Review: Fantastic Four Vol. 3 “DOOMED” by Matt Fraction

Fantastic Four, Vol. 3: DoomedFantastic Four, Vol. 3: Doomed by Matt Fraction
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This one hovered at about 1.5 stars for most of the reading. Yup. I can’t tell if I’m just not a FF person (I’m really thinking the proof is all over the place that I should just stop reading FF) or if this is as bad a book as I think it is.

First of all, this is the last volume of the series, which was rebooted AGAIN in April. Yes, again. Just to sum up how ridiculous and idiotic this is, here’s the Wikipedia article explaining ONLY the last 4 years of this title:

“March 2011, the Human Torch appears to die stopping a horde of monsters from the other-dimensional Negative Zone. The series ended with the following issue, #588, and relaunched in March 2011 as simply FF. The relaunch saw the team assume a new name, the Future Foundation, adopt new black-and-white costumes, and accept longtime ally Spider-Man as a member.

In November 2011, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Fantastic Four and of Marvel Comics, the company published the 100-page Fantastic Four #600 (cover-dated Jan. 2012), which returned the title to its original numbering and featured the return of the Human Torch.

Although it was launched as a continuation of the Fantastic Four title, FF continues publication as a separate series. As part of Marvel NOW! FF was relaunched with creative team of Matt Fraction and Mike Allred in November 2012 and ended with issue #16 in January 2014.

As part of Marvel NOW! Fantastic Four ended with #611, ending Jonathan Hickman’s long run on FF titles, and the title was relaunched in November 2012 with the creative team of writer Matt Fraction and artist Mark Bagley. In the new title with its numbering starting at #1, the entire Fantastic Four family explore space together, with the hidden intent for Reed Richards to discover why his powers are fading.

In April 2014 Marvel started over again with Fantastic Four #1.”

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Ya. So that’s where we are, wrapping a series already.

I’m convinced that part of it was because Fraction was signed up for more work on one of the Marvel Events, and also, because this series just kinda jumped the shark.

Here’s what happens:

Ben and Reed go back to the moment when Victor has the lab accident that scars him and leads to DOOM! They’re not the only ones there to witness it…and Ben, shockingly, does something stupid.

The Family goes to Philadelphia circa 1776 and stops a Skrull Benjamin Franklin from ruining the Declaration of Independence…ya.

Probably the best piece of writing in the book is when Sue starts showing symptoms of the molecular illness, and Johnny gets mad that no one told him.

Johnny: You should’ve told me, trusted me, or…I Died for this Family.
Sue: Johnny, I’d never…I’m not…We didn’t know, Reed didn’t know, we…
Johnny: You treat me like HE treats you. Y’know that? You treat me JUST like he treats you.

Bang on. From all the FF I’ve read, Reed is super condescending in the way he deals with his wife, being all smart and such, and she in turn, treats her brother like he’s an infant. I agree, especially after his (short-lived) death, you’d think he earned a bit of respect.

Next we go to a super lab in the future where Valeria is going to cure her family, even though her Dad is so unable to…I kinda scratch my head at that, if Reed is the smartest person out there, why can’t he?

The Best part of this book is the arrival of Old Johnny Storm. He’s from another dimension, is blue, and has no memories of what’s already happened in the past, which is the future for the FF, but not for him, as he’s lived to be old, but he’s actually got to discover what he’s there for since he’s not supposed to be part of this timeline at all…Then of course some other time travelling people send the FF (and Old Johnny) back to the time of dinosaurs, but it’s not really dinosaurs, and all their powers are going haywire, and uncontrollable.

Yet the whole time, Old Johnny is starting to remember things, (of course). The only ones who save the FF is the grandkids of the other time travellers who sent them back in the first place, who arrive on the scene to apologize and get their grandpappies to do the same…Ya.

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So apparently this is all in a dimension called the DOOMED UNIVERSE. Subtle eh? Cause it actually means it is doomed AND it’s DOOM’s Universe. See what they did there?

Now we just back to when the FF left the Faux Four in charge (appx a year ago acc’d to our headlines). Baddies show up just after the FF disappeared on their 240 second vacation…(in our time of course)…then we’re back in the present…in the other dimension…and we meet…THE FANTASTIC FOUR!!! But of course it’s not the same FF, it actually has a reverse colour Thing, a Fake-Tanned Invisible Woman, a middle-aged biker looking Mr. Fantastic, and a Johnny Storm who’s about right on…
They also, for some reason, have the Past Marvel Girl from All New X-Men here in the future, thanks to this Mr. F…ugh.

Then there’s an interaction with Dr. Doom of that world, and it kind of explains something…(view spoiler)

We then jump back to our heroes…Thing is melting away, Reed can’t control his muscles, Johnny can’t control his flame, and Sue’s disappearing. Of course, Old Johnny now has total recall, and explains everything to our intrepid heroes!

Even more convoluted shit goes down, and inevitably, the worlds cross, and both FFs end up together, working as one against Doom and his cronies (Kang AND Annihilus). There’s some power swapping, some very confusing shit, multiple versions of characters, and a cliffhanger ending!!!

Oh, but there’s one more issue left…

Everything gets worked out somehow, that I can’t pretend to explain to you, so I can’t spoil that at all…

Suffice it to say that Old Johnny Storm’s memory wasn’t entirely back, and when it does come back, things somehow fall all into place perfectly…

Then we’re having a happy little BBQ on the moon, with a whole new artist for the last few pages…odd…but I like the art so that’s OK.
Oh and…The Silver Surfer is there eating hot dogs, Uatu the Watcher is a chatty Cathy with Reed (I thought he wasn’t much of a talker???) and he’s got himself a lady…Ulana the…She-Watcher? [Isn’t a she-watcher that peeping Tom in the bushes?]
Then there’s a whole bunch of peeps on the moon, altogether for the end of the series, and it’s entirely goofy.

Yup. So don’t bother reading the majority of this book, heck maybe skip the series entirely, and start wherever they are now. Or do what I’m going to…AVOID Fantastic Four titles for a while.

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About Gavin

I'm a lover of pop-culture, from movies to music to books to TV shows to well...comics, and just about everything in between. I'm also a history buff, and spent 4 yrs getting a fancy BA in it. When I was at said University, I got my learn on AND spent all my money on CDs and VHS (yup, I'm THAT old.) However, I'm happy to discuss any topic really, as I love a good debate or just to be proven right. I'm Canadian, so I wear shorts and flip flops 9 months of the year, but no, I am NOT fanatical about hockey (I actually prefer baseball, thank my American father for that!). I love the outdoors, but don't get out enough... I've got a sick twisted sense of humour (hence why I'm friends with these Shallow folks) and believe that laughter is the best medicine...except penicillin...cause laughter won't cure the clap.

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