Welcome to my Retro Reviews! For those of you new to the game, Review is probably a misnomer, what I’m really doing here is reading a comic and breaking it down for you. I look at key details – the overall plot and every now and again behind the scenes insight. So with these, there are always spoilers ahead. Our latest issue, Fantastic Four no. 16 promises us not just a guest appearance from Ant-Man, but the return of Dr. Doom! I’d pay 10 cents for that.
Also, it just hit me, and I’m not sure what issue the change occurred, but the stories are no longer broken up into acts. Early Marvel was all about act breaks, but now the stories just go and flow. This particular flow begins with the team returning to the Baxter Building to find the rest of the team shrunk to toy size. I should put them up on my shelf.
The team also recalls being individually shrunk before this. Perplexed, the team reaches out to an expert on being small, Wolverine. Wait, no. He doesn’t exist yet. So, Ant-Man it is! Also, Ant-Man was actually spying on the team via one of his ant drones. Creepy dude.
Ant-Man gives a de/re-biggulating serum. In related serum news, Reed makes a new one that will turn Thing back into a normal human. I’m sure it’ll work this time. In a nice twist of an early FF cliché, Ben doesn’t want to be human. Alicia doesn’t love Ben as Ben, she loves Ben as Thing and Ben-Thing wants to keep it that way.
In another great slow build, we finally have a conflict. The FF find themselves in the micro-world of Dr. Doom! Remember, in issue 10 Dr. Doom himself was shrunk down. He found himself in said micro-world and Doom did what Doom does and conquered that world.
Doom plans to sell the FF to the Tok lizard people. There are several points in this comic where they have these sort of “this is what will happen” or “this is what could happen” series of panels. Such as with the Tok lizard people and being their slaves.
The team needs help! They’re doomed! Forgive me, I couldn’t resist. Regardless, they are in dire straits, they’re utterly desperate and without hope. Their last second hail mary as time runs out? Ant-Man! He is immediately captured.
Fortunately for the captain of The Avenger’s D-squad, Sue saves the day. She helps Ant-Man escape and eventually, the FF and Ant-Man are re-biggulated. Finally, there is a brilliant gorgeous Thing panel at the end. I’ll leave you with that, and I’m glad Dr. Doom is back.
Josiah Golojuh is a writer, loves old trading cards – he just bought some (find his collection of short stories here), he’s also a YouTube commentator (where, among other things, he does things similar to these Retro Reviews).