"Golden Child, Part 3"
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Scott Kolins
Publisher: Marvel Comics
After Doctor Strange senses a great evil has entered the Marvel Universe, we look in on the Fantastic Four, as we see the team's typical day is violently interrupted by an attack. What's more their attacker looks to be none other than Doctor Doom, but when Doctor Strange arrives to compare notes with Reed, they discover that everything isn't what is appears to be, and when the villain is unmasked, this fact becomes even more apparent.
Given how often heroes embark on adventures into alternate dimensions, I have to say I'm somewhat surprised to realize how rarely the Marvel Universe itself plays host to visitors from alternate universes. Now perhaps Marvel writers are discouraged from doing so, as one of that main reasons that was given for the deck clearing "Crisis on Infinite Earths" was that the multiple Earths had turned the DCU into an overly convoluted mess, and perhaps one of the reasons why Marvel Universe has managed to avoid this pitfall as it enters its fourth decade is because it's put all its toys back in a single toy box when the day was done, or in the case of the Ultimate Universe built an entirely separate toy box. However as this issue proves one can have a lot of fun playing with the idea of visitors from alternate dimensions, as fans who enjoyed the "What If" series are probably already coming up with their own explanations for the unmasking scene offered up on the final page. This issue also offers up a pretty entertaining pairing of the Fantastic Four and Doctor Strange, as while interaction between them has occurred quite regularly, I always was of the mind that they should be more closely linked, as the clash between magic and technology is a highly engaging idea. Now this issue doesn't play much with that idea, but it does an effective job of playing with these character, from its highly amusing use of the Johnny/Ben rivalry, to the opening bit that manages to inject some entertainment value into the tired old scene where Doctor Strange senses something is wrong with the universe.
Scott Kolins turns in his regularly impressive effort, and I have to say I'm delighted he looks to be the regular artist on this title, as to be perfectly honest it looks like it would be the dream assignment for an artist, as each and every month one is afforded the opportunity to visit a new corner of the Marvel Universe. This time out he's called upon to deliver the Fantastic Four, and how can one not love the panel where Reed is trying to keep Ben and Johnny apart, or the sheer visual impact of the scene where the team comes under attack. The art also does a lovely job when it comes to its delivery of the team's powers, from Johnny blast of flames, to Ben's big punch that sends their enemy flying. I also had to smile Ben's amusing facial expression after Doctor Strange makes his arrival, even if does make Ben out to be a bit cowardly. My only quibble with the art is that Doctor Strange's magic really should been a bit more impressive visually.
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