The impossible happened in Fantastic Four #32: Doctor Doom is getting hitched, but the bride has a secret that could send the wrath of Doom onto the Fantastic Four like no other. In the second issue of the story arc, Dan Slott and R.B. Silva are going through with the wedding, and you can imagine the tension between all parties.
This issue is a delightful assortment of fun character moments, both isolated in asides and with each other. Hanging over everything is the fact that the Human Torch slept with Doctor Doom’s bride, and she has yet to tell him. This adds ample tension as Victorious hasn’t yet told Doctor Doom what has happened and the Human Torch has no idea if Dr. Doom knows or will find out while attending Dr. Doom’s wedding.
Each member of the Fantastic Four has a good reason to go to the wedding simply because, as we learn, they can be absolved of any past transgressions against Doom. That allows Slott to play around with the “should I or shouldn’t I” for each character. It also supplies a smart reason for the team going at all, which is appreciated since something like that isn’t always explained.
Once the team is in Latveria, great moments abound like Thing confronting Doom about the time he crashed his own wedding, or a rather touching moment when Doctor Doom eavesdrops on his bitter rival and actually shows a bit of a heart. Slott blends the ridiculousness of our heroes attending the wedding at all and the tension there with the etiquette of old rivals and the respect they have for each other rather well.
This is an entertaining book, but it does take a while to get going. The best moments end up being in the back half when conflict is at every corner. The setup is required to get the characters there, but there’s some lingering in the earlier pages that is there to recap how we got here or inform us of the overall setup. It takes about six pages to get going.
Silva is joined by Luca Maresca on art with Jesus Abrutov on colors. It’s not immediately obvious, but it appears Maresca draws the opening pages before the Fantastic Four reach Latveria. Maresca’s pencils are a bit sketchier and less clean than Silva’s though they do well to get emotions and body language across. There are some great bits with Mr. Fantastic, like a funny side glance behind Doctor Doom at Sue Storm, or a slap in the back of the head from Mr. Fantastic that traverses multiple panels. All told, action is limited in this issue, but excellent examples of sci-fi tech, Doctor Doom’s mask, and as mentioned before, body language all are sold very well.
Fantastic Four #33 delivers on all your expectations for the night before Doctor Doom’s wedding. Each member of the Fantastic Four gets a moment to say or do something, and the setup, along with the cliffhanger, is highly entertaining. Most of all, the tension in this issue is delicious and should have Doom fans excited for a little revenge.
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