Tuesday, May 17, 2005

FANTASTIC FOUR #350 Marvel Comics, 1991



I'm slammed with work today and coughing up a lung, so I'll make this a short one:

Fantastic Four #350 is a GIANT-SIZED issue from Walt Simonson's run as writer/artist on the book. The big deal in this issue is that Ben Grimm, who was human again, gets turned back into The Ever Lovin' Blue-Eyed Thing once again. Bummer for Ben, but good for readers. Who doesn't love The Thing? North Koreans. Aside from that, nobody.

I love The Thing, but for me the big draw for this issue is the return of the original Dr. Doom. I am going to write a huge love-letter post to Dr. Doom some day, so I'll refrain from a lengthy discussion of why Dr. Doom is The Ultimate Super Villain here and just say "I Heart Doom" and leave it at that.

Because I love Doom so much that I want to marry him, I have been disappointed with many appearances of my favorite villain in FF and other comics. Doom should inspire awe and dread in all who cross his path, and too often he has been plugged into stories as a generic arch-villain for lame superheroes to fight. I can handle the Fantastic Four or The X-Men fighting Doom, but there's no way Dazzler or the fucking Micronauts should be fighting Doom. They would DIE, and quickly. Doom should be a legendary figure, a real-life boogeyman that heroes pray they never run across. He should be used for big event storylines, not throw-away one shot issues. Anything less does not honor Doom.

I think Walt Simonson must feel the same way, because this issue is just a big middle finger to those appearances of Dr. Doom in the Marvel Universe that weren't worthy of him. Basically, in this issue Dr. Doom returns from a lengthy extra-dimensional sojourn to find his country run by his own creations, the Doombots, robot replicas who act and fight just like Doom and even believe they are Doom himself. He quickly disposes of the extra Doombots, puts his ward Kristoff in his place, and takes charge again.



Dr. Doom mentions that he has only occasionally returned over the years to Earth to handles his business, but for most of the time he has let the Doombots run the show. Doom's a big-picture "blue sky thinker" kind of guy; he doesn't get hung up in micro-management.

Here's an exchange that Doom has with The Thing:



Basically, Simonson is saying to the readers: "Have you ever read a lame Dr. Doom story where the Master wasn't getting his props? Don't worry - it was just a robot!" The reader can decide for him/herself whether each appearance of Doom was a robot or not. If you like a particular Doom story - cool, that was the real Doom. But if you just can't stand the way Dr. Doom was portrayed in, say, Dazzler? Just a stupid robot.

I love that. In one fell swoop, Simonson returned Dr. Doom to his true mythic greatness and gave the big finger to all those suckers who have written bad Dr. Doom stories.

Dr. Doom reigns supreme, and so does Walt Simonson.

33 comments:

RobB said...

I think it was Amazing Spider-Man 350 where Doom dropped in. I want to say Erik Larsen was the artist, Something about an old jewel thief.

I thought Doom was done pretty well there, the whole time Spidey is scared pretty shitless of Doom, but he still doesn't give up.

David Campbell said...

I actually really liked that issue! Yes, it was Larsen. I thought it was okay because Spidey was hopelessly outclassed by Doom and just kind of got beat up the whole issue...

David Campbell said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Dr. Doom is such a genius, he built a robot that can cry. (See the 9/11 issue of Spider-Man.)

Anonymous said...

"Dr. Doom is such a genius, he built a robot that can cry."

Worst appearance ever.

Scott said...

OK, Dazzler I can see your point, but surely you can't be saying that Cloak and Dagger couldn't defeat Dr. Doom...

Sean said...

First off, love the Blog. My new favorite review site. Nice work.

Second, I second your love for the Doom. Still, even I must admit that 75% of Doom's appearances in the Marvel universe would argue against his mythic status. I mean, Moon Knight? Luke Cage? Sheesh. I'll gladly take the Doombot Theorem.

I will, however, keep my favorite Doom appearance, in an issue of Astonishing Tales. In that story, Doom decides to vacation in the French Riviera after squashing some rebellion back in Latveria. He flies down there on a jet pack and strolls around the beach looking at all the bathers with utter contempt. Later I think he even rips up a roulette table because he loses. That's just awesome.

Orac said...

As a long-time FF fan (I've been collecting the FF mostly continuously since 1975, minus a couple of several month intervals where the "World's Greatest Comic Magazine" descended into horrific suckitude), I love Doom as a villain as much as you do.

