Fantastic Four offers a fun side-quest to Empyre focusing on an odd grouping of Logan, Spidey, Val, and Franklin set to keep alien warriors safe. No big deal. The problem is there’s no chance they can stay away from threats who want to infiltrate their forces. Fantastic Four #22 offers a good escalation to the battles as well as some empowering moments for this new Fantastic Four.
This story arc started with Franklin and Val on an adventure of their own after Mr. Fantastic sent them off to take care of kiddo Kree and Skrull warriors. Very quickly, those same warriors were targets and previous Fantastic Four members were called to action. Enter Spider-Man and Wolverine, but in Fantastic Four #21 Logan accidentally stabbed the Skrull warrior. Oh, and the Dark Harvest, a secret and deadly faction of the Cotati based on Earth, is descending on the characters. Not good.
Dan Slott writes a good script thanks to focusing on fan-favorite elements that make Spider-Man and Wolverine so fun and cool. Both get moments that’ll make you laugh, cheer, and root them on as they fend off the Dark Harvest warriors who are stronger than they look. There are some surprises in the story, too, and Slott comes up with clever ways for Franklin and Val to get involved without having to punch or stab like the mainstay characters.
Those super cool blue costumes on the cover of the last issue get a major heroic moment to shine as well. Slott will have you rooting for these characters with a clever turn in the story using Mr. Fantastic and his confidence in the characters. Plus, the cover of this issue isn’t a lie, which we all too often see in comics!
The art is split between Paco Medina and Sean Izaakse, and does a good job showing off gritty gang violence on Yancy Street. Much of the book takes place outside the Fantastic Four headquarters with a lot of Spider-Man and Wolverine action. Both do a good job rendering Spider-Man and Wolverine in iconic poses and fan-favorite looks. That includes Logan popping his claws, Spider-Man getting a spider-sense tingle, and lots of lunging.
The plotting of this issue is rather simplistic and doesn’t move too much. If you like fight comics you’ll dig it, but more than once I wondered why we were still watching these characters fight outside the Fantastic Four headquarters and not moving this battle along.
Fantastic Four #22 is a good issue that has established a strong purpose for the characters that links loosely to the Empyre event. Seeing Wolverine and Spider-Man team-up is always a treat and their use is maximized in the issue.