Victor Von Doom aka Dr. Doom is searching for his lost love named Valeria, a woman he chose to abandon when he was younger to pursue his career of power. This leads him to make a deal with a trio of demons from the Netherworld granting him magical powers. He then turns his full attention towards the Fantastic Four. -summary
In 2003 the Fantastic Four were on their way towards issue 500, and of course, Marvel intended for this to be a big thing since Marvel's first family is among the most beloved group of characters in comics with a long history dating back to 1961. And what better way to build up to such an extravaganza than pitting the FF against their deadliest foe ever Dr. Doom? Mark Waid pens one of the best encounters ever between the hated foes which sees Doom literally doing the unthinkable. Fantastic Four: Unthinkable contains issues 67-70 and 500 - 502. This story is also recognized as one of Marvel's big events during the 2000 era.
Mark Waid shows his talents here very early with some sharp characterization, as he begins with Doom doing whatever necessary to reach that next level of power. He abandons something very sacred to him. He completely gives up trying to defeat Reed Richards through scientific means, instead he attacks the group in full force using magic. Waid appears to understand the character very well, and I don't recall Doom ever really taking such drastic steps before. He attacks the group by sending Reed and Sue's son Franklin Richards to hell to be tortured. He then attacks the group, which sees Reed being forced to admit that he's not as great as he believes. The encounter is indeed heated as tempers begin to flare and the violence is taken up a notch.
Dr. Strange also makes an appearance in this story, and I have to say his injection was indeed brilliant. The story is amazingly well paced delivering good action and character interactions. When coming away from the story you will learn a little more about the characters.
Now as fantastic as the story may seem, it could have actually been much better than this. Unfortunately, the dues ex machina effect plays too much of a role, which resulted in some silly plot devices that had me rolling my eyes. Reed was put into a position where he had to learn magical spells to battle Doom, and the fact he was forced to consider himself unintelligent to get the spells to work couldn't have been cheesier. It's impossible to explain better without revealing massive spoilers, but the story didn't work for me at this particular moment, and the story felt too much like a "turn your brain off" comic. If it wasn't for the aftermath of the battle, and the nice character driven ending to cap things off. I would've liked the book a lot less.
I enjoy Waid's dialog especially in regards to Ben Grimm aka the Thing. He speaks in a way real people with limited vocabulary would, you can feel he means well, but it's kind of hard not to laugh at how he words himself. Mike Wieringo's artwork has always been in the middle of the road with me. His designs have a cartoony look that I'm not really fond of. Dr. Doom's new armor didn't' really appeal to me. However, the action panels looked pretty good, with the Thing suffering mighty blows that saw small pieces of his body being knocked off. The colors were done well though, vibrant, energetic like, which helped with the books entertainment.
Overall, this is a solid book, and downright amazing to those who can ignore the story elements I have a problem with. In any case, even if you're not a fan of the Fantastic Four, this is a story that will more than likely appeal to you. Recommended to most serious comic fans. Casual fans can find some enjoyment here as well. The book is around 200 pages.
Pros: -Strong characterization on part of villain, dialog,
Cons: -Certain plot devices not to my liking
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