Writer: Dan Slott
Artist: R.B. Silva
Color Artist: Jesus Arbutov
Cover Artist: Mark Brooks
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Dr. Doom is getting married, he’s invited the Fantastic Four, Namor, and Black Panther, and promises to wipe the slate clean and start over with all of them them. Things were looking good. What could possibly go wrong? Plenty. And it’s all Johnny’s fault. Now the FF, Black Panther, and Namor must face Doom’s wrath in Fantastic Four #34 as his wedding comes to a disastrous conclusion.
This series has not been kind to Johnny Storm and this issue keeps piling on the punishment for the man. To say Dr. Doom is livid in this comic is an understatement. This is an embarrassment the likes of which he will not tolerate and is threatening to do more than kill Johnny this issue. Of course the others try to calm him down but things escalate and get even crazier for everyone present.
The art by R.B. Silva and Jesus Aburtov is excellent as ever. Dr. Doom looks wrathful and menacing whether it’s a full-body shot or a close-up of his eyes and face mask. I was on Doom’s side up until he started going too far, and by then the action gets fun and chaotic as the characters do what they can to lessen Doom’s wrath.
The biggest takeaway here is what happens to both Johnny and Victorious and we’ll get to those two in the Spoilers section. But the biggest problem with this whole storyline is how Dan Slott writes Johnny Storm and Victorious since it’s their affair that made all of this possible.
From the get-go, Slott had Johhny flirting with Victorious every chance he could since her debut in the series. She hates him, he’s attracted to her, she rebukes his flirtations, and that’s as far as their interactions go. But the one thing that their dynamic always missed to make this development believable is chemistry.
There was no spark of interest from Victorious for Johnny Storm, no real mutual attraction established between them, certainly nothing to read in-between the lines. They just lack chemistry, and this is even more clear as Slott puts the whole relationship front and center in this comic. And he truly lays it on thick with Victorious being split between what she wants and her loyalty to Doom and Latveria. By the end, this comic just feels like a neat little FF story but nothing too significant.
So, Doom is threatening to kill Johnny for sleeping with his would-be bride. A reasonable reaction to have, especially when your bride publicly reveals this to you in broad daylight for everyone to see and hear. Thankfully, Doom cut the broadcast when this was happening. I’ll give Johnny this, at least he owns up to his mistake and is willing to let Doom just have at him. Shame we never see this altercation.
Instead, Doom activates his device – The ARMAGEDRON! – that he previously ordered to be dismantled but is activating now. Why? To fight the FF for a little bit and disrupt Johnny Storm’s powers to make him a living Human Torch. So he can never touch anyone ever again without setting them on fire. Not bad, but this already happened to Johnny years ago, and surprisingly it was Doom who fixed his condition. Now Johnny’s a glowing green Human Torch, and Victorious is not on good standing with Doom and is certainly not his wife. But she earns some of his favor back by donning her own Doom-like mask to show her fealty to him.
Fantastic Four #34 concludes Dr. Doom’s wedding, and while it’s fun at times, nothing significant truly happens. There’s no real shakeup in the status quo regarding Doom, the FF, Victorious, or anyone else there. It also doesn’t help that Johnny and Victorious’ relationship lacks any chemistry so it’s not that convincing. The art is great as usual and so is the action as the FF and their allies try to stop the chaos you’d expect from a disastrous Dr. Doom wedding.