Review: Fantastic Four #609 - Return of the Defenders
Defenders from nu-world return during issue 609 of the world's greatest comic magazine, Fantastic Four, as count down continues to the finale of Jonathan Hickman's four year run.
This issue picks up from the plot thread left hanging at the end of the "Death of Johnny Storm" storyline, with the Defenders having escaped from Nu-World as it was consumed by Galactus. Now homeless, out of place and out of time, these heroes from 500 years in the future have come back to Reed Richards for help in fulfilling their new plan: using the future dead body of Galactus!
Ever since the "Return of Johnny Storm" storyline, Hickman has been using his final year's worth of issues to tie up loose ends with simple single issue stories. This continues that tradition with an enjoyable story done in one regarding a plot thread that I'm glad hickman didn't forget. Hickman is obviously enjoying himself as he winds down his run, adding fun little nods and in jokes throughout this story. It's been a long time since I've seen a Thing/Hulk fight (must've been JMS's run on Fantastic Four) and so it was a nice reminder of the rivalry between the two, even if it wasn't the real Hulk or even a very long fight. It was also incredibly funny to see the Defenders using a Moloid construction crew. Hickman has done well in his run to use classic villains in new ways, and this twist is welcome and actually makes a bit of sense.
As for the art. Well, I really liked the art. it reminds me of Fantastic Four stories of yesteryear a little bit. Stegman's style is well suited to the story, aptly making the unbelievable feel very much believable. Hopefully, we'll be seeing his work for the rest of the run.
With only two issues left, it makes me sad that Hickman's finishing. This, and pretty much all of his run, is what a Fantastic Four book should be like; humourous, emotional, unbelievable, out of this world, fantastic. I do find myself wondering if the new creative team will ever reach the bar Hickman has set, but for now I can't wait to see how his run ends.