Written by Mark Millar
Art by Bryan Hitch
This issue was a rollercoaster ride for me. It started out with the "&$*% yeah, Dr Doom!" as we see Doom fighting back against his masters, but then nosedove into what I thought was going to be a generic future/aftermath of the fight with Doom having saved the Earth and then it's all crazy again when we see that the Marquis of Death actually gave Doom that perfect future so he could take it away from him before he kills him.
However, the best way to describe the issue is that it's Mark Millar writing the Fantastic Four. If you've read anything by Mark Millar, you'll see all the hallmarks of his work in this issue, from the Doom/Marquis fight to the random killings and big explosions, it's all there. Whether you like this issue will come down to whether you enjoy Millar's style of writing or not and, for me, I do (in most cases) and very much enjoyed this issue.
My favourite part was that the mischaracterization of Doom kneeling before his former master and basically looking like someone elses errand boy last issue was just Doom showing some respect for his former master and his fighting back to open the issue, on fire and all, was quite a spectacle and washed away that bad taste in my mouth.
Being a Mark Millar book, though, there had to be random killings and everyone in Latveria was the victim this time. Ya, it got blown up back in Mighty Avengers and again in the recent Dark Avengers, but the Marquis of Death basically nuked it here, killing all of its inhabitants. I'm sure it'll be back up and running again next week. There's also the non-death of Dr Doom whereby his master scoffs at Doom's numerous failures and then deposits a guy with a time machine in his armour in the past as shark food for his big killing blow. I think we can all see Doom being back by the end of this arc to finish off his former master, which undersells the dramatic effect of the whole "death".
Verdict - Check It. Enjoyable read, but Millar, for as much as I enjoy his works, is becoming a bit of a one trick pony in terms of storytelling. You're enjoyment of the issue will depend on how much you like or dislike Millar's other work.