The Background –
All the chess pieces have found their little spots, and it’s time to play the game. Fantastic Four got a late start when it came to relaunching this title. One thing we have to keep in mind when reading these stories is the status quo. All good stories begin by showing us where the characters status quo lies and then messing it up as much as possible. Unfortunately, when Dan Slott was handed the reigns to FF, the status quo was thoroughly messed up already.
Before the book even began half of the team was lost and considered dead. Beyond that, nearly six-hundred comics had taken place where the FF had already been through many developments. One of the things that has carried over was Reed Richards scholarly project of teaching the next generation of super-geniuses, the Future Foundation. So, even before Slott could get to telling some solid FF stories, he had to deal with these issues, and find a way to develop a new status quo. Plus, he had the foresight that Ben Grimm and Alicia Masters had been through enough and should just tie the knot already! Which was handled with grace and expert style in FF #5.
But, now the cards have been set. The team is back together. That Future Foundation issue has been sorted – by sending a bunch of kids through space by themselves. And, it is time for the new Fantastic Four title to get rolling. Boy, are we doing it in style. Another thing that makes a great comic story is a great villain, and Fantastic Four has a solid rogue gallery to choose from. However, Slott decided to really throw us in here by bringing back two of FF’s most famous and dangerous of foes, Dr. Doom, and the world-eating force of nature, Galactus.
Yeah, Galactus is back on Earth, and he landed in Latvaria. This is going to be good.
The Cover –
I was reading in one of the fan letters in the back of these issues that one fan was loving everything about the series, except for Esad Ribic’s covers. And, I was all like “whaaa!?” These covers have been nothing short of magnificent and this portrait of the nefarious Dr. Doom is a testament to that. Beyond that, this month had a slew of variant covers, one of which is one of the greatest FF covers in years, if you ask me. Check it out –
The Story –
Ben has officially tied the knot, but before he could even have his honeymoon, trouble came calling. Now, the FF are off in the Fantasticar to pay a visit to Dr. Doom and Galactus in Latveria. However, Doom wants the praise of defeating Galactus for himself and sends his new champion to take care of the FF as they arrive on his border. Victorious is a local Latverian that Doom has given the power cosmic – y’know, Silver Surfer style. Which is obviously a handful for the FF. And, when Galactus begins to go a little haywire and tramples through Latveria, Doom reveals that he has all the pieces in his big plan in place.
The Review –
Doom, Galactus, and a badass new villain, what is not to be excited about with this issue. It was kind of entertaining to see the two biggest FF villains arrive to thwart Ben Grimm’s wedding last issue. And, my first intuition was that it was just to add the drama to that book and the FF would nonchalantly fix the problem in the next issue. Boy, was I wrong. Not only is the threat in Latveria pretty serious, but it is also going to cause some trouble for the team. Never underestimate Doom.
As for this new player, Victorious, I think we may have something here. Doom has tried to utilize the power cosmic before, but in this case, it seems to be working. The Latverian loyalist he has chosen to bestow this power was previously seen helping him in issue #1. Which also means, that she is probably not going to be turned against him very easily, and will hopefully become one of Doom’s weapons for many storylines ahead. Or, she dies in the next book, and we never see her again. Either way, I like the Latverian style she has going on, and I can’t wait to see how powerful she actually is.
I am excited to see how this story plays out, and what Doom’s ultimate plan is this time. Man, that feels good to say again. The Fantastic Four are settled in and ready for whatever trouble comes there way now. But, really, when are things ever going to be easy for these guys? And, you can be damn sure that Dan Slott will be putting these characters through the wringer, Superior Fantastic Four anyone? Anyways, it is great to see the FF battle against Doom again, really, isn’t this what we were all waiting for.