Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)

I think Future Foundation deserves a little more press as a comic, really.

Honestly, most attempts to monkey around with the Fantastic Four have turned out pretty badly. I have a little bit of a soft spot for the New Fantastic Four, although having Spider-man, Wolverine, Hulk and Ghost Rider on one team rivals the Defenders in terms of ridiculousness.

Also, is it just me, or do these not seem like the four guys that the F.F. are going to contact in an emergency? Spidey maybe…but somehow, I doubt Ghost Rider is on the Reed and Susan Richards rolodex.

Most other meddlings with these four have just been…bad. Having a She-Thing on the team or having Reed die and Susan become this over-the-top, single mother, sex kitten stereotype were all just really bad ideas.

And I’m not sure about the whole thing where Doom is Reed’s long lost brother. I SORT of like that, because it sort of makes Doom that dark and brooding in-law that shows up at family barbecues or something that you just can’t de-invite. F.F. is about family.

Actually--if you ever stop and think about it--the F.F. demonstrate almost every family relationship there is. Reed and Sue are married (with kids), Sue and Johnny are siblings, Reed and Johnny are in-laws and Ben is just ‘claimed’ family. I guess Doom kind of fits here, in the sense that he demonstrates that family can be a curse too. Someone really toxic that you’ll never really have out of your life.

So I can KIND of see that. But it seems a little much to me, after all these years, to suddenly be like: “I guess that guy we fought for years and years is actually Reed’s brother!!”

Adding Storm and Black Panther to the team was cool, I thought. At the time, these two were definitely the coolest and hottest new married couple.

If I had a problem with this, actually, it might have been that I would have liked to see more done with it. Let Reed and Sue take even more time off and just give Ororo and T’Challa a chance to run the joint. I dug it. But I feel like this little venture didn’t get the same love and attention that Luke Cage’s New Avengers did and should have. It seemed under-stated and off the public radar, for some reason.

Now Future Foundation? I’ve dug it, I’ve got to say. The whole killing Johnny off and bringing him back thing was kind of tedious, I admit.

But for some reason I feel like Future Foundation gave this comic a chance to breathe a little bit. I mean, I think F.F. has been in its ‘third renaissance’ this last decade with Mark Waid and Mike Weiringo’s run really bringing that comic down on course. It’s been really GOOD lately and I think Future Foundation really capitalizes on what has BEEN good about it lately.

I love that the cast of the comic branches out into some interesting pockets of the Marvel Universe, including Leach and Artie, cool and interesting mutant-children that have a penchant for drifting out of the spotlight in the X-universe. I’m pretty sure Dragonman is a robot or something really strange like that, but hey, whatever, that’s interesting.

In fact, I’ve got to give this comic credit for just getting crazy with the super-SCIENCE.

I mean, they’ve really embraced the WEIRDNESS factor here. Everything about the kind of work the FF does is bizarre and over the top and this comic really showcases this.
That’s what most F.F. villians are too…they’re scientists. Doom, Diablo, the ‘Mad Thinker’, the Wizard…they’re all guys who were trying to outsmart Reed in one form or another with some kind of crazy, make-believe science. Whether that’s Alchemy or anti-grav disks or whatever.

Personally, I’ve been really interested in this running storyline they’ve had going about multiple Reeds. You heard me. A bunch of rogue, aggressive Reed Richards drawn from different timelines have rampaged all over the multiverse doing extreme acts of ‘good’.

By extreme, this can include: lobotomizing every incarnation of Victor Von Doom they come across (whether he’s evil in a timeline or not), collecting cosmic-scale weapons of mass destruction from various timelines like infinity gems or ultimate nullifiers, confronting and destroying beings of incomprehensible significance like Galactus or Celestials…

A bunch of Reed Richards running unchecked through the multiverse are…scary, actually. But effective! They change things, bring about an almost perfect order to the universes they travel in…but is what they do really ‘right’? Really ‘good’?

So, what’s OUR Reed to do when he’s confronted with himself?

Well, guess who’s coming to dinner: Victor Von Doom and ALL of the aforementioned villains attended a Future Foundation hosted symposium on ‘Defeating Reed Richards’ with Doom as the lead speaker. I mean, if you want to stop a bunch of Reeds wouldn’t Doom and all the F.F. villians be the guys to ask?

I think I’m just impressed with the tenacity of the weirdness of this comic and their willingness to take it to the nth extreme of Fantastic Four lore. So please, if you have missed all of this stuff going on take a break from the fifteen Avengers comics you’re reading and at least get the collected trades of Future Foundation. I’m a big fan.


  1. I stopped reading Fantastic Four during Waid and Weiringo's run. I don't know why everyone thinks they were so good. The art is cartoony in a horribly generic way, the humor is forced (in the vein of the Fantastic Four movies...!!!) and as for the story arcs... well, I mostly hated the "Unthinkable" arc because Doom was always a bad guy, but he always had class, and Waid and Weiringo took that from him buy having him wear his old girlfriend's skin as armor and torturing little kids.

    I have been catching up on The Amazing Spider-Man and I like Slott's work with the new team and their confrontation with the Sinister Six. I think the Future Foundation is very interesting concept and a natural evolution of the Fantastic Four. Too bad Marvel had to (as usual) return so quickly to a Status Quo by reviving Johnny and continuing "Fantastic Four".


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