Monday, November 14, 2016


Writer/Penciler: John Byrne | Embellisher: Joe Sinnott
Colorist: Glynis Oliver | Letterer: John Workman
Edits: Michael Carlin | Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

The Plot: The Human Torch storms the Latverian embassy in response to the Invisible Woman’s distress signal. He meets up with She-Hulk and the Wasp, and they're all soon joined by Mister Fantastic as well. But the group is quickly captured by Doctor Doom, who places them into personalized prisons.

Doom explains to his captives how he survived his battle with Tyros and stole Norm MacArthur’s body. He then reveals his plan to use sorcery to recreate his original body, but his spell instead summons the Beyonder. Beyonder prepares to kill Doom, but Reed speculates that Doom was pulled from the future to participate in the Secret Wars, and that killing him now, before he can join that conflict, will break a temporal loop of the Beyonder’s own creation, thus destroying time itself.

Beyonder agrees and spares Doom. He recreates his original body and returns his mind to it, thus restoring Norm as well, then wipes all knowledge of the Beyonder from Doom’s memory and sends him back in time to Battleworld. The Beyonder then departs and the FF soon follow, even as a Doom begins to rematerialize from the Secret Wars, closing the temporal loop.

Sub-Plots & Continuity Notes: The Torch bumps into Peggy MacArthur’s neighbor, Sarah, who accompanied her to the embassy, and Sarah recaps the events of the prior issue.

Sue is still running around with half a haircut. (Her unkempt mane even makes the cover!)

Later, Doom reveals once again how he swapped minds with Peggy’s husband during his battle with Tyros. He also reminds us that his mother was a “true witch” and that magic is part of his birthright.

Reed provides a rundown of the original SECRET WARS saga:

The Quotable Doom: “I admire your power and extraordinary sensuality, She-Hulk. A pity that our first meeting… shall also be our last!”

(I think Doctor Doom has a liiiitle crush on She-Hulk. Within the span of the subsequent two pages, he refers to her as "magnificent" and “beautiful.”)

My Thoughts: If there’s one thing John Byrne and I have in common (besides a strong belief that modern Marvel comics really suck), it's an enjoyment of time loops and predestination paradoxes. I just find such things really cool, and the more complex they are, the better I like them. This particular scenario is fairly straightforward, though — Beyonder pulls Doom from the future to participate in the Secret Wars, then when we reach that future point from which he was plucked, Doom disappears and then returns mere minutes later, the full 12 issues of SECRET WARS now under his belt.

I find myself wondering, also, what Byrne’s original idea was to get Doom back in his real body. I sincerely doubt the Beyonder factored into his plans since SECRET WARS hadn't happened yet when Doom was “killed”, and since there must certainly have been no inkling of a line-wide SECRET WARS II crossover event at that time. My guess would be that the plan was what Doom hints at here: using magic to gather the scattered atoms of his original form for reincorporation.

But, while the Beyonder waving his hand and perfectly recreating Doom is a bit of a letdown compared with that other idea, I'm willing to let it slide since we get a nifty time loop out of the bargain. I know Byrne despised the Beyonder, but he uses him well here and, given his penchant for such temporal shenanigans, I hope he at least appreciates that the character allowed him to explore that concept in FANTASTIC FOUR.

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