There is going to be a lot of fuss today over Fantastic Four #32 and the Bride Of Doom. The choice of bride, what this means for the comic books and the Marvel Universe, and especially for Johnny Storm's place in all of this. But at the heart of it, there is a much bigger question about Alicia Grimm's role in all this.
Alicia Grimm, the wife of Ben Grimm, is a blind sculptor and daughter of The Puppet Master, a Fantastic Four villain who could control people by manipulating radioactive clay puppets he created of them.
She supposedly became Johnny Storm's partner when the Thing was away on the Secret War patchwork planet, but that was revealed to be the Skrull agent Lyja posing as Alicia to integrate herself with the Fantastic Four, while the real Alicia had been kidnapped.
This plot came back to the fore during the Skrull/Kree Empire war with the Cotati in the recent Empyre series, as Ben and Alicia adopt a couple of Skrull and Kree kids, the Skrull recalling how she used to visit the kidnapped unconscious body of Alicia on Skrull Homeworld.
Today's Fantastic Four sees Johhny Storm dealing with a number of partners, Crystal of the Inhumans, Lyja and his new soulmate Sky, as he struggles with issues of commitment.
With conflicts between all, everyone storming out on Johnny Storm, but one reaction of Lyja, deciding to leave Earth – and all hopes of a reconciliation with Johnny Storm – asks far more questions than it answers.
Because she is being controlled by Alicia Grimm, in the exact fashion that her father used to. removing consent, creating slaves, and asking the question how long has this been going on for.
Did she engineer the whole confrontation between Lyja and Johnny Storm in this issue? Who else apart from Lyja was she controlling. Is she the big bad? Because Johnny Storm then goes and does something else you might have thought out of character – at least for him right now.
Like father, like daughter? What has led Alica Grimm to follow in daddy's footsteps? And how long has she been doing this? And is this the big change Marvel was promising?
FANTASTIC FOUR #32
(W) Dan Slott (A) R. B. Silva, Javier Rodriguez (CA) Mark Brooks
THE BRIDE OF DOOM! Part 1: "Betrothal" The HUMAN TORCH's love life is changed forever when he must choose between his soulmate and his ex-wife…
And is Johnny Storm's first heartbreak, CRYSTAL, back in the book?! This is all too much! Fortunately, there is also a lot of punching, hitting and clobbering going on! All this and an ominous decree by DOCTOR DOOM! PLUS: A second tale in which Reed Richards duels Doctor Doom for the strangest prize imaginable!
Rated T In Shops: May 12, 2021 SRP: $4.99
I bought my copy from Piranha Comics in Kingston-Upon-Thames. Piranha Comics is a small south London comic store chain with a small south-east store in Kingston-Upon Thames's market centre, and a larger south-west store in Bromley, with an extensive back issue collection and online store. With a new store planned for Watford, if you are in the neighbourhood, check them out.