Sunday, July 18, 2010

Fantastic Four: The Beginning of the End Review

Fantastic Four: The Beginning of the End
Marvel Comics
Softcover Trade Paperback
120 pages
ISBN 9780785125549

Contributors: Dwayne McDuffie, Paul Pelletier, Karl Kesel, Tom Grummett, Paul Mounts, Michael Turner and Steve McNiven

Reprints: Fantastic Four #525-526, 551-553

Synopsis: Dr. Doom travels 75 years into the past (to our present) in order to confront Reed Richards and stop him from implementing a plan to solve humankind's problems.  He foretells future disaster when Reed's benevolent plan ruins the Four's lives and brings Reed himself to madness.  Doom has brought two allies with him to convince the FF of his news and reveals one of Reed's secrets.  It doesn't take long for the future FF to arrive and will they be the evil versions of themselves Doom warns?

A second tale involves a mysterious building's plumbing turned to gold.  Who else could be responsible except the alchemical master Diablo?  He wishes for the FF's help to fulfill his dream of returning to the past and righting the wrongs done to him during the Spanish Inquisition. 

Pros: Covers by Turner and McNiven are decent

Cons: Grummett's Thing rendition is terrible, Johnny Storm's reason for having a multitude of short-term relationships made sense until I remembered he married a Skrull version of Alicia Masters (who never caught on fire during *ahem* whoopie)

Mike Tells It Straight: A pair of forgettable tales mashed together to fill out a trade paperback.  McDuffie's story is entertaining, but he plays fast and loose with the plot (as usual).  Kesel's Diablo story seems to veer into a totally different and less interesting direction.  Get this only if you're an FF completist.

TO BUY and Recommendations: