Just so we’re all clear, Victor von Doom is back to being a full-time bad guy. He orchestrated a scheme to capture Galactus by luring him to Earth with a woman fueled with the power cosmic. This woman goes by the name Victorious. In FANTASTIC FOUR #8, Doom once again has his sights set to utterly destroy the Fantastic Four.

Though writer Dan Slott is doing a wonderful job of keeping up the tension, he’s sort of flying in the face of all the work Brian Michael Bendis did to redeem Doom. There’s little to no sign of Doom showing any remorse for his actions, and that may either be a good or a bad thing (probably bad).

FANTASTIC FOUR #8 boasts a handful of artists. Aaron Kuder, Stefano Caselli, David Marquez, and Reilly Brown all take a crack at this issue, and each of them deliver remarkable pages. Kuder and Brown’s styles standout individually, while Caselli and Marquez blend all too perfectly.

What’s Doom Up to This Time?

With the defeat of Galactus, Dr. Doom now has his sights set on finally destroying his longtime rivals, the Fantastic Four. He’s devised traps specific to each team member. Doom stretches Reed and freezes him solid, traps Johnny in a container of breathable water (however that works), and surrounds Sue with violent sound waves. Ben’s trap is the most devious; the more he struggles, the sooner his teammates die. Needless to say, this is all very old-fashioned for Doom.

Meanwhile, Franklin is having trouble with his dreams. He’s seeing images of the creepy monsters overtaking him, and the Griever tormenting his mind. He lashes out at Alicia and storms off, meeting a girl named Wendy who once teamed up with the team a long time ago. This bit doesn’t really go anywhere, but teases something interesting for the future.

FANTASTIC FOUR #8 page 2. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

As Doom has the team right where he wants them, he boasts to the world of his accomplishment. He seeks to provide the world with limitless energy, thanks to Galactus’ body now being hooked up to Mount Doom. Of course, he also wants to kill the Fantastic Four on a worldwide broadcast. But, in typical Doom fashion, he lets his ego get the better of him, and the team has a plan. While Reed seems to have an idea to break everyone out, the highlight seems to be Sue turning Doom’s attire (including his mask) invisible, thus revealing him to the world. And as I’m sure you can imagine, Doom’s not to happy about that.

The Hubris of Doom in FANTASTIC FOUR #8

If you’ve never had the joy of reading a proper Dr. Doom story, filled with boisterous speeches and flaunting of his powers, then FANTASTIC FOUR #8 is the book for you. This is Dr. Doom the way most will recognize him. He’s very much in a familiar element — doing vile things, and seeking to do something good in the most heinous way possible.

Unfortunately, this classical Doom comes at the cost of the character’s recent continuity. Writer Brian Michael Bendis worked hard to give Doom a proper redemption arc. Hell, even before Bendis, Jonathan Hickman was doing tremendous work with Doom to make him seem less tyrannical than he really is. Slott is surely having fun with an evil Doom, but it doesn’t make sense for the character to suddenly be this way again. At least, Slott hasn’t given us any reason to believe in Doom’s reverting personality.

FANTASTIC FOUR #8 page 8. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

As a whole, FANTASTIC FOUR #8 doesn’t do a whole lot to shake things up. It’s a highlight issue, really, of Dr. Doom being evil — which, clearly, is a mixed bag. If you enjoy that kind of story, then you’ll probably enjoy this one. I did, for the most part. I’m just not a fan of Slott sacrificing good character development just so he can tell a classical story with Doom. That’s not how character progression works. Until Slott gives me a legitimate reason for Doom to be evil again, I can’t get onboard this train 100%.

FANTASTIC FOUR #8 Looks Good, Through and Through

On the upside, FANTASTIC FOUR #8 has no problems with artwork. Between Kuder, Caselli, Marquez, and Brown, there’s a lot to enjoy in this issue.

Kuder starts things off with some grand images of Galactus trapped in Mount Doom. He’s done well these past few issues to show off his style when drawing splash pages and two-page spreads.

In terms of dealing with Doom and all his scheming, those pages went to Caselli and Marquez, two of my personal favorite artists. Their smooth styles complement each other perfectly; it’s difficult to tell which of them is drawing certain pages, their styles are just that similar. But that’s not at all a bad thing. If anything, it helps maintain artistic consistency in FANTASTIC FOUR #8.

FANTASTIC FOUR #8 page 11. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Reilly Brown handles a few latter pages involving Franklin. These aren’t flashy by any means, but they’re perfect for the bits of the story they capture. His style is close to Kuder’s, if a bit cleaner. All of these pages excel, however, thanks to colorist Matt Yackey, who hardly misses a beat when it comes to coloring in this wide array of scenes.

How Will the Team Get Out of This One?

Though it seems like the Fantastic Four have a handle on their dire situation, I’m still a little curious to see exactly how they get out of this one. It never seems like a good idea to piss of Doom, and they’ve done an excellent job at that.

FANTASTIC FOUR #8 delivers a Doom story reminiscent of his days before SECRET WARS (2015). It’s enjoyable to see him back in his roots as a villain, gunning for his archenemies in such an outrageous fashion. Yet, at the same time, it pains me to see this character fall from grace so abruptly. I’m still not sure if I can go along with it.

FANTASTIC FOUR #8 has no problems, however, drawing you in with a crisp variety of artistic stylings. Between Kuder, Caselli, Marquez, and Brown, there’s nothing not to like. These pages cleanly capture everything FANTASTIC FOUR #8 has to show us.

I’m hoping for a few more answers down the line regarding Doom’s status as a villain. That, and I hope the team gets out of this one safe and sound.

FANTASTIC FOUR #8 by Dan Slott, Aaron Kuder, Stefano Caselli, David Marquez, Reilly Brown, and Matt Yackey
FANTASTIC FOUR #8 has a consistently evil and classic feel to it, but at what cost? Dan Slott is seemingly aiming to undo all the progress Doom has made in recent years, which feels like a failure to me. On the upside, at least this issue looks good, thanks to the artistic team.
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Why So Evil?

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