I am thoroughly enjoying Fantastic Four, of late. This new series has been a long fall for our heroes, and its only been gaining speed. (Spoilers below.)

We find Ben Grimm in the super prison on Ryker's Island, getting his ass kicked by Sharon, aka She-Thing. What a revoltin' development. Turns out she was busted for being a MGH drug mule.

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For reasons yet to be explained, She-Thing is spared from the power-neutralizers sapping every other super in the joint. Result: Sharon's top dog, and happy to clean Ben's clock— promising more of the same. Sharon's working for someone, but that's all we get out of her.

In New Eden, Reed's hard at work when a call for help comes along from Chicago of all places. The Wizard is tearing up the joint, along with the ladies of the Salem Seven. The windy city's kinda short on superheroes, so Reed goes off solo to see what he can do.

Sue's no help, she's too busy breaking into the FF's warehouse of impounded vehicles, to 'borrow' a rocket and fly off to Latveria to see her daughter. I presume that's where she's going. I mean, where else could she be headed in such a hurry?

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Johnny's no help, he's too busy partying and feeling sorry for himself. Granted— he's got legitimate problems. Losing one's powers is certainly a blow. An old buddy from college named Wyatt comes out of the woodwork to try to snap him out of it. Wyatt confesses that yes, Sue asked him to step forward. Johnny's unimpressed, and unaffected.

In Chicago, Reed proves to be no match for the Wizard and his latest recruits. Between Reptilia, Gazelle, Vertigo, and the Wizard himself, Reed's getting his malleable butt handed to him. The deck is stacked against him, and it's certainly impressive on a visual level! Kudos to Marc Laming and Jesus Aburtov for their fine work, bringing the action to life!

Richards is going down for the count as the Wizard brags, taunting him mercilessly, laughing in his face about how easy it is to break him down when he's on his own. The humiliation conga threatens to end in Reed's demise, before help arrives from the most unlikely of sources. That's right...

It's the Scarlet Witch! Being helpful! I'll be damned, I didn't know she had it in her anymore.

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(I'm actually kinda serious. The Scarlet Witch has been pretty much the worst since the start of Uncanny Avengers— her heart's been in the right place, but she's been zero actual help to the team. So much so that I put a few thoughts together as to how she could regain some of her former greatness.)

To see her here, in the pages of the Fantastic Four, is an extremely welcome sign of hopeful things to come. No two ways about it, she just saved Mr. Fantastic's life. It's about time she put something in the 'win' column. Welcome, Wanda!!

So! After ten straight issues of the FF's troubles going from bad to worse, is this the dawn of things turning around? Will Reed start to look at the bigger picture, and search for signs of the mastermind? Will Johnny get his head out of his ass? Will Ben find freedom? Will Sue sort things out with Valeria? I don't know!! But I'm eager to find out.

What about you?

~

Casey Jones is the author of All Fall Down, and a voiceover artist. You can see his work here.