I was actually rather surprised at the last story arc that featured him several months back, in which Franklin was sent to hell. Too much sorcery and a rather exploitative "child in jeopardy" subplot. Doom stories tend to be better when the mysticism is kept to a minimum and it's just Doom versus Reed Richards in a battle of scientific and tactical wits. That was what saved the story arc, Reed's decision to destroy Doom's home base and how he started to become more and more like Doom as he took over Doom's country. Then they had to go and ruin it by "killing" Ben, leading to a rather questionable storyline in which the FF go to heaven.

Dan Coyle said...

In the Dr. Doom solo issue of Byrne's run on FF (#258), there's a scene where he looks at a doombot and notices where Arcade struck a match on its armor during the Doom/Arcade storyline in Uncanny X-Men, thus retroactively making it a robot- he then destroyed it IIRC.

Jim Shooter said in an interview saying that this incensed Claremont and he had to keep Byrne and Claremont from sniping at each other.

Vaklam said...

I was not aware of this Simonson issue. What a great idea!

It's "Crisis on Infinite Dooms"!

Greg said...

"Who doesn't love the Thing? North Koreans." I just thought I should mention that whenever my wife and I like something, the only people who don't like it are "Commies." Yet another example of great minds thinking alike.

layne said...

But when Squirrel Girl("I don't need luck, I eat nuts.") beat him, it was the real Doom, right?

G. Bob said...

I like to think that the story of Dr. Dooms revenge against Squirrel Girl is one of the great untold tales of the Marvel Universe. I can only hope it's a 12 part cross-over written by John Byrne and illustrated by Rob Liefeld. With multiple foil covers. I'm putting in my preorder in today on the hope this comic will soon be made. Monkey Joe forever!

Wow. Squirrel Girl. That has to be one of the more obscure references made on this blog. Good job Layne!

David Campbell said...

Squirrel Girl. That is arcane, Layne.

Orac, I'm with you on Waid's recent Dr. Doom storyline - a little too much voodoo for my tastes, and I didn't like his Leatherface armor.

Belcher, you must tell me what issue that is!

Greg: I too often call people commies. There's a great line in the brilliant Tim Robbins' mockumentary Bob Roberts where he asks an interviewer: "Are you a communist?" I use that line whenever possible; it goes over well in work meetings.

Dan Coyle, you are five times the geek I am. FIVE TIMES!

Mike Loughlin said...

I liked the recent Doom story because of all the voodoo- it gave us a new twist on Doom (that we all know won't last), made him a credible threat after years of crappy stories, and showed the FF profoundly affected by his attack (at least until they went to heaven). Like most Waid FF stories, "Unthinkable" was flawed but compelling.

First Thor, now FF. If your blog turns into the "Walt Simonson Kicks Ass Tribute Page," word.

Sean said...

David, it's been reprinted in the Essential Super Villian Team-Up - I'll get the issue number for ya' when I get home.

Orac, I dug that storyline actually - it was neat take on Doom and gave him some much needed oomph in the villainy dept. My biggest complaint was that Doom has used magic off and on through out the years, particularly to win his mother's freedom from Hell (that Doom/Dr. Strange OGN (by Stern/Mignola?) was one of the best Doom stories ever IMO), so his decision to pursue magic instead of science kind felt a little out of left field for me. And that bit where Ben goes to heaven really wasn't well executed to my tastes.

Dan Coyle said...

Squirrel Girl references aren't THAT arcane these days, as her dashing debut is in the Marvel Visionaries: Steve Ditko HC, and her running around (after breast implants, apparently) in GLA

Dave: You have no IDEA how far my geekiness can go...

Kevin Church said...

You know, I was just about to review Fantastic Four 352 and you go and wax eloquent about the awesomeness of Doom on me.

I hate you, David Campbell.

David Campbell said...

Ha ha ha! I have foiled beaucoupkevin's plans once more! Campbell reigns supreme!

Brad Curran said...

"Something about an old jewel thief."

The Silver Fox. Which will be more obscure than Squirrel Girl for quite awhile. At least until the name's revived in Amazing Fantasy or Ultimate Spider-Man for use by a belly button baring teenage superheroine.

Brad Curran said...

And I really liked that Amazing Spidey 350 when I read it. I was a kid, of course, and it will always have the advantage of being part of the first Spider-Man run I ever followed.

RTO Trainer said...

I have this issue. What I loved was the line where Doom says, recapping what has happened while he's been gone,[paraphrase] "These have been events even the worst writer would be embarassed to put to paper."

Simonson slapping down the odious John Byrne! Loved it!!!

The other beauty of this issue is that it effectively undoes nearly all the really stupid/ crappy/ pointless changes that Byrne had made in his run in one fell swoop.

Anonymous said...

