A Year of Cool Comics – Day 326
Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the comics posted so far!
Uncollected Classics week is over, but today we’ll look at a work that WAS uncollected for nearly twenty years!! It’s Walt Simonson’s classic “Return of the REAL Doctor Doom” storyline from Fantastic Four #350 and 352!
In the giant-sized Fantastic Four #350 (with inks by Al Milgrom), we get quite a surprise! Doctor Doom has been carrying on his battle with Kristoff, the “back-up” Doctor Doom from earlier in the series, but they are both in for a big twist…
Yes, BOTH Dooms were replacements! This was a major deal, as Simonson established that Doom has been gone for awhile now, so that any appearance that seemed kind of odd (most Acts of Vengeance appearances, to wit) were actually Doom-bots (but he also added in that Doom occasionally DOES come back to visit the “present,” so all the COOL Doom appearances (Byrne’s FF) were the REAL Doom!
Which was a pretty interesting idea (and has been copied by a number of writers over the years with other characters).
The big plot of this issue is Doom effectively seduces the She-Thing. Look at how charming Doom is…
This leads to Ben Grimm turning himself BACK to the Thing to save Sharon (who doesn’t want saving).
Check out this great confrontation between Thing and Doom…
After Sharon betrays him and knocks Ben out, Doom offers Reed Richards a challenge..
This leads to the CLASSIC Fantastic Four #352, which I’ve covered in Cool Moments before.
Reed takes him up on the challenge, and for the rest of the issue, you have two timelines. On the left hand of the page (in color) you have the Fantastic Four, progressing in real time. On the right hand of the page you have Reed and Doom, battling through a different chronology than “real time.” When they are in time, they are black and white and when their battle gets them in sync with the “real” timeline, then they are in color. The battle is time-stamped so you can follow Reed and Doom’s fight by following the time stamp. Page 1 may be 1:06 while Page 2 would be 1:22 and then Page 3 would be 1:14. You would have to flip back and forth to keep track of the fight.
Here’s two sample pages (click to enlarge)…
Get the (awesome) drift?
What an amazing issue.
The “problem” in collecting these issues was that Simonson’s “best” issues of Fantastic Four came a little bit into his run, but Marvel, logically enough, when they decided to collect his FF run, they started from the beginning. And sales were not super amazing, so they were slow to come out with the third volume of Fantastic Four Visionaries: Walt Simonson, but in November of last year, they finally did! Hurray! Thanks to an anonymous poster for letting me know that it came out (and our own Greg Burgas for confirming it).