Fantastic Four #68 Review

Reviewer: Chris Delloiacono
Story Title: Unthinkable – Part One

Written by: Mark Waid
Pencilled by: Mike Wieringo
Inked by: Karl Kesel
Colored by: Paul Mounts
Lettered by: Chris Eliopoulos
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Until recently I was never been a huge FANTASTIC FOUR fan. Yet a few things fell into place several months ago that have me excited to read FF. A 9-cent issue and the name Mark Waid gave me little choice than to at least try the book. Waid is one of the finest writers working in the comic industry today. His mammoth run on THE FLASH is still one of the greatest series of comic stories, ever! His recent work on RUSE received massive acclaim, and KINGDOM COME, simply put, is a masterpiece. To say that I’ve fallen in love with Waid’s FF would be an understatement.

Waid’s first seven issues only served as a warm-up, because now it’s time for the main event. One word, four letters, D-O-O-M, he is the ultimate personification of evil in the Marvel Universe. Dr. Doom appearing in the pages of FANTASTIC FOUR is of similar magnitude to the Joker in BATMAN. When not overdone, this is one of the ultimate confrontations of good and evil in the four-color world. Doom’s insidious plots are nearly always foiled by the FF, but our heroes are never quite the same afterward.

Technically this issue was the first of a five-part storyline, but last issues prologue was clearly very important. Waid doesn’t rest on the shocking happenings that transpired last issue; instead he plows forward not wasting a moment. As the issue begins, the FF appear in a light-hearted interlude prior to Dr. Doom’s messing with their “world”, again. Waid throughout his run has done a fantastic job in capturing Reed, Sue, Johnny, and Ben in all their campy glory. He knows exactly how the FF should act, while lending a fresh but classic take to these characters.

In the current storyline Dr. Doom, ruler of Latervia and scientific genius, has gained supernatural power adding a new element in his struggle to crush his greatest foes. Doom’s plot strikes close to home with the first family of the Marvel Universe. The way “Unthinkable” is breaking out, it’s fair to say the FF will feel the shockwaves for a long time to come.

Mark Waid’s words and Mike Wieringo’s pencils have coalesced into magical tales many times in the past; the quality of this run really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. ‘Ringo’s work is cartoony, yet Doom has a dark, savage look. While the art is airy and appealing, Ringo does a fine job of foreshadowing the impending “Doom” the FF will face. Karl Kesel lends wonderful inks on top of Ringo’s pencils; the two work very well together.