Fantastic Four #555
Quick Rating: Bad
Title: World’s Greatest Part Two
Is Reed Richards smart enough to save the human race?
Writer: Mark Millar
Pencils: Bryan Hitch
Inks: Bryan Hitch & Paul Neary
Colors: Paul Mounts
Letters: Rus Wooton
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Cover Art: Bryan Hitch
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Reed Richards’ ex-girlfriend has presented him with a startling declaration: the Earth is dying, and it’s too late to save it. The only hope now is to build an entire new Earth, a perfect Earth, and to transport everyone in the world there.
“World’s Greatest” may be the single most inaccurately-named comic book story ever written. Nothing of this book smacks of greatness. Most of it doesn’t even seem to indicate a passing familiarity with what makes these characters who they are. For starters, the entire story is predicated on the idea that there is something that is so fundamentally wrong with the world that Reed Richards, the smartest man on Earth, the guy who – in the very Civil War crossover written by Mark Millar – crafted a list of ways to save the world, never realized that the world was in danger in time to avert it, NOR did he realize that there was a problem in the near-decade since the point of no return supposedly passed! Reed then proceeds to tour a plan ripped straight from the pages of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy that seems to be orchestrated by guys so smart that they haven’t got the foggiest notion that the “changes” they’re going to attempt to institute will most likely result in far more bloodshed and hatred than the things they’re trying to prevent.
Then there’s Johnny. Oh, poor Johnny, who has grown up and been devolved so many times that one can only assume he’s been replaced by a Skrull a minimum of 15 times. Johnny does something so abysmally stupid this issue that if a superhero on his first day on the job did it, he’d be brutally murdered, and everybody would agree he brought it upon himself. Even at his least mature, Johnny has never been this reckless before. The character has been boiled down to nothing but Id, no nuance at all.
Bryan Hitch’s art is, at least, better than the story, but even he isn’t on his A-game.
I don’t even know what else to say, except to mourn the fact that we’ve for 14 more issues of this stuff on the schedule.