Collects FF issues 67-70, 500-502

Writer: Mark Waid
Artists: Mike Wieringo, Karl Kesel, Casey Jones

Waid’s start on the FF was relatively “usual” (maybe he was lulling us readers into expecting nothing unusual. I did enjoy them too (collected in Imaginauts)) but then came Unthinkable. The multi-issue story starts with an issue focused on Doom. Victor is in US, among fortune-tellers and psychics whom Victor scorns but at the same time, he needs their help to find his early sweetheart Valeria. He talks about his life and their brief life together, about how his accomplishments haven’t given him what he really wants. We’re lead to believe that he just wants Valeria back and life in peace with her. Wrong! On the last page, Victor sacrifices Valeria to demons in exchange for becoming a powerful sorcerer. In fact, what he wants is to utterly defeat FF. To do that, he turns his back on science and becomes a magician who can rival Doctor Strange.

In the next issue we find out the awful truth: Susan and Reed’s little girl Val is Doom’s familiar. He uses the connection to attack the FF with magic and in consequence, Franklin is sent to Hell. The FF attack Doom, trying to force him to get Franklin back.

The last two stories about Franklin and the FF trying to cope. Poor little guy is catatonic after his experiences and Reed is blaming himself.

The story focuses on FF as a family and especially on Reed who is forced to leave his comfort zone, science, behind and accept that he doesn’t know everything. That’s very hard. However, I have to agree with some other reviewers who have said that this Doom is out of character. He’s certainly not the same Doom in Byrne’s run. He wouldn’t have put kids in danger. This Doom deliberately frightens Val and traumatizes Franklin just to get back at Reed. He also accepts help. From others.

Otherwise, I really enjoyed this story and it will have repercussions.

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