I’m trying to make comic book reviews a Tuesday
tradition here, giving preference to story arcs that
have trade paperbacks coming out on that week’s
Wednesday.

General Information

Title: Ultimate Fantastic Four Vol. 2: Doom

Storytellers: Warren Ellis and Stuart Immomen

Original Publication Date: Issues 7-12 were published
from summer to
fall in 2004. The trade paperback collecting these
issues is due on
Wednesday, December 8, 2004.

ISBN: 0-7851-1457-2

Cover Price: $12.99 US

Buy from: Amazon.com
or Amazon.ca

Past comic reviews can be found here.

Premise

Reed, Sue, Johnny, and Ben need to speak to Victor
Van Damme so Reed
can cure them. The problem is that they don’t know
where he is, or
even if he’s alive.

High Point

Johnny and Ben’s relationship. There is some
antagonizing there, yes,
but there’s also a comradery forming. Just look at
the post attack
conversation and the Fantasti-car conversation and
compare these to
the old team. These guys realize they have more in
common with each
other than with Reed and Sue. I like they way things
are playing out
there.

Low Point

If he has no internal organs, the eye trick wouldn’t
work. He’s got
to have completely different (potentially
omnidirectional) ways of
perceiving the world, so the eye trick, if anything,
is a
psychological effect. I could accept that, except
these characters
are supposed to be the smartest people in their
world; they should be
able to figure out anything that seems obvious to me.

The Scores

People complain that this isn’t an original
take on the
characters. They don’t see significant differences
between the
Ultimate and mainstream versions. The differences
certainly aren’t as
pronounced as they are in Ultimate X-Men or
Ultimates, but I think they’re more
pronounced than we’re
seeing from Ultimate Spider-Man. Reed is
like the mainstream
version, but less confident, and not as secure with
the biological
sciences. Ben and Johnny aren’t that different yet,
but they haven’t
been the focus yet. Sue is quite a bit different.
In the mainstream
version, Sue was being protected by the others until
she became
confident with her abilities. In this version, she’s
confident and
forceful, and would be without her powers, as well as
a brilliant
woman in her own right, outpacing Reed’s abilities
with the biological
sciences. The others may not be different enough for
some people’s
liking, but a good look at Sue will show a very
different person. As
for this arc itself, we can see a very different
version of Doom than
we’ve seen in the mainstream Marvel universe. I give
it 4 out of 6.

The artwork by Stuart Immomen is very well
done, and is
effective in its storytelling. The details are there
when needed, but
don’t seem omitted when they’re not. I give it 5 out
of 6.

The story does a very good job of showing
these characters
and situations. The science geeks are trying to
figure out what’s
happened to them, but trouble finds them before
they’re finished. The
team dynamic is starting to shape up. They’ve also
established a good
reason for long-term rivalry with Doom. I give it 5
out of 6.



The characterization is good. Complain that
it’s too similar
to the regular versions if you must, but every
character has moments
that are truly insightful. We’ve got a pretty good
feel for who these
people are and for why they make the choices they
make. I give it 6
out of 6.

The emotional response is pretty good.
There are some very
amusing moments while Sue is studying them, and while
they’re fending
off the initial attack. The incursion later is a bit
disappointing,
but that’s mainly my fault for wanting this Doom to
be more like the
original version. I give it 4 out of 6.

The flow is pretty smooth. People complain
that it’s a slow
pace, but I really like it. Perhaps that’s because
I’m a science
geek, so the science geek stuff that might bore
others actually
interests me, allowing me to view the establishment
of their world’s
physical laws as a worthwhile way to spend time on
the page. I give
it 5 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a pretty good arc, and better
than the first
outing in a lot of ways. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Ultimate Fantastic Four Vol. 2:
Doom
receives 34
out of 42.

Additional Notes and Comments

The third story arc, N-Zone, will encompass
issues 13-17.
Issue 13 is already available. I plan to review the
first story arc
from Astonishing X-Men before the trade
paperback ships next
week.