FANTASTIC FOUR: OVERTHROW OF DOOM (Marvel, First Printing, 2011; Hardcover)
Collects Fantastic Four #192-200 (cover dates March- November, 1978)
Writers: Len Wein, Roger Slifer, Keith Pollard, Bill Mantlo, and Marv Wolfman
Artists: George Perez and Keith Pollard with Inking by Joe Sinnott, Dave Hunt, and Pablo Marcos
I had this book sitting in my backlog for so long that the Marvel Masterworks line actually caught up to it. This collection butts up perfectly against Vol. 17 in that line. Indeed, the issues collected in this book have been announced as part of the forthcoming Vol. 18, due out this September. I decided to bump this and two other collections up in order to give me a complete run to read going up to issue 214, which I will review over the coming weeks and months.
|If The Thing had problems with a rotor ring phone, imagine his difficulty with a smartphone.|
This is not the high point of the title by any stretch of the imagination, but these are still solid, well-crafted comics. Building off of the events at the end of issue 191, the Fantastic Four are no more. The four of them have all gone their separate ways, and their exploits are all woven together through scene changes. This almost feels like four separate stories in each issue that become more and more entangled until the team gradually gets back together.
#192 is basically a Human Torch solo story where he tangles with The Texas Twister. I have always had a soft spot for the Texas Twister ever since I encountered him in the West Coast Avengers back in 1985. #193 and 194 are a Thing solo story where he battles Diablo and learns the truth about Darkoth The Demon. #195 is a solo Invisible Girl story featuring the Sub-Mariner.
The threads all being to come together and the foe behind it all is Doctor Doom, all part of a plan to have his son become his successor to the throne of Latveria. This is one of the more satisfying Doctor Doom epics outside of Kirby's run. Like I said before, this was solid and enjoyable stuff even if this era isn't the strongest in the history of the title.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 3.75 out of 5.
The OCD zone- The late, lamented Marvel Premiere Classic Hardcovers were a sort of junior Masterworks line. While they weren't quite the “Blu-Ray” version of these issues like you would see in a Marvel Masterwork, they are still excellent. Marvel made too many of them in too short a period of time, resulting in many of these books being dumped to retailers at liquidation prices, killing the line off.
Linework and Color restoration: While the color palette is faithful to the original publications, there are spots where the linework could (and certainly will be once MMW FF Vol. 18 is released this fall) be improved upon.
Paper stock: Thick coated stock with a slight sheen.
Binding: Smyth sewn binding. The book lays mostly flat.
Dustjacket and Hardback cover notes: The dustjacket has that annoying frosted finish to it that scuffs if you breathe on it too hard. The images have spot varnish. The letters on the cover and spine have a type of embossed foil look and feel to them. The hardback itself has that faux leather grain on the casewrap and dye foil stamping for the letters.