True to his word, Ben Grimm leaves the Fantastic Four in order to have some time to “think”. Hitching a ride out of town, he falls asleep and the Frightful Four cross his path and the Wizard modifies his behavior with his “Id Machine”.
Which is a bad move, from a story standpoint, since what happens afterwards is technically beyond his will. It’s true that Id Machine implies only a releasing of dark desires, and the Wizard describes this, but the way that The Thing acts afterwards — groggy and amnesic, with no real idea of who the FF are when they turn up. So Ben is really only a puppet from this moment on, and it weakens the effect, since he has no end of really righteous anger that he could unleash on the FF. His anger should only be let loose without his good nature to keep it in check.
The Frightful Four, as mentioned, have made another appearance, and it’s odd that they’re being pushed again so soon. They don’t add a whole lot to the title, and don’t bring out anything particularly interesting in the FF. Their aims are just to badger and annoy them, it seems. The best reason to use them is to create unique problems for the FF to solve, or to place them in an environment that the FF wouldn’t ordinarily occupy.
Which they don’t do. This story is very similar, in fact, to the last one they popped up in (just three issues ago) where they captured Sue and ambushed the others when they came after her. This time The Thing is subbed in instead, and it adds very little.
We’ll see where it takes us. This is just the first part of a two-part plot line in what has now become a rolling story — with the start of the issues picking up where the last one finished. It’s welcome since it’s broken the creative team out of the funk of having to cold-start each issue with some bickering in the group, or with Ben hanging out with Alicia.