The Fantastic Four have been had by Dr. Doom. Not only has the supervillain vanquished Galactus, but he’s turned him into a Duracell battery. To make matters worse Thing is missing his honeymoon (and he missed the reception too) and Dr. Doom is having the last laugh. That can’t last, can it?
So what’s it about?
Read our preview.
Why does this matter?
Aaron Kuder has been slaying on this series and he draws the first few pages. Slott meanwhile gets to dig into a Dr. Doom story allowing him to show the cackling and the ego.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue really shows Slott has a good handle on the characters thanks to all the weird stuff in it. From a close up of Galactus melded into a mountain to bizarrely stretched out face of Mr. Fantastic there’s a lot in here that’s strange and excitingly weird. Slott also gets to unfurl a trap for each of the Fantastic Four that’s really quite clever and fun. This issue has the feel of classic Stan Lee storytelling and it’s hard to put it down. Who doesn’t like a good villain walking us through all his machinations to stop the heroes? It just gets you more ramped up to see how it’ll all come crumbling down!
It’s also neat to see Dr. Doom as the PR rep for his own country. He’s been televising things in previous issues and does so again here. He’s not doing all this for villainous gain but trying to score some points with the world. It makes him a bit petty and easier to hate.
While all that is going on there’s a b-plot that progresses things nicely with Sue and Reed’s kids. I will say no more, but it helps tie back to previous stories and give the kids more purpose in the story.
Art is shared by quite a lot of people. Aaron Kuder, Stefano Caselli, David Marquez, and Reily Brown all chip in with pencils. Color artist Matt Yackey brings the bright colors to bring all those artists’ work together and Joe Caramagna, of course, has the clearest of letters. The only art that seems a bit off from the rest is a later scene with Franklin wandering about.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
Something very strange occurs in this issue that I’ve never seen before and that’s reuse of pages early on. I’m not clear if the copy I have is messed up, but it does make some sense. What happens is scenes occur on camera, then later we see characters watch the scenes on TV. Instead of drawing it differently to catch us up in where the other characters are watching it simply repeats three of the pages and before that one full page. This is, however, a 24-page comic (25 if you count the recap/credits page and not counting ads) so it’s not like we’re missing out on pages. It’s just a bit odd they chose to reuse the same art. Given how many artists are on this single book I’d wager it was something they had to do to pull off the idea with time constraints, it just threw me for a loop.
Is it good?
An exciting issue that suffers a bit from the choice to reuse four pages of art within the comic itself. That said, I dig what Slott is doing and it’s got Stan Lee vibes all over it. Mix that with an excellent group of artists and Fantastic Four is that weird kind of fun that’s hard to replicate. This is big hero comics with the right amount of strange.
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