-World, a parallel Earth created by Reed and his old college girlfriend at the request of George W. Bush and Condoleeza Rice(!?). Unfortunately, the planet that should have been a utopia has turned into a dystopia in which the people living there are “trapped in a petri dish of unnatural progress. A fake world full of refugees from 500 years in the future undergoing abnormal evolutional acceleration, the cause of which will eventually kill [them] all,” as one character very conveniently explains.
This is a wonderfully fun FF story that works well on the two levels that are pretty much expected for a Fantastic Four story: it delivers rollicking cosmic action while also delivering a story featuring the core FF family.
I found myself really having fun with the visit to Nu-World and all the changes and cosmic risks that the world faced. There’s talk of black holes and event horizons, important mathematical equations and Einstein-derived mathematical paradoxes – all great things to see in a classic Fantastic Four storyline. We also get some very evil villains and some positive heroes on Nu-World, which also perfectly fits this comic’s tradition of providing lots of guest-stars in the comic.
We also get lots of classic FF family moments, stretching from Ben and Johnny showing up with Valeria and Franklin on Nu-World expecting a vacation, to Valeria calmly explaining her extreme genius, to the wonderfully warm conclusion with Sue and Franklin. That’s just the sort of thing we’ve been conditioned to want and expect from a good Fantastic Four comic.
I do have to wonder aloud whether there’s any sort of political context to this story. If Nu-World was created at the behest of the W administration, is the destruction of the planet a comment on the poor planning that our previous President would invest in projects? Is there a little bit of a parallel from the black hole of the Iraq war to the black hole around which Nu-World?
There’s frankly not a ton of apparent commentary in this comic, so it’s probably meant to be read just on the surface, but that touch just had to be mentioned.
So far Hickman’s run on FF has been note-perfect, and this issue is just another example of that.