A Delusional Doom And Familiar Faces In Fantastic Four #8

by Olly MacNamee

It’s always good to see Victor Von Doom returned to Latveria and back to his old Machiavlellian ways, taking down the Fantastic Four and trying to prove himself to the world for something less than the friendly fascist he is. In issue #8 of Fantastic Four, Doom makes good on his machinations from last issue and has tethered the mighty Galactus down and is currently extracting the power cosmic from him for all the world to benefit from. He’s like an evil Elon Musk but with even more issues. And a vindictive streak.

No matter how right Doom thinks he is, Marvel’s first family will always outsmart him. And, if given the chance, rub his nose in it and, boy, does Susan Storm do this in spades in this issue. I have to admit, I think it’s one of the best uses of her impressive powers I’ve seen in a long while and very, very satisfying too. Even though Doom will, no doubt, try and make ’em all pay for this gross humiliation. Although, on this occasion, I kinda can’t blame him. Well plays, Dan Slott, well played.

It’s another issue that succeeds because of Slott’s love of the FF and his reverence for their history. Take the reemergence of a certain young girl from FF history (Fantastic Four #239 for those wishing to know more ahead of picking up this issue) and her special friends that are only glimpsed at in silhouette but will, no doubt, be heard from again in the not too distant future methinks. It’s these small points that Slott has woven into his FF that build on their legacy but offer a fresh and familiar future too, with Aunt Petunia back in the mix as well as the rest of Ben’s extended family.

But, it’s not just an encyclopaedic knowledge of the FF’s history that makes this such as fun book. Slott has a great understanding of what makes these heroes work after so many years in which they seemed to flounder, even before their cancellation. Families and married couples aren’t supposed to work in comics, right? That’s what the general line seems to be anyway. Slott proves these doubters wrong with each issue, with his mixture of humour, in-family squabbling, banter and warmth in the words he puts down on the page and into the mouths of the varied dramatis personae.

Being so enjoyable and bombastic – I mean, who didn’t want to see Galactus and Doctor Doom! – even the different art styes in this book did not jar my reading experience and enjoyment in any way. But then, I’m not one to fuss as others do, so long as the art is good. And, it is: Aaron Kuder kicks off the issue in style before tag-teaming Stefano Caselli (who’s artwork reminded me of Sara Pichelli’s own), before David Marquez and Reilly Brown help out too.

Another funtastic issue from Slott and company and out now from Marvel. Just wait till you see the emperor’s new clothes!

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