If there was a prize for best fill-in artist it would have to go to Joe Quinones. Actually, that doesn’t do the art in this chapter of FF justice – if for whatever reason Mike Allred couldn’t return, and Joe Quinones were to take over, I’d only be a little bit sad. FF#6 manages to come together (excuse the pun) fantastically,despite the lack of Allred, remaining at the high standard associated with Matt Fraction’s titles these days.
Quinones’ art really shines in this issue. While not the exact pop-art aesthetic of Allred’s work, the entire look of this issue feels like an FF issue (thanks in part to the equally brilliant colours courtesy of Laura Allred), which is the highest of praise. Quinones’ panels draw on Allred’s unique design sensibilities, but he manages to make it his own, with some excellent layout designs. His characters are also expressive and suitably fun, with small details like the hoodies the Yancy Street Gang wear, making this issue feel like the cartoon it should.
Despite the cartoon-ish art style, Fraction manages to continue his skill in telling multiple stories. Bentley-23 and Medusa are still missing, Tong has a revelation, and Scott – amongst dealing with his grief over the loss of his daughter – helps Darla fight off the Yancy Street Gang. Each of these stories feels suitably fleshed out, with the Tong one in particular being a standout. Only Fraction could show a character’s development on a single page, and make it feel worthwhile.
Scott Lang’s slow descent into losing it is also a highlight of the story. He’s constantly lost when he has nothing to do, often dwelling on the death of his daughter, but when he takes control of things outside of caring for the Future Foundation’s children, he’s focused and smart. It’s a clever way of showing how badly the death has affected the way he reacts to any child he deals with, and it seems he has a ways to go.
A ways to go is what I hope with this title. In fact, I’d be happy if the Richard’s family never came back, because FF is one of the best titles in the Marvel Now!, and I never want it to end.