With Galactus knocking on Dr. Doom’s door in Latveria, it only makes sense for the Fantastic Four to lend a hand. Too bad Doom has a power-cosmic-fueled champion, who he used as bait to fool the Celestial being. FANTASTIC FOUR #7 brings Doom’s true intentions to light. They’re somewhat noble — and somewhat not.

Like FANTASTIC FOUR #6, writer Dan Slott injects FANTASTIC FOUR #7 with equal amounts of action and heart. The story deftly jumps between the high stakes battle against Galactus and the finer character moments that make Fantastic Four books so enjoyable.

Artist Aaron Kuder joins Slott once again, and this time around, he’s done a lot to clean up his pages. Typically, it’s easy for me to find hiccups in Kuder’s style. That’s not the case in FANTASTIC FOUR #7; his work is a lot neater and smoother. It’s easy to notice his marked improvement.

An Unlikely Team-Up

It really isn’t all that uncommon for the Fantastic Four and Dr. Doom to team up briefly for some common goal. FANTASTIC FOUR #7 is all about that idea. Dr. Doom lured Galactus to Earth by infusing his champion, Victorious, with the power cosmic. With the Celestial in a weakened state, Doom — with the help of the Fantastic Four — seemingly hopes to revert the World Eater back into the Lifebringer.

As Victor and Reed work to comprise a plan to take Galactus down, it’s up to Johnny, Ben, and Sue to save Victorious and protect any civilians (because people never really know when to just run away from the explosive battles). As per the norm, Ben and Johnny are quick to throw out their usual banter while Reed and Doom bicker over how to best deal with Galactus.

FANTASTIC FOUR #7
FANTASTIC FOUR #7 page 4. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Meanwhile, Valeria and Franklin are back home, trying to find some way to get to Latveria to join in the fight. Which makes sense, considering Franklin is wicked powerful, and Valeria is great at coming up with quick solutions to gargantuan problems. Alas, we’ll still have to wait to see them come to the aid of the Fantastic Four.

Eventually, the combined prowess of Doom and the Fantastic Four is enough to take down Galactus. However, whatever it is Doom is doing with the unconscious body of the Celestial is up for question. Before we get any answers, though, Doom knocks out the Fantastic Four and labels them foreign invaders, sentencing them to death.

FANTASTIC FOUR #7 Displays Great Balance

It comes as no surprise (to me at least) that Dan Slott can balance the high-octane antics of an epic action sequence with solid, definitive character moments. FANTASTIC FOUR #7 is a strong example of Slott’s talent for striking this balance.

What’s more epic than a team-up between the Fantastic Four and Dr. Doom to take on Galactus? I’m sure there are a few things, actually, but this one’s definitely up there on the higher side of the scale. It’s a scenario that could easily overwhelm the writer. There’s obviously a lot of pieces to juggle, and you have to make sure each character gets their due. Slott has no trouble accomplishing this in FANTASTIC FOUR #7.

FANTASTIC FOUR #7
FANTASTIC FOUR #7 page 13. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

As previously mentioned, Johnny and Ben both are able to rattle off their typical banter with ease, which adds some needed levity to the dire circumstances. Meanwhile, Reed and Doom are doing their best to stay on task and not kill each other. Doom typecasts Sue as the protector of the innocent, but she’s having none of it, so she bursts in to save Ben from Galactus’ wrath.

Reed has some clever moments, tricking the addled Galactus into thinking he has an Ultimate Nullifier, when it’s really just him shaping his hand into the weapon’s form. This trick gives the team the upper hand, allowing them to incapacitate Galactus. And, as you might expect, we get more of Dr. Doom being Dr. Freaking Doom.

Though — is it just me, or is Slott sort of ignoring the redemption arc Doom went through not too long ago? Might be something to keep an eye one moving forward.

Kuder Cleans Up His Act in FANTASTIC FOUR #7

Usually, I’m not overly fond of Aaron Kuder’s style. There’s nothing really wrong with it, I just tend to gravitate towards smoother-looking artistic styles. However, he seems to have come at this issue from a new angle. His pages are much cleaner than they have been, which is a big plus for me.

One thing Kuder usually excels at is progressing the story through his pages. That definitely stands true in FANTASTIC FOUR #7. On top of that, his line work feels smoother and more consistent this issue. His portrayal of Doom still looks rustic and weathered, but cleaner overall. And for once, I’m actually okay with how he drew Reed with his beard.

FANTASTIC FOUR #7
FANTASTIC FOUR #7 page 16. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

The color work should also be commended. Marte Gracia and Rachelle Rosenberg did a fantastic job amplifying the explosive action scenes. Seeing Johnny briefly go supernova is as beautiful and powerful as you’d expect. And combining their colors with Kuder’s art gives you a great sense of the power behind Galactus’ blasts.

More pages like these will definitely help propel this series further down the line. I hope Kuder, Gracia, and Rosenberg can keep this energy going.

Deception Is to Be Expected

I’m not too surprised to see FANTASTIC FOUR #7 end on the note of Doom betraying the Fantastic Four. It upsets me, for sure (I still want to see Doom tend towards good rather than evil), but doesn’t entirely surprise me. Regardless, we’ll have to hold out hope that the team can get out of whatever scheme Doom has planned for them.

One thing’s for sure, though: it doesn’t look like Dan Slott has any plans of slowing this train down. Which could potentially be good or bad. I hope we get a more relaxed issue at some point, especially since Ben just got married and needs some downtime. But then again, I’m enjoying these fast-paced issues. Slott can find a way to balance that out, I’m sure.

To go along with Slott’s fun storytelling, Aaron Kuder, Marte Gracia, and Rachelle Rosenburg deliver equally enjoyable art in FANTASTIC FOUR #7. It’s not the most graceful-looking issue, but it’s a good one to look at, nevertheless. Much like the story, the art is intense. Seeing as though the art matches the storytelling tone, I’m happy.

Whatever comes next for the team, it’s probably nothing good, considering Doom has plans to kill them (again). Please, Slott, don’t destroy Doom’s redemption. He worked hard for it.

FANTASTIC FOUR #7 by Dan Slott, Aaron Kuder, Marte Gracia, and Rachelle Rosenburg
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
Dan Slott manages to easily infuse FANTASTIC FOUR #7 with both character and tension. He strikes a near-perfect balance between the two. And Aaron Kuder's artwork, coupled with Marte Gracia and Rachelle Rosenburg's colors, looks better than ever.
95 %
An Explosive Team-Up

One Comment

  1. Galactus is not a Celestial.

    Reply

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