It’s sad the Fantastic Four don’t have their own book anymore, but its clear writer Brian Michael Bendis is ever so slightly giving us a taste of that world with this series. How can you not with Doctor Doom at the helm… albeit a hero? This issue ties deeply into a classic tale which teamed up Dr. Doom with Doctor Strange so it comes as no surprise these two team up here. Well, team up in a sense.
So what’s it about?
Read our preview to find out more.
Why does this matter?
Alex Maleev is on art and you should care. Dammit, you should! The guy has a grit and a creative genius when it comes to texture on a page. This issue has a fantastic full page spread that’s a thing of beauty and nearly all of it is cast in shadow. He’s just that good.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
What a page. Is this for sale?
Once again Bendis proves he’s a master of dialogue (someone needs to figure out how he does it!) and it doesn’t matter if it’s Doom, Doctor Strange, or Agent Carter talking. Part of the reason that fantastic full page spread I mentioned above works so well is how Bendis uses word balloons to draw out each character’s voice and rhythm. As Doctor Strange and Carter talk back and forth your eye goes down the page naturally as you observe a burned out looking staircase and then finally a vault door. It’s a cool way to give the scene purpose, but also the dialogue a place on the page.
This issue actually serves as a bit of therapy for Doom who has locked himself away due to something he’s very afraid of facing. Doctor Strange has given this very serious situation the proper attention it deserves which Bendis turns into a fun back and forth between the characters. You can tell Doctor Strange respects Doom and while Doom hates Strange for being so good he respects him back in his own way. Thing also makes an appearance as well as Mr. Fantastic so you can tell why this issue is one of the best ways to get your FF on. The issue culminates into a major reveal and a cliffhanger that should have longtime Marvel fans positively giddy for what comes next.
Maleev draws a lights out issue once again. The full page cliffhanger is something to marvel at, from the use of color to the texture used here and there. Matt Hollingsworth colors this one and it’s impressive how he lets the shadows and darkness play with the brightness of a page. Oh, and flames, the flames look so great. There’s a lot of pinks used in the sky and backgrounds, which gives the book a bit of light when Doctor Strange is around. In an awesome double page spread, Maleev and Hollingsworth show off a magical realm that would make Steve Ditko proud. It’s the blacklight type of art that twists your mind up and looks quite good as Dr. Doom and Doctor Strange float in front of it.
That “Autozone” joke is going to go over some peoples heads for sure.
It can’t be perfect can it?
I’m a bit confused as to why Mr. Fantastic attempts to bide time, unless of course, he’s serving the plot. There are about 3 pages of him going back and forth with Agent Carter which certainly gives the comic something to cut back and forth to, but seems to serve as filler more than anything else. It does offer a chance to see Mr. Fantastic for what he is before the heroes figure it out, but could have played out in a more interesting way.
Is It Good?
If you’re familiar with previous Doctor Strange and Doctor Doom team ups you need this. Seriously, it’s going to pay off in the end. If not, well you can do well to read this great dialogue and interesting character drama.