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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comic Book Moments – Day 93

Here is the latest cool comic book moment in our year-long look at one cool comic book moment a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today we look at a frightening moment from Mark Waid and Mike Wieringo’s Fantastic Four run.


Fantastic Four (Vol. 3) #67 was the prologue to the “Unthinkable” storyline, and it opens with Victor Von Doom visiting his first (and perhaps only?) love, Valeria.

The issue has a recap of their relationship, and it all leads to the following, chilling moment…

As to “the” moment….I dunno, I guess when we see his armor made of her skin?

Still, chilling moment. Well done by Waid and the late, great Wieringo.


I never thought Wieringo’s art fit this story, at all.

This is actually a very good example about how two things can be very, very good, but not intersect well. This particular moment, as scripted by Waid, is absolutely amazing — I remember my jaw dropping when I first read the comic. What Waid need to do here was convince the audience that after 40 years of defeats, stupid plans, and frequently looking quite foolish, Doom really is a force to be reckoned with, a man who will do anything for revenge on Richards. And he did that quite well.

And Waid’s art, 95% of the time, was a great fit for the Fantastic Four. I especially liked the way he portrayed Franklin and Val, who were both critical to this arc. It was an amazing run from an amazing artist.

And yet, when you want stark, bone-chilling terror out of a page, Mike Wieringo is not the first person who springs to mind. I think it’s a testament to his skill that this scene works as well as it does, but I wonder what it would have looked like drawn by someone else.

!facepalm! Wieringo’s art, is what the second paragraph should say. Argh. Way to proofread, Mac.

And let the Doom fetishist nerdrage begin.

I loved W/W’s first arc, but lost interest in the book after that.

Man, how old WAS Valeria? Because Doom is likely the same age, as would be Reed. Are they all in their 60s now?

I never thought I could accept a Doom revamp until I read this storyline. I assume by now it’s all gone and he’s back to the old Doom. Sigh :(

During the periods when I’m not consciously aware of Doom’s new armor being made out of his ex-girlfriend’s skin, it’s my favorite look for him. The runed sections, blood-red straps, and rusty tone make for an imposing figure; I’d like to see this look reworked into a standard Doom costume. Maybe he could redesign it to bring science back into the look, making him look like a hybrid of both methods of causing pain and suffering?

my moment is when Doom, in response to Valeria’s desperate cry of “Victor, what’s happening?” calmly tells her,
‘My life is changing’.

Doom had to work his way back into her heart, after she had closed it to him. He makes a case that he had made a choice long ago that he is wanting to undo. Valeria believes that Victor is talking about his choice with her.
Then, she has to trust that he can be a man she could have feelings for again, after so long and after Victor had turned into Doom. She starts to believe in the fairytale romance, trusts in her love again.
Then when it all goes wrong, she reaches out for Victor; only to hear Doom calmly inform her that it was never about her and love for her, its about him and his hate.

One of the truly great portrayals of Doom, EVER.

I also wondered about the ages being shown here…. Valeria looks to be fifty – ish so what does that mean about the other main characters in the MU since Reed, Ben and Victor all were at university together.

As for the “nerdrage”, I’ve always maintained that it’s a great FF story but not necessarily the greatest story for Doom :-) For that, I would chose Astonishing Tales #8 or the graphic novel with Doctor Strange “Triumph and Torment”. I think that I probably give Doom credit for having more loyalty to the ones who became his replacment “family” after the death of his parents, and that would be faithful old Boris and his granddaughter Valeria. Since we’ve only seen Boris in the Brubaker “Books of Doom” which takes place in some unspecified point in time, it makes one wonder just where he’s been since “Unthinkable”.

I think this is probably the last Doom story I recall reading that I thought was really good. This is the most evil and chilling I’ve ever seen him.

I’m not really sure why nerds would be enraged about this, as it’s as bad-ass as you get out of a Latverian monarch. I guess purists may prefer science Doom over sorcerer Doom, but that duality has always worked for me (and always made me think he’s ultimately more impressive than Reed Richards, this arc proves Reed is one crappy sorcerer).

It looks like Doom has a beergut in that last panel–and he stole Robotman’s face.

While I liked this individual issue, I don’t think I care for sorcerer Doom in the long run. But it was a VERY clever twist by Mark Waid.

The first moment from this arc that I thought of was baby Val’s first word.

I wonder if baby Val remembers being Doom’s sorcerous familiar? Now she’s leap-frogged past Franklin in maturity, which irritates me to no end.

that moment showed why doom should be considered marvels version of the joker. for winding up with his lovers skin as his new armor pure creepy and was wondering why doom had sue name her and reeds second kid val

So he’s sort of a transvestite, then. In a Silence-of-the-Lambs kind of way.

I have to say this art style did not please me. A cool mind-blowing story moment like this would have been much better if it had been less cartoony. :-)

The FF are science-based heroes. Doom is a magic and science-based villain. Once somebody realized that Doom could use something against which the FF had no defense, they were screwed.

…which is why I hated the Deus-ex-Machina resolution to this story.

And hey, given that we’re getting a Waid-Ringo moment, should we conclude that this is the team from the 90s who’d be giving us a whole bunch of moments?

