Collects Fantastic Four issues 503-508.

Writer: Mark Waid
Artists: Howard Porter, Norm Rapmund

In the previous collection, Unthinkable, the FF banished Doctor Doom into Hell, literally. However, this left Doom’s country Latveria in a bad place. Doom has ruled the country for decades ruthlessly; while he took care of the people, they were like pets to him. The countries surrounding Latveria also want to conquer, er, annex, it.

Reed decides that the situation is his fault. He takes the team to Latveria and at first they simply protect the Latverians from outside threats. However, the team gets to find out the hard way that Doom has been telling his people that the FF are the real threat. Reed decides that the team has to stay and help the Latverians become really free and democratic. The other members aren’t too sure about some of it. Of course, they are happy to destroy Doom’s arsenal of weapons and the Doombots but they aren’t so happy about trying to control an entire country. And Reed seems to be become more and more self-absorbed. The UN aren’t too happy about this, also, and they send out Colonel Fury to lead their troops against the FF.

This was pretty intense story and addresses somewhat the problems of having superheroes (who supposedly defend individual freedoms) in the same world where tyrants rule countries. Also, the FF have lots of internal conflict which is always interesting to see. The story shows off the characters’ different personalities well and I think all of the FF are in character here. And Reed is still treating the others like children, no matter how much he protests this in his letter.

At first the Latverians clearly hate the FF. They think that the FF will set themselves up as the new tyrants and even throw rocks at them. However, their opinions changed completely during this storyline. I think that’s a bit too quick but I guess happened because of the limits of the story arc. The ending changed the FF in lots of interesting ways but some of them were reversed quickly rather than let the FF stay changed.

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