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Ultimate Fantastic Four #12

Posted: Friday, November 12, 2004
By: Jason Cornwell



"Doom: Part Six"

Writer: Warren Ellis
Artists: Stuart Immonen (p), Wade von Grawbadger (i)

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Plot:
As the Fantastic Four struggle to get their act back together after Victor Van Damme's initial attack, we see the group proves to be quite adapt at getting their ducks in a row, and before long they have Victor on the ropes. However, Victor activates his loyal followers, and the team is forced to stall for time while Reed works to overcome the means that Victor is using to drive the mob. Needless to say Reed's efforts are a success, and Victor is robbed of his power base.

Comments:
If you're a new reader and haven't had much past exposure to the Reed Richards/Doctor Doom rivalry than chances are you'll find this issue's big finish to be quite satisfying. However, long time readers are sure to be a little disappointed that Warren Ellis has decided to go for the easy out, as Reed manages to defeat Victor Van Damme by destroying the power base he had built up and dismissing him as a non-threat which of course only serves to stoke the fire of hatred that was already a raging inferno. Now of course this ending results in an enraged Victor Van Damme, who of course is going to use his diplomatic immunity to shield himself from criminal prosecution, while he continues to plot the downfall of his accursed enemy. Now this pattern has worked perfectly well for close to three decades over in the Marvel Universe proper, so it's no big surprise that they would bring it over pretty much untouched to the Ultimate Universe, but I have to say I was a little disappointed that Warren Ellis put a more imaginative spin on the rivalry, as the way it stands now it feels a little too familiar. Still, I will concede there was a couple clever uses of the character's powers, from the means that Sue employed to protect herself from Victor poison gas attack, to the rather unsettling scene where Johnny discovers that one can't simply toss his blast of fire around like water balloons. In the end this was an enjoyable finish, but I was somewhat disillusioned by the been here, done this element that was embraced by this issue.

First off I have to say I loved the computer effects that are used on this issue's cover, as Doom's impending energy discharge makes for a great attention grabber. As for the interior art, I have to say I'm becoming a bigger fan of Stuart Immonen's art the longer he stays on this title, as he has a high energy style, with an impressive level of detailing, and what's even better it would appear that he has little trouble meeting the monthly deadlines, which is becoming an ever valuable commodity in today's industry. This art does a very effective job of capturing the action that makes up most of the issue, from the first use of Reed stretching ability, to the scene later in the issue, where Ben slams Victor into the ground. There's also a great little sequence where we see Johnny's careless use of his blasts of fire set people ablaze, as his horrified expression manages to sell the idea that he fully understands what's he's just done. The art could've done a better job of selling the sheer volume of the crowd that was overwhelming Sue's force field though, as the scene really needed to pull away to sell the size of the crowd.



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