Whether it’s due to consistently lackluster sales performance or Marvel taking a shot at Fox, Fantastic Four is ending with April’s #645, and writer James Robinson is putting the team in increasingly dire situations as his story winds down. Reed Richards is a prisoner of the Quiet Man (who has been manipulating events for Robinson’s entire run), the Baxter Building is in flames, and the rest of the team is in such dire straits that they’re turning to ’90s hero Sleepwalker for help.
Sleepwalker is just one of the many guest stars in next week’s Fantastic Four #643, and this preview reveals how Quiet Man’s master plan is bringing the rest of the Marvel Universe into this title. The villain has orchestrated an interdimensional invasion of Earth that he plans to stop on his own and then blame on Reed, causing an international incident that requires the assistance of superhero teams like Canada’s Alpha Flight and Russia’s Winter Guard.
The superhero slugfest is a great opportunity for artist Leonard Kirk to show off his skills, and one of the best things about this run is that it’s given Kirk a high-profile gig that highlights his strengths as a superhero artist. Working with inker Karl Kesel and colorist Jesus Aburtov, Kirk has drawn sweeping action and intense character drama with equal aplomb on Fantastic Four, and it looks like Robinson is pushing his collaborator even further in these final issues.