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  1. #1
    Releasing Johnny's torch Ravin' Ray's Avatar
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    Default Fantastic Four #605 *spoilers*

    After the plot twists and developments that occurred hard and fast in the last few months in both Fantastic Four and FF, this issue slows things down and moves at its own pace. So we get a time-travel trip and a preview of 3012. Take another good look at the cover and recap page; they come into play in the issue.
    spoilers:
    3012: Earth is allied with the Shi'ar and Badoon, the diminshed Kree empire stages punitive strikes with its Skrull slave troops, and is intercepted by the Fantastic Four of that era: Ben, Franklin, and two others. Ben and Franklin are the only consistent members of the various incarnations of the FF. Reed deduces that Ben ages only when he turns human, which is once a year thanks to the serum he took.

    Reed and Nathaniel move forward every 1,000 years.

    4012: A Ben with rocky facial "hair" addresses a huge gathering of the (apparently graduating) class of the Future Foundation, alone, as Franklin is off in space, telling them to enjoy life in the midst of making things better.

    5012: An elderly Ben reminisces in his private garden about the good ol' days in front of a memorial to Johnny, Reed, and Sue.

    6012: Franklin bids the now deceased Ben goodbye, in a world that looks completely different from 2012.

    Reed and Nathan return home, with Ben and Bentley watching boxing, as Reed shares a drink with his best friend.
    end of spoilers
    Inevitably, with a story like this, I couldn't help but remember two other scenes in previous issues. The first is in Waid's run where, after the FF storm Heaven to bring Ben back, God shows them a sketch as they are in advanced years. The second is in McDuffie's run, where after a future incarnation of the FF and Doom meet the present FF, the future FF tell the present FF that they will have more trials and tribulations, save the world (and more) numerous times, and that they'll leave the world a better place. Since both are so general, there's no conflict between what all three authors wrote.
    Last edited by Ravin' Ray; 04-11-2012 at 07:17 AM.
    Johnny Storm was dead; who is this resurrected Johnny Storm?
    "Here, hold my Annihilus…" Johnny Storm, Fantastic Four #601

  2. #2
    Senior Member Rimmer's Avatar
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    Ray,

    Do you think Reed will tell Ben about this (perhaps not about the specifics of the future, but what Reed learned about Ben?
    "No job is worth your integrity" - Herm Edwards

  3. #3
    Releasing Johnny's torch Ravin' Ray's Avatar
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    I really doubt that.spoilers:
    Imagine realizing you'll outlive everyone else except your godson as the world changes about you? There's a tragic element to it and I don't want Ben to be burdened by it.
    end of spoilers
    I'm trying to wrap my head around it and the thought really gnaws at me.
    Johnny Storm was dead; who is this resurrected Johnny Storm?
    "Here, hold my Annihilus…" Johnny Storm, Fantastic Four #601

  4. #4
    on his last warning Ronin1108's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ravin' Ray View Post
    I really doubt that.spoilers:
    Imagine realizing you'll outlive everyone else except your godson as the world changes about you? There's a tragic element to it and I don't want Ben to be burdened by it.
    end of spoilers
    I'm trying to wrap my head around it and the thought really gnaws at me.
    spoilers:
    isn't Ben's powers being his curse/blessing the point of the character??
    end of spoilers
    http://reverbnation.com/roninakacmil

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  5. #5
    Releasing Johnny's torch Ravin' Ray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronin1108 View Post
    spoilers:
    isn't Ben's powers being his curse/blessing the point of the character??
    end of spoilers
    I doubt he's (fully) aware of that other ramification of his Thing form. Which is one more issue to add to his baggage.
    Johnny Storm was dead; who is this resurrected Johnny Storm?
    "Here, hold my Annihilus…" Johnny Storm, Fantastic Four #601

  6. #6
    on his last warning Ronin1108's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ravin' Ray View Post
    I doubt he's (fully) aware of that other ramification of his Thing form. Which is one more issue to add to his baggage.
    spoilers:
    As long as it doesn't mean the return of Super depressed Thing, im good with it. If he changes, i want the bucket head back lol
    end of spoilers
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    "put haters to the left i aint lettin 'em win,
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  7. #7
    IMPERIUS REX!!! Rheged's Avatar
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    Can't wait to pick this up!

  8. #8
    X-Gene Positive cookepuss's Avatar
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    It was a great issue. I really think that Hickman keeps on knocking it out of the park Since there's already a spoiler tag in the title, I'm not going to double cloak here. That said....

    The inner math geek in me is disturbed by one thing though. Thanks to Val, Ben gets to be human one day a year. That means that Ben ages for only one day a year. It's 2012 now. Happy fun math time now.

    Ben & Reed met during college. That means Ben would've been 22 by graduation. Conservatively, let's say that the four of them didn't take their fateful trip til at least 5 years later. That makes Ben 27 when he first became the Thing. Franklin is how old now? 7 or 8? That means that the Fantastic Four have been around for 10 years in the 616. That'd make Ben, chronologically, 37 years old, which seems about right. Ben dies in 6012 and ages only 1 day for every year. That means that he's physically only aged about 11 years. That means, biologically, Ben croaked at the "old" age of 48.

