Coney Island is a Nightmare – Fantastic Four (Vol 1) #501

The cover to Fantastic Four (Vol 1) #501
Looking for bugs.

From Series: Fantastic Four (Vol 1)

What Happened:

After Doctor Doom (Victor Von Doom) nearly destroying the Fantastic Four things are looking pretty bad. Things are so bad The Thing (Ben Grimm) has started journaling. Journaling! Like a boring person on a European vacation! I’ve never seen things so rough.

Bearing the worst of the attack was Franklin Richards, the son of Mister Fantastic (Reed Richards) and The Invisible Woman (Sue Storm). He was trapped in literal Hell by Doom for a couple of days and that will do stuff to a kid’s brain. The child psychologists are understandably out of their depth with this particular client.

In a Hail Mary play, Sue and an invisible Ben take Franklin to Coney Island. I guess they are trying to compare literal Hell to a figurative one and show Franklin it’s not all that different? Who knows. They spoil the kid rotten with rides, prizes, and junk food but it doesn’t fix all his mental issues despite, like I already said, they spoil him rotten with rides, toys and junk food.

Back at the Baxter Building The Human Torch (Johnny Storm) has a kooky plan to snap Reed out of his own funk. Reed blames himself for everything Doom did to the team. (Send his kid to hell, light his wife on fire, beat his best friend to a bloody mess, lock Reed into a library and make fun of him…) Also, since Doom permanently scarred Reed’s face (which his elasticity cannot fix) Reed will always be reminded of Doom’s actions whenever he see’s himself.

So Johnny grabs a laser gun and they jump into a time machine to spy on a young, innocent Doctor Doom.

At Coney Island, Franklin freaks out on a bunch of people trying to get autographs from his mom and uncle. Freaks out big time too! Curse words and everything!

What I Learned From This Issue:

Sue is not a supportive mother when it comes to her children’s artwork.

The Creators:
Writer: Mark Waid
Penciler, Inker: Casey Jones
Colourist: Paul Mounts
Letterer: Rus Wooton
Editors: Tom Brevoort
Assistant Editor: Marc Sumerak & Andy Schmidt

Fantastic Four (Vol 3) #67

The cover to Fantastic Four (Vol 3) #67
Heartburn like this is why I never eat Indian food late a night.
From Series: Fantastic Four (Vol 3)

What Happened:

Doctor Doom (Victor Von Doom) has realized he made a mistake. A long time ago, when he was young he made a choice. This choice has led to every bad thing which is now a part of his life. So he has gone in search of the woman he loved as a young man and left in pursuit of a scientific career. With her blessing he can undo this choice.

He travel’s across America… or maybe just Georgia… and consults fortune tellers to help him in his quest to find the woman Valeria. Most of the people he seeks guidance from are proven to be frauds which bums him out since this is stuff from his childhood they’re imitating. If someone started pretending to be Power Rangers and were being paid money for it but weren’t actually Power Rangers I’d probably feel the same way.

So Doctor Doom, in his sweetest three piece suit, and his Phantom of the Opera-ist mask stroll around small town USA hating everyone he sees. He see’s a dude. He hates that dude. He sees a lady eating cotton candy. He hates the lady AND the cotton candy.

He thinks back on his history with Valeria and remembers when his parents died. When he found out his mother was a sorcerer. When he learned what he could of her talents while improving his own skills with science. When a recruiter for the US Army offered him a scholarship to any university he wished.

When he left Valeria.

A fortune teller proves to be the real deal and sends him to the address of Valeria, who has been hiding from him ever since he because a super villain. Doom confronts her and asks she take him back. A small part of her still loves the man he was so she accepts… which triggers the spell Doctor Doom had prepared.

The choice Doctor Doom wants undone is not leaving Valeria. Instead, it is choosing Science over Magic. He made a deal with demons to be made into a Sorcerer of incredible power if he can give up the one person he loves and loves him in return. Valeria is killed by the spell and her skin forms into Doctor Doom’s new armor.

What I Learned From This Comic:

Doctor Doom won’t take advantage of a hotel which offers free HBO.

The Creators:
Writer: Mark Waid
Penciler: Mike Wieringo
Inker: Karl Kesel
Colorist: Paul Mounts
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Albert Deschesne
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Assistant Editor: Marc Sumerak & Andy Schmidt