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Book Information:Cover Date: Jul 1963
- Alicia Masters
- Ant-Man (Dr. Henry Pym)
- Dr. Doom
- Invisible Girl
- Molly Margaret
- Mr. Fantastic
- Princess Pearla
- The Human Torch
- The King
- The Thing
- The Wasp
- Planet Tok
In my time so far reviewing classic marvel comics i have seem comics good and bad come from these classic creators. Some stories have even been downright horrifying, fortunately this one is not! In fact Fantastic Four #16 is perhaps the best Doctor Doom story I have reviewed so far, and it’s not even fully over yet!
Before writing even another world, or going into the why’s I feel comfortable enough to tell you to pick up this classic and read it now, even if you’re an Ant-Man fan, as this is a story where the guest star is just that, a guest star, not just an appearance. you can read this issue reprinted in Marvel Masterworks: Fantastic Four Vol. 2. If you have no idea where you can get that, you can order it from here: Buy it here
Comic Book Synopsis
Our story begins with the Fantastic Four all realizing that they have been the victims of the same unexplained event at different times. Shrinking down to a small size, and then returning to normal at some point later. None of them having revealed this strange fact to each other until it catches most of them at once.
This leads them to try to contact Ant-Man who finds them, for help, and then eventually leads them down the path of shrinking into the micro-world where they find and face Dr. Doom.
In this world Dr. Doom has taken control of a primitive and peaceful group of people who reside there, and is pursuing his plans for getting revenge of the Fantastic Four as well as remaining in charge of the micro-world. Now he has the Fantastic Four right where he wants them, can they stop him?
Comic book review of the story
Page to Page, I felt that this story was written with a level of detail and well-chosen words that is worthy of being called great. in this epic tale Stan & Jack showed why they are comic book legends.
even being from a day when the hero always win’s, you can’t help but wonder how they will manage to pull it off as you turn the page, and the climax approaches. Then at the end, you feel both satisfied that the story is finished, but left with a cliffhanger that promises that the story will be continued in the next issue!
We have already had comics that have picked up where the last one has left off, but this is the first real two-part tale I have reviewed from classic marvel, and the first part is nothing shy of great.
Jack Kirby’s art and Dick Ayers inking are part of what makes this story so great. The action and emotion are captured, like none other. and then no one does worlds quite like Jack does, offering a primitive and different micro-world with Dr. Doom ruling.
Originality & Continuity
This could be where this issue shines the most, it is both highly original and contains great continuity. Best of all, it shows that all things were considered, like never before.
This issue references back To Fantastic Four #10, where Doctor Doom was last seen, and where he was shrunk down into nothingness. This fact is not all surprising as it is his return; but it goes above and beyond in also referencing Tales To Astonish #44 when just showing us The Wasp in a panel after Ant-Man is contacted. Making good use of continuity with Ant-Man’s ongoing stories as well.
The story is also a masterwork of originality, sure it barrows ideas from other places; but what it offers us is a fantastic creative and original world that fits and makes sense as the next step in the ongoing Doctor Doom Saga.
Characters & Development
This puts Doctor doom back into the world of the Fantastic Four, and back on the radar; it also establishes for the first time that he thinks about more than just domination, with his desire to marry Princess Pearla. Although that could have had alternative motivations as well.
Ant-Man & The Fantastic Four
This is the first time they all meet each other, and is in its own way a momentous occasion for both Ant-Man and The Fantastic Four, it is another great connection in what is becoming the marvel universe.
Sometimes the little things said and done can in its own way greatly outweigh the whole story, this is true with the thing in this story. Early on Reed runs an experiment with making the thing return to normal, as we have seen a few times already. but what you need to watch here is the interaction between Ben Grim, Alicia masters and then what Ben says:
Look, Reed, I appreciate what you’re tryin’ to do for me, but nothin’ makes sense! I love Alicia, and she Loves me best as– The Thing! so why don’t you forget about tryin’ to change me back, and work on some way to make her see again, instead?
perhaps never has there been a more powerful statement, or realization by the Thing and his character, it is also quite touching.
Comic book Review Summery
Read it, then read it again.. then tell your friends to read it. Fantastic Four #16 is in-depth and a great comic book to read. It is an action pack story with heart and compassion. It also shows us again how a comic book can be great. again you can read this issue reprinted in Marvel Masterworks: Fantastic Four Vol. 2. If you have no idea where you can get that, you can order it from here: Buy it here