Fantastic Four: The Bride of Doom

Fantastic Four: The Bride of Doom
Fantastic Four The Bride of Doom review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: Marvel - 978-1-3029-2049-4
  • Volume No.: 8
  • Release date: 2021
  • UPC: 9781302920494
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: no
  • Positive minority portrayal?: no
  • CATEGORIES: Superhero

From the start of his run Dan Slott has settled on family as the Fantastic Four’s defining theme, but has greatly extended the remit to include around a dozen regular characters, with more added during the events of The Forever Gate. The Bride of Doom goes somewhere strange, but the opening chapter is a nice reinforcement of the theme concerning several characters and exemplified by R. B. Silva’s sample art highlighting the fear involved with young love.

Honesty is at a premium during the opening chapter, which concerns itself with Johnny Storm’s complicated love life past and present, including a recently returned shape changer lest we forget. It also makes more sense of Sue Storm’s suspicions, which seemed misplaced at the end of the The Forever Gate.

So, Doctor Doom’s wedding… The weddings of heroes rarely progress without a hitch in the Marvel universe, so will Doom’s pass off without incident. Slott hardly bothers to hide where the problem’s coming from, so part of the fun is the anticipation of everything blowing up. The source, though, is a surprise, and at the end of the day Doom is what we want him to be, and when the dust clears there’s been consequences to that.

Due to the nature of the title story R. B. Silva doesn’t need to supply as much detail as in the past, and so doesn’t. Bangs and flashes are the order of the day, but it still looks pretty good. John Romita Jr’s handed a very different type of story to tell, one encompassing time, celebrating the Fantastic Four’s 60th anniversary, and with the FF being the one major Marvel title with which he’s had no previous association it’s a wish list entry ticked off. As ever, though, Romita has problems drawing children.

Slott’s focus is Kang the Conqueror and his complex past, future and other identities along the way. There’s also a homage element to the tone of Marvel’s past during various eras from both creators, but it’s ordinary. For an FF anniversary too much time is spent with the villains, whose complicated continuity draws away from the celebration as too much requires explanation, and while Slott has fun constructing time-related possibilities some require the villains to be stupid. There’s a surprise ending that doesn’t play as very plausible after all this time, but the truth of that will be revealed as the series continues.

As it’s anniversary time there are two extras. Jason Loo’s two page spread is sweet, and the longer story from Mark Waid and Paul Renaud looks back again at the Fantastic Four’s origin. It’s attractively drawn and Waid adds more realistic emotional drama to the origin story along with an interesting revision about why the Fantastic Four became superheroes. Perhaps some readers have seen too many reworkings of the FF’s origin over the years, but this offers something different and in isolation reads well.

Slott’s run continues by looking at the Human Torch’s problems in Eternal Flame.