Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Fantastic Four 2099 #2: "Frightful Four"

If you've read this blog for a while, you know that I'm not exactly the type of guy to let a plot drop.  I'm particularly given to getting fixated on the progression of long-running sub-plots as they advance issue by issue.  As such, I'm still bothered by the fact that Herod has been running the 2099 universe since "Doom 2099" #33 and I have no idea what his motivations are.

In this issue, we learn that he wants to "suck America dry" in five years, though I'm not sure if that means that he supports the corporations or not.  I would guess that he does, since he seems to be working with Stark-Fujikawa in this issue; Stark-Fujikawa also worked with him in "2099 A.D. Apocalypse" #1, when it turned over its in-house superhero, Galahad.  After that issue, I thought Stark-Fujikawa was simply trying to curry favor with Herod, but now I'm wondering if Stark-Fujikawa isn't more directly involved in his plans, since it seems clear that it wants to take control of New York from Alchemax.  I'm hoping that I get some more insight into the state of play between Doom and Herod in "Doom 2099" #39, the next issue in this recapping project.

Of course, we're not talking about "Doom 2099" right now; we're talking about "Fantastic Four 2099," so I understand why Kesel isn't wasting a lot of space on the ongoing machinations of the 2099 universe's power elite.  But, it's not like I also don't have a host of questions that I wanted this issue to answer.

Since I didn't read the first issue of this series, I'm not clear how the Fantastic Four got resurrected.  In "2099 A.D. Genesis" #1, Stark-Fujikawa seemed to be blaming it on Alchemax (asking to review its systems), but it was also clear in that issue that Stark-Fujikawa was running the facility where the Fantastic Four were kept.  In this issue, Miguel and a recovering Tyler Stone are concerned that Stark-Fujikawa is pulling Alchemax into its problem, using Alchemax's network to announce to the public that the Fantastic Four were on the loose in New York.  So, if Stark-Fujikawa was keeping the Fantastic Four in suspended animation, why was it doing so?  Unlike my frustration with the Herod question, I understand why Kesel is drawing out the question of how and why the Fantastic Four find themselves active in the 2099 world.  I'm just hoping that it's not an open-ended mystery.

In terms of the story itself, I can't say it was all that gripping.  Kesel apparently divided up the team in the first issue.  In theory, it should've given us multiple opportunities to see them adjusting to finding themselves suddenly in 2099.  However, they all pretty much just marvel at the posters showing Doom as president.  However, since Doom hasn't been President for a few weeks at least, presumably, it seems oddly un-coordinated, like this series got delayed several times before it actually debuted.

All that said, Kesel did throw in a great 2099 moment here, with Stark-Fujikawa broadcasting images of the Fantastic Four attacking S.H.I.E.L.D. agents not because they had actually done so, but because it was their "predicted behavior."  Oh, 2099!

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