My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Is there a more tired, empty, and mined-out superhero team than the Fantastic Four? They long ago passed the divide between ‘classic’ and simply ‘old’, and teaming them up with the anonymous collection of third-stringers that comprise X-Factor Investigations makes for a story that not even a writer as good as Peter David can breathe life into.
It’s the bog-standard FF conglomeration of Ben Grimm getting angry and flying off the handle, Reed Richards being replaced by a double and nobody noticing (and did anyone so supposedly intelligent ever have a worse sense of personal security?) and the Invisible Woman playing Bait-chick and having a Sub-Mariner ‘moment’. Same as it ever was.
David’s strength is, and always has been, his ability to give characters individual, snappy dialogue. But he’s so constrained by the lack of personality possessed by the X-factor characters– they’re third-stringers for a reason— that only Multiple Man comes across as anything more than a cypher. You can see the author pulling out his tricks, but nothing sticks.
In the end, it’s just dull, and pointless, and there’s not a single thing to care about.