For months now, writer Jonathan Hickman has told us that we would be losing a member of the FF and the issue is finally upon us. To hype sales and get promotion and whatever you wanna call it, the issue was released today instead of tomorrow (cuz that makes a lot of sense...). I've really been enjoying Hickman's run and was excited to read this issue. In case you have been reading this book without me knowing, I will warn you of the spoilers. Don't read past this picture if you care.
With a sad texting face sent out, we find out why this issue was titled, wait for it....
The Last Stand of Johnny Storm.
With all the members in some sort of death-peril, Johnny seemed most likely to begin with (Ben was a member of the New Avengers now and both Sue and Reed have had "deaths" before) but it was still in the air. Reed was trying his best to evacuate everyone off of Nu-World before Galactus destroyed it, Sue was caught in the middle of a power-struggle between Namor's Atlantis and the Tribes of Old Atlantis, and Johnny and Ben were trying to stop Annihilus' army from invading Earth (again). First, Reed succeeds. No problem there. Then, after Namor killed Old Atlantis' king, Sue was named their new ruler (for longer reasons then need explain). Which left either Johnny or Ben. The two along with Franklin Richards fight off the hoard as the brainy kids that have been hanging around try to solve the problem. Franklin now has his powers back, Ben is human again for a while and Johnny is Johnny. After deciding their best chance was to blow everything up, they come to the sad conclusion that the only way to do that is for someone to stay behind while they also keep the army from stopping it. Mr. Grimm is happy to volunteer. After being human he tells Johnny,
"Because of you, I just had one of the best weeks of my life... No way I go out owin' you."
As everyone heads back through the portal, Johnny goes behind Ben and throws him through the door, sealing it behind him. As Reed's daughter Val tells Johnny how to activate it, Ben actually starts changing back into the Thing, pounding on the door, hoping that it's not too late to trade him spots. With a sad look in their eyes, Ben and Johnny press their hands together over the door like it's a prison visit. Johnny then turns towards the army of insect soldiers coming at him.
"So this is it. A billion to one... You think I'm afraid of that? You Think I'm Afraid of That?! FLAME ON!"
And with that, We are left with a tear from Ben's eye as he, Val and Franklin fall into each others arms and the doorway fully closes behind them.
Say what you will about me, but this scene brought chills to me. Hickman has been great on this title and Johnny went out like the true hero he always tried to hide. No fame. No fortune. No ladies. Just doing whatever you can to protect the ones you love. Brilliant writing and great "death", even if he is just gonna come back in a year.
If you want a great comic and have been missing some good FF, read this. You won't be disappointed.