The wedding day of Victor Von Doom is here. And oh boy is it a doozy! If you have ever liked Marvel’s first family, you’ really need to pick up ‘Fantastic Four ‘#33. An absolute barnstormer of an issue!
There’s a lot of things Doctor Doom most certain is, but a fool isn’t necessarily one of them. Until now that is. Victor Von Doom may well be marrying his nation’s hero, Victorious, in a loveless, arranged marriage of convenience and patriotic symbolism, but he seems oblivious to her dalliance with Johnny Storm last issue. Of course, you don’t need Agatha Harkness’ crystal ball to know this is going to cause big ruptures somewhere down the line. And sooner than you might think.
And while she has her dirty little secret, Doom lays all his cards on the table. And then some. Talk about tense, dramatic irony. You can almost taste it, and it tastes devilishly delicious. He shares his scarred face with her, annexes her home state to become part of Latveria and will forgive and forget any and all who attend his wedding. And as Reed Richards is the best man, this is an offer too good to pass on. And again, the more nuptial niceties pile up, the more threatening you know Doom’s eventual revenge will be. Now, and I dare say, for years to come. Soap operatics, but with super heroes. Marvellous!
R.B, Silva brings the requisite grandiose, top-level art necessary for such a storyline as writer Dan Slott aims for Fantastic Four greatness. I mean, the wedding of Doctor Doom, no matter how it goes down is going to be remembered for years to come. And so you need high end art to accompany the high end script. And Silva never fails to deliver. HE really is becoming one of a few Marvel go-too guys for such occasions.
As the action moves to Latveria, there’s more of the snappy, oft-times witty and always entertaining dialogue Slott can deliver. As well as tension, more melodrama, and an out-of-left field call back to Doom’s very first appearance in Fantastic Four #5!
But, dig under the surface and this would seem to be tackling the thorny issue of arranged marriages too. A tradition still practiced by particular religions, but by projecting this theme onto the Fantastic Four comic, it detaches it from any real-world analogy. Which I do think is the point. Slott is in no ways – nor would he dare – giving his take on this way of life. And I doubt any reviewer will be thinking that, but I felt I’d put it out there nonetheless. Sometimes we can see real-world parallels where none exist. And I think this is one such case. Just don’t mention Franklin Richards.
Overall, Fantastic Four #33 is another home-run of an issue. We get the kind of family melodramas this title thrives upon and which brings out the best in all – even Doctor Doom – as well as a well plotted narrative that takes the reader on one Hell of a roller coaster ride, emotionally before delivering the kind of stone-cold classic cliffhanger you’d expect Stan Lee and Jack Kirby to deliver. And while Reed Richards seems somewhat dumbfounded in this issue, it’s Sue Storm who knows something isn’t quite right and once again proves she can be the real brains in the marriage. Especially where her little brother is concerned. A worthy storyline for the Fantastic Four’s 60th anniversary year! Excelsior!
Fantastic Four #33 is out now from Marvel. You’d be and not to pick this one up. ‘Nuff said.