Following the conclusion of the massive storyline, Jonathan Hickman uses “Fantastic Four” #605 to give the reader a bit of a breather by depicting the downtime activities of Reed Richards. Reed does what anyone would do given the opportunity: he builds an observation platform with his father and time travels into the future to check up on the legacy of the Fantastic Four.
Hickman powerfully drums up Reed Richards’ unending curiosity and quest for knowledge as the impetus for “End of Line.” While Reed is traveling with his father, he still remains very aloof and clinical, checking in on his family members to see what the future holds for them. Primarily, Hickman delivers the future of Benjamin J. Grimm and conveys an enjoyable tale of future retrospective for everyone’s favorite ever-lovin’ blue-eyed Thing.
Ron Garney draws up an interesting take on future Ben, giving the Thing what appears to be a beard of stalactites. As the story progresses, the stalactite beard grows as a visual cue of time passing. Garney, however, doesn’t merely let the beard serve as the only indicator of time’s toll on the Thing. The artist adds deeper crooks and crannies, new cracks and some weathering to the Thing’s countenance, so that as the future is investigated further, Ben is shown more fatigued.
Garney and Hickman fill this issue with emotion and character, favoring the former over the latter. There isn’t a great deal of action, but every so often it certainly helps to be reminded that some of your favorite heroes are still human, despite their appearances or proclivity for acting otherwise. While that could be interpreted to describe the role of the Thing in this comic, I’m mostly referring to Reed Richards who has a very human moment to launch his time-traveling adventures and an even more sincere reaction upon his return.
“The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine” has been a dense read for the past few years, despite the fact that comic fans have been drawn to the title due to the acclaim pointed in its direction. “Fantastic Four” #605, however, is about as open and inviting an issue as fans could hope to find, especially given that this issue is roughly Hickman’s fortieth on the title. Fantastic Four fans looking to find a way back to the title would do well to pick this book up, as would fans of the Thing. After all, you never know what tomorrow is going to bring now that Jonathan Hickman has rewritten it.