FANTASTIC FOUR #259-260 (1983)

Picking up from last issue’s “all-Doom” story, Terrax attacks the FF and we get a nice, long Byrne battle in the city.  We just got a good all-out brawl in FF #250, against Gladiator, but he still has cool ways to show how their various power sets can be used in combat.  Particularly Sue Storm, who tries to suffocate Terrax by enclosing his head in a force field to lock out the oxygen.  But Reed doesn’t show up to the fight, so Dr. Doom directs Terrax not to kill the team.  Doom wants Reed to die with his three friends.  When Terrax tries to defy Doom, Doom attacks him.

John Byrne was clearly a comfortable creator in the Marvel Universe at the time he worked on this Doom epic.  On or about this same time, he started working on a She Hulk comic, had a great-but-short run on Hulk, was pushing forward with all cylinders with Alpha Flight, and could claim responsibility for the X-Men turning into Marvel’s bestselling franchise.

His work on FF to this point has been terrific, but now he’s branching out.  The team crossed over with The Avengers for the first time in decades, and now he’s using the “big tools” in the FF toolbox.

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Terrax fuses Doom’s armor so he’s paralyzed and trapped within it.  Terrax then turns back on the FF (minus the missing Reed Richards), when Silver Surfer shows up and gets in on the battle.

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IMG_0910Aunt May appears as a bystander.

We see Dr. Doom psychically shift his being from his body, trapped in armor, into the body of a bystander.  That seems like a deus ex machina power set here.  I’m not liking that he can suddenly do this.  But, in the end, when Surfer and Terrax’s clash leads to a huge explosion, this allows them to find Doom’s mask and assume he is dead.


Comics were fun in the 1980s.

Storywise, of course, the alliance of Tyros and Doom is (ahem) doomed to failure…

And in the end, Dr. Doom “dies.”

It also puts an end to the “was his face scarred or not” question, because Victor Von Doom’s original body is now obliterated.

Terrax is also assumed killed in the explosion, but unlike Doom, it appears he really is dead.

Then, at the end, John Byrne manages to promote Alpha Flight #2-4 by having Namor show up and ask for Susan Richards’ help.

Creator: John Byrne
Grade: B+.  It’s really an A, but I took it down for that ridiculous Dr. Doom mind-switching power set.

For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.
And see my Ratings of Runs on comics here.

 

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