Fantastic Four #1 returned as an ongoing comic last month, but it didn't give us a fully reunified team. Now, Fantastic Four #2 has fixed that, in a very ambitious way.
**Spoiler Warning: There are spoilers for Fantastic Four #2 below**
In the first issue of the new series from writer Dan Slott and artist Sara Pichelli, we spend almost all of our time on Earth, checking up on Ben Grimm/The Thing and Johnny Storm/The Human Torch. As that issue reminded us, the whole world still thinks that Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic, Sue Storm/The Invisible Woman, their children Franklin and Valeria, and the rest of the Future Foundation sacrificed their lives in order to save the universe. Everyone, except Johnny, seems resigned to the fact that the Fantastic Four is no more, and can never be again, particularly after the Yancy Street Gang sends up an old Fantastic Four signal flare as a prank.
Then, as the issue ends, a giant 4 appears in the stars, and we get the sense that something big is about to happen. In issue #2, it finally happens.
Reed, Sue, Franklin and Valeria (now going by their codenames Powerhouse and Brainstorm, respectively) are still doing exactly what we saw them doing at the end of Secret Wars nearly three years ago: Building a new multiverse with the combination of Franklin's incredible cosmic power and the Molecule Man's molecular gifts. As Sue Storm narrates the issue, she explains that every day is an exploration of a new universe, and every night Franklin — with the input of the group — creates a new one for them to visit the next day. It's about more than rebuilding for them. It's about adding to the tapestry.
Then, one day, Franklin is simply...done. He still has his powers, and they're still incredibly strong, but he can no longer dream up universes, and the Molecule Man theorizes that's simply because that part of his purpose has been fulfilled. Then the universe they're visiting quite literally shatters and a new villain arrives.
The villain is The Griever, and her purpose is to end things and then mourn them, which she demonstrates quite quickly by feeding the Molecule Man to her creatures known as "Endlings." The team flees, looking for a reality in which they can mount an adequate defense, and when they finally do clash, even Franklin's powers are nothing to her. Just as it seems The Griever is about to declare victory, Reed points out that she didn't actually beat The Fantastic Four, as she claims, but rather the Future Foundation, which is mostly made up of children. If she really wants to beat the Four, she'll have to face the whole team.
So, The Griever takes the bait, and summons up a device (which we saw briefly, without context, in the last issue) that will allow Reed to bring reinforcements from Earth. That's what created the "4" in the sky, and we see that it also beams Ben and Johnny over to the reality where their friends are. The Four are reunited at last, but Reed didn't just summon Ben and Johnny. It turns out when he said "The Fantastic Four," he meant every Marvel hero who's ever been a member of that team, which led to this amazing final page.
So, when issue #3 picks up, we'll see the Griever taking on not just Reed, Sue, Johnny, and Ben, but also Medusa, Wolverine, Storm, Black Panther, Spider-Man, She-Hulk, Luke Cage, Ghost Rider, and many more Marvel heroes. Reed Richards has always been a man of big ideas, and seeing this reunion play out in a way that's both pleasing and surprising is perfectly in line with his character.
Fantastic Four #3 continues the story October 17.