SPOILERS IN HERE, FAIR WARNING: Well, marketing-wise this issue did everything Marvel wanted it to for me. The 11th-hour pre-release hype about the death of the Human Torch made me want to know how Jonathan Hickman and Steve Epting were going to dispose of him, and I stained my fingers black stretching and wrestling with the cheap bag that Fantastic Four #587 was distributed in to find out. In that respect, it was a success. The scripting and art quality were grade-A, and there was definitely a sufficient amount drama. What it all added up to in the end overall, however, turned out to be a letdown.
First of all, there’s no actual verifiable death that actually takes place. In fact, it would be very easy for issue #588 to pick up and excuse Johnny Storm’s survival in any number of ways. The climax leading up to the final page is the highlight of the book, but when all is said and done the story’s double bar is a head-scratcher of reassurance that the status quo probably won’t be tampered with.
The Sue Storm punching Namor moment also provided a great memory to take away, though her scene didn’t do too much to advance her plot thread to a significant degree. In the end, that’s where FF #587 left me—it delivered a handful of scenes and sequences that made the read worthwhile, but when everything settled at the end, I’m not sure how prominently the story itself is going to stand out. Perhaps the next twelve issues between now and #600 will make it more meaningful, though. I hope so, at least.