Jonathan Hickman has been making a lot of noise in the comics industry ever since his debut with Nightly News at Image. The noise in the beginning was about his art and sense of style and design that departed rather drastically from the traditional comic art form. But as people started to delve further into his stories they began to realize that he was a rather talented storyteller as well. While most of the comic reading public would have been first exposed to him when he began co-writing Secret Warriors with Brian Michael Bendis his work prior certainly indicated that he was the prime kind of writer, that given the chance, could tell the style of stories that could make books like Fantastic Four really shine.
Love him or hate him Mark Millar made a lot of eyes turn to The Fantastic Four when he started his run with Bryan Hitch, it didn't sustain in as satisfying a fashion (sales wise) as most people would have thought or Marvel would have likely liked. But when given the opportunity to build on the eyes that had started to check out Comics First Family they did the right thing and brought on a writer who would show the kind of stories that made Fantastic Four the kind of characters that have inspired the creators of today.
Bringing on Jonathan Hickman was inspired but what was truly fortuitous was to pair him with newly acquired exclusive artist Dale Eaglesham. A genius stroke for the genius lead FF.
And that's what has made the first two issues of this run truly spectacular (as well as the preceding Dark Reign: Fantastic Four mini-series). Hickman knows how to write Reed Richards to make him sound brilliant but accessible. A genius that you'd like to hang out with and who would make you understand while outclassing you in every field of study. He brings an element of teacher to the character that really makes him sing. And beyond that with this issue he shows why Sue Storm-Richards has stuck with the lovable but brainy Richards as long as she has.
And it's not just the way that Hickman handles Richards himself that makes the book really great. It's also how he deals with the rest of the family. How he depicts Sue as the kind of mother we all wanted at one point in our lives, how Johnny is a different kind of guy with Franklin than he is with Ben. How Ben is ... well Ben! And perhaps most importantly he has stopped using Franklin and Valeria as convenient set pieces and has really grasped how to use them as characters.
So if you're looking for a little sci-fi, or a little pulp, or a little familial drama in your super-heroics then look no further ... one of the comics that has been around the longest has finally come back!