Fantastic Fun Fact: In Amazing Spider-Man #659, the Future Foundation travel to the island that Dr. Doom sent them to in issue #5 of the original Fantastic Four series! Not that did the issue any favours mind you. Oh and to answer Brian Bradley’s question in last issue’s comments section, I live in Britian and thus spell things the way we Brits do! Not that really effects the review in any way, shape or form…
FF #2 – “Doom Nation”
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Penciler: Steve Epting
Inkers: Steve Epting & Rick Magyar
Color Artist: Paul Mounts
Letterer: Virtual Calligraphy’s Rus Wooton
Cover Artists: Daniel Acuña, Marko Djurdjevic and Greg Horn
Plot: The Dastardly Doctor Doom joins the Future Foundation! But how could this be? Following on from previous events in the Fantastic Four title, Doom demands that they help him restore his mind and magic powers he is slowly loosing, through the deal he made with Valera. Will Doom uphold his end of the deal once restored and what did Valera want in return? Read on Marvelits!
This issue picks up right were “The Club” left off and it starts with a bang. Hickman’s ability to write great scenes of character interaction, with the Thing rightly being annoyed that they’re even considering bringing someone like Doom onto the team and Doom mocking how ‘cowardly’ the Thing was when Johnny ran towards his death, immediately angering him. The mood is instantly set and just continues to show that Hickman knows how to establish things to a newer reader. The short recap, which was 4 lines long, also summed up the events of the previous issue well.
Of course, these aren’t the only great moments in the issue. I won’t go into details but there’s a confrontation between Sue and Doom, Sue, Ben and the Dragon Man talking over how they now fit into the team while drinking at a bar and the very amusing discussion between Valera and Doom over how they’re going to fix the damage done to his brain. Speaking of which, it’s during this time where Spider-Man has one of major two moments in this issue. After making a quick joke, he’s invited by Reed to join the others in discussing how to fix Doom’s brain and, instead of acting like a hyper activate 5 year old, seriously asks if the damage is on a mental or physical level. Some of the others even comment on his reaction, which shows that those who had doubt on his joining recognise that he’s more than just a jokester. If only his emotional range was as well written elsewhere…
Anyway, since Kristoff (an orphan who Doom named as his heir and, once this accrue, created a back-up of his essence inside the boy if he should ever fall) is currently residing in Latveria in Doom’s place so Doom, Reed, Nathaniel, Valera and Spidey head off and set-up a machine that can reverse the process. Again, there’s another great Spidey moment just before the transfer. The machine has two options, the other being purge. Just before Reed pushes the transfer button, he looks over at Spidey and, although he’s not saying a single word, he gives him this look and you know exactly what he means. “Give this kid a proper chance” or something like that. Again, Hickman really gets the character and knows there are many many levels to him. It’s such a disappointment to read through this book and see that, even when used as a secondary character, he’s still being better used here than as a “ZOMG ZOMBIE PIRATES LAWL” ‘humorous funny guy’.
Seriously, I should just sum up the issue as “another great series of character interactions and moments with an ending that leaves you wanting more”. It’s well written, well drawn, well established and well thought out. However, this issue also suffers from the exact same problem I picked up upon last issue. The plot can be summed up rather simply again as “Doom, Reed, Nathaniel, Valera and Spidey go to Latveria to help out with Doom’s brain damage” and the action is once again lacking, with it all being confined to one page once again. However, this may be the effect of writing for the trade, someone suggested in the comments in the last review, and considering how this issue ended, it’s possible that Hickman was saving all the action for the third issue, which looks like it’s going some great fighting sequences.
This issue follows up from the first well, continuing to feature mature, excellent writing with characters acting like characters and being all around enjoyable. I’m personally knocking off half a mark since I felt that the plot was a little weaker and less interesting than the issue but I also feel that this was the needed set-up for what will hopefully happen in the next pulse pounding issue. See you in 21!
Final Rating: 4 out of 5 webheads