Review: Ultimate Doom #4

Published on March 25th, 2011

With this fourth and final issue of Ultimate Doom, we have finally reached the end of Brian Michael Bendis’ Ultimate Comics trilogy. If you’ve been avoiding the Ultimate Comics line for the past year or two, let me fill you in. The first part, Ultimate Enemy, followed the super heroes of the Ultimate Marvel Universe as they are attacked by mysterious monsters that destroy the Baxter Building and attack S.H.I.E.L.D. In the second part, Ultimate Mystery, the super heroes attempt to learn more about the monsters threatening the Earth. That series ends when we learn that it was really Reed Richards who has gone nuts and decided he needs to change the world. In this last mini-series, it is confirmed that Reed has gone whacko and now he has to be stopped.

ultimatecomicsdoom4This issue starts off in the Negative Zone, where Reed Richards has set up his base which is now being attacked by every super hero of the Ultimate Marvel Universe. Reed is immediately confronted by his former best buddy, Ben Grimm. Who, by the way, is no longer The Thing. At this point he’s evolved and now goes from a normal human to a purple energy form. Weird. Anyway, Ben asks Reed a personal question to be absolutely positive that this really is Reed Richards and not some crazy doppelganger. When Reed answers the question correctly, he is forced to attack Reed to save the world. Ben is then followed by The Human Torch who is still super pissed off, after Reed almost beat Sue Storm to death. Johnny then burns Reed so bad, he is beyond recognition.

While Reed is getting his butt handed to him, Spider-Man and Dr. Octopus, who is willing to switch sides for the moment, are able to steal Reed’s master control device that is keeping his Negative Zone base together. Once they get it, they use Rick Jones (AKA Nova) to teleport them back to Earth. Without the technology Reed’s base starts to fall apart and the super heroes have to make a quick escape. Ben tries to save Reed, but he chooses to stay in the Negative Zone.

After saving the world, Carol Danvers congratulates all the heroes for a job well done. She also offers Jessica Drew (Spider-Man’s female clone) a job as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. Jessica jumps at the chance, especially when she gets the opportunity to give a little payback to Dr. Octopus. The book ends with Sue Storm telling Ben Grimm that she shares his feelings for her and then asks Ben to marry her. Adorable.

So, I haven’t been too into this story. It was one of those books that was just good enough for me to keep reading, but it was never anything that blew my mind. After reading this last issue, I’m glad I decided to stick with it. First off, I like this universe’s Jessica Drew and I think bringing her into S.H.I.E.L.D. before Spider-Man is a really cool thing to do. What really made this book for was Reed Richards being the bad guy. I thought it was really interesting to look back through Ultimate Fantastic Four and this recent trilogy to see how he was just pushed to his breaking point. The guy had a very abusive father and then when he finally becomes Mr. Fantastic, he blows it. He keeps screwing it up, but all he sees is how great he could be. Almost every threat that this version of the Fantastic Four faced was brought on by Reed, but the way he sees it, it’s everyone else’s fault. It drove him over the edge and I thought it was a pretty interesting way to go. After reading this book, I hope that they decide to start up a new Ultimate Fantastic Four book. I’m interested to see what would happen if Sue, Ben, and Johnny kept the team going. So, it wasn’t the best story I ever read, but Bendis is always able to entertain me and I’m excited to see what’s next.

Ken Zeider