    That kinda bothered me. Not that Ben looked super old, in his rocky form, for 48, but that he was probably only 48 biologically. Maybe 50 if you include all the other times he was in human form. On the upside, the shuttle accident that mutated them probably also saved him from dying young. So, he had a full life and lived to 4,000+ years old, but really died at a biologically younger age.

    Ah, well. Great issue. I'm just being pedantic.
    Last edited by cookepuss; 04-11-2012 at 09:48 AM.

  9. #9
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    He died from loneliness and sadness. Lots of people do that at a young age. My mother died a year after my dad died. And she had nothing physically wrong with her. This issue was sad I hope they cure Benjamin soon.

  10. #10
    GotG: Needs More Cosmo CHOX's Avatar
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    Oh...wow. I came into this expecting nothing, really, but that was a very powerful comic.

  11. #11
    X-Gene Positive cookepuss's Avatar
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    My grandparents are closing in on 90 and they're both still active, not to mention much younger looking. My great grandmother died past the age of 110. My dad's 65 and looks 20+ years younger. I guess I come from a family of Highlanders.

    Personally, I hope that they DON'T find a cure for Ben. For one thing, a happy character is a boring character. Not that he can't be happy sometimes, but there's really no drama in happy ending scenarios. On top of that, in terms of what Hickman set up, just imagine how different 6012 would be if Ben had been cured. All of those times he fought off invasions. All of those kids he inspired. Keeping Franklin company, and probably tied to his humanity, for thousands of years. There's a trade off to be made.

    You can't think that all of those years were sad for Ben either. It must've been difficult for him at first, watching everybody he loved die. Forming emotional attachments must've been difficult. At the same time, who's to say that he never go involved with somebody who also lived for many years. There's a lot of stuff that could've happened off panel. That Ben was a little sad and missed the old days near the end was not so surprising. Here was a kid from Yancy Street who turned his life around and not only became one of the greatest heroes, but also their oldest. The idol of millions? Try the idol of BILLIONS (or more).

    We see Ben kinda sad, in that old man sorta way, by the end. However, I like to think that he had a happy life. After all, he did tell those FF kids to enjoy life and cherish every moment. Can't help but think that he was speaking from experience.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookepuss View Post
    It was a great issue. I really think that Hickman keeps on knocking it out of the park Since there's already a spoiler tag in the title, I'm not going to double cloak here. That said....

    The inner math geek in me is disturbed by one thing though. Thanks to Val, Ben gets to be human one day a year. That means that Ben ages for only one day a year. It's 2012 now. Happy fun math time now.

    Ben & Reed met during college. That means Ben would've been 22 by graduation. Conservatively, let's say that the four of them didn't take their fateful trip til at least 5 years later. That makes Ben 27 when he first became the Thing. Franklin is how old now? 7 or 8? That means that the Fantastic Four have been around for 10 years in the 616. That'd make Ben, chronologically, 37 years old, which seems about right. Ben dies in 6012 and ages only 1 day for every year. That means that he's physically only aged about 11 years. That means, biologically, Ben croaked at the "old" age of 48.

    That kinda bothered me. Not that Ben looked super old, in his rocky form, for 48, but that he was probably only 48 biologically. Maybe 50 if you include all the other times he was in human form. On the upside, the shuttle accident that mutated them probably also saved him from dying young. So, he had a full life and lived to 4,000+ years old, but really died at a biologically younger age.

    Ah, well. Great issue. I'm just being pedantic.
    But if we add in the numerous future "cures" Ben will probably receive in the future, he'll be aging every time he reverts back to human form. This will add years to his aging time. Going back over the last decade or so, Ben's been human a few times. Combining that increased aging with the increased lifespan caused by future advanced science, I can easily imagine all of the IDKs adding up to an appropriate actuarial death date.

    And it is ALWAYS Happy Fun Math Time!
    "Cant say it better than CaptCleghorn." - RolandJP

  13. #13
    X-Gene Positive cookepuss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptCleghorn View Post
    But if we add in the numerous future "cures" Ben will probably receive in the future, he'll be aging every time he reverts back to human form.
    Yeah. I thought about that too. I was going just on the premise provided by the opening recap, which had to do with Val's 1day/1year cure. Totally possible that he maybe reverted to human form briefly here and there. I don't think that Hickman would've shown it either since that wasn't the point of the issue. I could be wrong, but I don't think other writers have really addressed the issue of Ben's aging before. It was done pretty well here. Again, I wouldn't like to see Ben cured because it's more interesting this way. A humble kid from the wrong side of the tracks becomes something much bigger in the end. It's a pretty inspiring story, even if it also captures the downside of possible immortality.
    Last edited by cookepuss; 04-11-2012 at 10:18 AM.

  14. #14
    The First Ego Slyfer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHOX View Post
    Oh...wow. I came into this expecting nothing, really, but that was a very powerful comic.
    I teared up a bit and I don't cry
    I am far beyond mutants as mutants are beyond you - Apocalypse

  15. #15
    X-Gene Positive cookepuss's Avatar
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    Yeah. I think that Ben's words to the FF kids of the future really hit home with Reed. Reed always has his head in tomorrow, but somehow always loses sight of today. One has to wonder how many times Reed has to be taught the same lesson though. The man's always taking his wife and family for granted. It isn't til somebody reminds him to cherish the moments that he pokes his head out of the lab.

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