I recall a few people were outraged because they were claiming that Doom’s honor and nobility would never allow him to do anything so monstrous to the only woman he ever loved. The thing is, though, while Doom likes to think he is noble and honorable, in the end he is a ruthless monster who deludes himself into thinking he is a good man. Doom is honorable when it is convenient for him. But the second it gets in the way of his plans, well, any decency he may pretend to have goes right out the window. And that’s just what happened here.

For me, the moment is Doom saying “And I want to choose again.”

Not a fan. I don’t like to see stuff this gruesome in super-hero comics. Hell, I don’t like to see stuff this gruesome in horror comics. It’s just nasty.

“So he’s sort of a transvestite, then. In a Silence-of-the-Lambs kind of way.”

“Put the lotion in the basket! So speaks Doom!”


This was a terrific Doom story, but not quite my all-time favourite. That was the one in Avengers Double-Shot written by Priest. Can I get an “Amen”? :)

Oh, I liked that Priest story too with the Valeria double… “Masks”. Can’t remember the artist’s name but is was one of those done with paints. Very well done and makes me wonder when or if Priest will be coming back to Marvel.

Oh, to answer Chad’s questions as to why is Reed and Sue’s baby named after Valeria? When Reed was being held captive by the offshoot of the Inhumans known as the Hidden Ones, Sue went into labor and she was in the same danger of losing the child as she was with the child she miscarried during the Byrne FF. Johnny went to the one person he thought could help and that was Doom. He was able to use his mystical skills to do what Reed could not do with science. And as payment, he asked if he could name the child and Sue agreed.

For me, the moment in Unthinkable is when Ben comes out of the mists in Latveria and punches Doom’s head clean around backwards. Doom stands there and turns it back, then adjusts his hood.

Ben didn’t know Victor could do that. Nor, while Doom held Valeria and had sent Franklin to Hell, did Ben give a ****.

Ew. I guess I just don’t want to read about people being evil unless it gives me some sort of insight, into their psyche or into evil itself. It’s possible to get that out of a certain reading of this, but for my taste, it’s way too wrapped up in making a character seem more punchable. I don’t think this moment is worth holding up for praise.

A dude is willing to sacrifice his one true love just so that he can defeat his arch-nemesis, and you don’t think that gives you an insight into his psyche?

I’ve noticed a lot of people have a problem with Wieringo’s art on Unthinkable. If you have this problem, who would be better?

I mean, I understand the grim and horrific story plus cartoony art cognitive dissonance. It may just be my general taste in art, but I can’t really come up with someone out of my stable of favorite comics artists who I would want to see draw this instead. I like the story, so it’s not that something like Unthinkable is not my cup of tea and I don’t want to read it whoever draws it, but who should have drawn it in your opinions?

I’ve thought of Alan Davis, George Perez, Bryan Hitch, Brent Anderson, Jim Lee, Bachalo, that guy who did Preacher and Punisher with Ennis (as you can guess, he’s not on the favorite list, but he’s drawn a lot of gross stuff)… the longer I type, the more I come up with, so I’ll stop now. If you wanted someone other than Wieringo to draw Unthinkable, who? And, why him?

I think Wieringo does a beautiful job on this story. Right off the bat, I thought he handled “civilian” Victor quite well. We so rarely seen him sans armor… and c’mon he can’t be encased in it 24/7 … that I found it quite believable that he would mingle with the masses in that manner. The flashbacks to Victor and Valeria’searly years were well done also …applause to Paul Mounts on the coloring too.

The one issue that was a let done a bit was #500, with Reed’s convenient mystical gizmo handed off to him by Doctor Strange. When the battle gets going, I thought it was too cartoony when Doom goes sailing through the air after getting clobbered. But no doubt Wieringo was an excellent storyteller.

Well, that’s a good and obvious point, Brian!

I think it’s too obscured, though. The ability of a metaphor to affect isn’t just related to how apparent or clever it is, but how it fits in with the tone of the work. The confrontation between good and evil in Fantastic Four has seemed typically more rote than inevitable, more bombast than analysis. I think an attempt to show something important about evil is here cursory. I suppose it’s literally just too fantastical to come across to me as a lesson to learn. There are works of fantasy that succeed in this regard, but I don’t think that’s the point here. It just seems to not be for me.

Mike Loughlin

April 5, 2009 at 5:10 pm

If I had to choose an artist to draw the scene, it would be Leonardo Manco.

That said, I thought Wieringo pulled it off just fine. The “Unthinkable” arc is among the most disturbing super-hero comics I’ve ever read. Hats off to Waid & Wieringo for a truly creepy FF horror story.

I started hearing Goodbye Horses when I saw this.

Heh. No discernable “nerd-rage” here. I’m a big fan of Doom and I loved Waid turning the “Nobility” of Doom on its ear. Which by the way, has done nothing to devalue the character since (I’m far more offended by Millar’s retconning of Doom playing sycophant to a “Master”, who if he was to be believed, would have provided Doom with exactly the type of power Doom gives himself here, answerable to no-one).

You know what I find more prevalent than “Doom fetishists” these days? Trolls taking the time to go on boards that feature Doom (remember, this was Brian’s choice, not the ‘fanboys’) and snarking about people that commit the unforgivable sin of enjoying the character. Michael, here’s a can of Raid- go kill that bug up your ass.

Val may be the woman Doom loved, but Doom’s one true love is Victor Von Doom. This moment is what happens when you forget that.

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