Fantastic Four #7 Review

Fantastic Four (2022) #7

Writer: Ryan North

Artist: Iban Coello

Color Artist: Jesus Aburtov

Cover Artist: Alex Ross

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Reviewer: StoryBabbler

The Fantastic Four have been through a lot. The team splitting up, everyone finding themselves in weird misadventures, then finally reuniting again. Blotting out the Sun for a couple of days and getting the whole world mad at them. But now, in this landmark issue, see what new peril awaits the team as a familiar face reveals himself in Fantastic Four #7/#700.

If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read the Fantastic Four #7 Review.


Okay, this comic has left me very conflicted for a number of reasons. This comic has plenty of good things in it, but there’s also something bad that goes with each thing as well. For starters, the comic doesn’t really have the FF address the fact that they’re now public enemy #1 in the US after Sue blocked out the Sun for a couple of days. But we finally get to see Ben Grimm’s famous Aunt Petunia, and she’s a doll to be sure. She’s got the energy you’d expect of The Thing’s favorite aunt. And the rest of the comic is like that. Fair warning, there will be SPOILERS in this review to fully discuss major points.

After giving Maria Hill the slip – or so they think – the Fantastic Four rendezvous at The Thing’s Aunt Petunia’s house where readers finally get to see the woman in the flesh. She opens her home to the FF to stay however long they need to, and we get some downtime with the team reiterating their family dynamics with each other. But it isn’t long before trouble begins, starting small and innocuous before it accumulates into something unavoidable and it all leads back to their oldest arch-nemesis/frenemy, Dr. Doom. Why is Doom here? To do what Reed Richards, aka Mr. Fantastic couldn’t – he will save Valeria and the rest of the kids by going back in time to avert the disaster itself, against the FF’s wishes.

Let’s be clear, for all of this comic’s faults, Dr. Doom is the best thing in this comic and he definitely steals the spotlight from the FF. Ryan North certainly shows his writing chops here as he nails Doom’s personality and its many layers throughout the comic. This is especially done well as Dr. Doom is the one narrating throughout the second and third portions of the comic and North captures his character well. This is all elevated by Iban Coello’s art and Jesus Aburtov’s colors as they bring Dr. Doom to life in brilliant fashion and show just why Doom rules in Marvel Comics with all of the action we get here. Ultimately, Dr. Doom is what carries this comic and makes it worth a read if you’re a Dr. Doom fan.

But let’s move on to the faults. As expected, the entire story is what’s the problem. The thing is this whole story is essentially Dr. Doom time traveling to try and avoid Valeria and friends from being sent into outer space by Reed’s undeniably foolish plan to thwart Annihilus’ invasion. The problem is this entire comic hinges on Doom never being able to accomplish this goal and no matter what he does, he always fails and makes it worse. Sounds like a classic Dr. Doom tale, right? Wrong, because it’s not really Doom’s fault this time, it’s the writer’s fault.

It’s basically the whole “Because the Plot Demands It” storytelling trope, where the writer has a character who’s not the protagonist, in this case Doom, try to solve a big problem in the story and fail not because they actually did anything wrong, but because the plot demands it so that the protagonist’s solution can work in the end. See, there are multiple moments where Doom takes on and easily blasts Annihilus and his horde to dust, but somehow someway he still fails to save Valeria. At first, some of the explanations made sense, but then they didn’t and it just became a conga line of failed attempts, showing how Ryan North just forces the universe to be against Doom so nothing he tries ever works just so North can get a poignantly thematic ending to the comic.

All of this does make it feel like a classic Dr. Doom-style Fantastic Four story told today, but that’s part of the problem. How many times have we had stories in Marvel Comics state time and again how Doom is his own worst enemy. More than enough, so the “message” just feels like retread of well-established ground. By the end, nothing is really achieved by anyone, Doom ends up leaving the FF in failure while they get on back to Aunt Petunia’s house which is thankfully still standing. But while reading this, you might feel like you want to read a different Dr. Doom story instead of the one you’re given in this comic. It’s not bad, it’s not great. It’s just an okay story with excellent art and solid character writing that keeps it alive.

Final Thoughts:

Fantastic Four #7, or Fantastic Four #700, provides a story that’s supposed to be a landmark issue for Marvel’s first family. In reality, the team ends up being eclipsed by none other than Dr. Doom. Now, his entrance is cool, there’s a story reason he’s there, and it actually makes sense, sort of, why he does what he does. Dr. Doom carries this book thanks to Ryan North’s writing actually capturing his personality well while Iban Coello and Jesus Aburtov bring him to life in spectacular detail. However, the story has a bad case of “Because the Plot Demands It” so nothing really comes of Doom’s actions other than retreading the same thing about Doom’s greatest weakness and getting some great art of Dr. Doom in action.


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