Doctor Doom is getting married in Latveria to his long-time cosmic-powered adjutant, Victorious. While this marriage is ceremonial in nature — the not-so-good Doctor has no prurient expectations of her — it remains a big show, and Doom wants to make a splash, including having his implacable foil Reed Richards as best man and a pledge to end all grudges with any attendees, bringing T'challa and Namor out, for curiosity's sake if nothing else. What could possibly go wrong?
Well, Fantastic Four #33 establishes that Johnny Storm cheated on his interstellar soul mate by doing the horizontal Latverian lambada with the aforementioned Victorious prior to all this happening. Johnny, with the rest of the team, is at the wedding. A literal powder keg of possible "shenanigans" (as Ben Grimm's nascent wife Alicia says) is laid out as a meal, and everybody's getting a plate.
Dan Slott's the chef behind this gourmet serving of grandeur and goofiness, as the pot has to boil over because it's clearly set up that way. His script adds a number of clever elements (the wedding "party," for example) that are perfect fits. At the same time, the visual storytelling from R.B. Silva, Luca Maresca, Jesus Aburtov, and Joe Caramagna does a solid job portraying emotions (Sky's sense of betrayal, Doom's indignance, Victorious' frustration, and so on).
The only possible criticism here would be that literally anyone could take a look at this and see nothing good could possibly happen. Given that three of the world's smartest people walked into this with open eyes and willing hands, and it only appears that one of them had a backup plan (and a half-hearted one, when you really think about it), the whole setup is a little far-fetched. Moreover, a character makes a choice at the worst possible time for such a decision, and it helps the plot but contradicts almost every choice the character has ever made before. That's weird.
If you read this entire issue like it's in the voice of the screenwriter from Pitch Meeting, it might make more sense, but as it is, it's like trying to sort the madness from the reality in Gail Simone tweets — a very enjoyable trip that may not make the most sense when scrutinized. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.
Fantastic Four #33
By Dan Scott, R.B. Silva
THE BRIDE OF DOOM! Part 2: 'Royal Wedding' You are cordially commanded to Latveria for the greatest wedding ceremony in the history of the Marvel Universe…far greater than that lowly, uninspired and commonplace wedding of Reed Richards and whoever that woman was. These are the nuptials of our beloved leader, Victor Von Doom, and his most devoted and noble subject, Victorious. Attendance is mandatory. Special guest stars: PRINCE NAMOR and the BLACK PANTHER.