Nobody's mentioned it yet, but mad kudos to Simonson's redesign of Doom.

No one followed up on it, but it fucking rocked.

Brian Cronin said...

Simonson actually had a long, detailed list of which Dooms were real and which were Doombots.

That dedication is either admirable or scary.

David Campbell said...

For real? He made a list of Doombot vs Real Doom Appearances? I would love to see that, how awesome!

kelvingreen said...

Yup, definitely. Doom is so badly misused, it's ridiculous.
I have *so* many "Doom is a badass" story ideas floating about...

Chris Arndt said...

As I recall, Simonson is loathe to release that list, simply because he WANTS to leave it up to the reader which are real and which are not.

and he doesn't want to influence that.

Russell H said...

Simonson has actually said (Amongst other places, in Comics Creators On the Fantastic Four) that he never had a list.

Sinister said...

The Black Fox, not the Silver.

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

徵信, 徵信, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 感情挽回, 婚姻挽回, 挽回婚姻, 挽回感情, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信, 捉姦, 徵信公司, 通姦, 通姦罪, 抓姦, 抓猴, 捉猴, 捉姦, 監聽, 調查跟蹤, 反跟蹤, 外遇問題, 徵信, 捉姦, 女人徵信, 女子徵信, 外遇問題, 女子徵信, 徵信社, 外遇, 徵信公司, 徵信網, 外遇蒐證, 抓姦, 抓猴, 捉猴, 調查跟蹤, 反跟蹤, 感情挽回, 挽回感情, 婚姻挽回, 挽回婚姻, 外遇沖開, 抓姦, 女子徵信, 外遇蒐證, 外遇, 通姦, 通姦罪, 贍養費, 徵信, 徵信社, 抓姦, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信公司, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信公司, 徵信社, 徵信公司, 女人徵信, 外遇

徵信, 徵信網, 徵信社, 徵信網, 外遇, 徵信, 徵信社, 抓姦, 徵信, 女人徵信, 徵信社, 女人徵信社, 外遇, 抓姦, 徵信公司, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 女人徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 女子徵信社, 女子徵信社, 女子徵信社, 女子徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社,

徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 外遇, 抓姦, 離婚, 外遇,離婚,

徵信, 外遇, 離婚, 徵信社, 徵信, 外遇, 抓姦, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 外遇, 徵信社, 徵信, 外遇, 抓姦, 徵信社, 征信, 征信, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 征信, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信, 外遇, 抓姦

Anonymous said...

借錢 票貼 借錢 借貸 借貸 借錢 當舖 借貸 當舖 當舖 票貼 借款 借貸 借錢 票貼 二胎 週轉 融資 借錢 借款 當舖 二胎 票貼 借貸 借錢 借貸 票貼 當舖黃頁 借錢黃頁 貼現黃頁 借錢黃頁 借貸黃頁 借貸黃頁 當舖黃頁 貼現黃頁 票貼黃頁 二胎黃頁 融資黃頁 借錢 借貸 票貼 借貸 票貼 借錢優質黃頁 借貸優質黃頁 票貼黃頁 借錢 當舖 票貼 借錢 借貸 借款 貼現 貼現 當舖聯盟網 當舖聯盟網 當舖聯盟網 借錢 票貼 借貸 當舖 票貼 借貸 借錢 當舖聯盟網 當舖聯盟網 網站分類 網站搜索 網站搜尋 網站黃頁 網站名錄 網址目錄 directory 網站登錄 網站目錄 交換連結 台灣網站指南 網站指南 借錢 借錢 借貸 借貸 票貼 借款 借貸 借貸 借錢

酒店上班請找艾葳 said...

艾葳酒店經紀提供專業的酒店經紀,酒店上班,酒店打工、兼職、酒店相關知識等酒店相關產業服務,想加入這行業的水水們請找專業又有保障的艾葳酒店經紀公司!
艾葳酒店經紀是合法的公司、我們是不會跟水水簽任何的合約 ( 請放心 ),我們是不會強押水水辛苦工作的薪水,我們絕對不會對任何人公開水水的資料、工作環境高雅時尚,無業績壓力,無脫秀無喝酒壓力,高層次會員制客源,工作輕鬆。
一般的酒店經紀只會在水水們第一次上班和領薪水時出現而已,對水水們的上班安全一點保障都沒有!艾葳酒店經紀公司的水水們上班時全程媽咪作陪,不需擔心!只提供最優質的酒店上班環境、上班條件給水水們。

Vin The Comic Guy said...

Dave, a quick thanks to you for this site.

Walt does rock the big kitty - I can actually see Doom's pair shining through his suit!