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Mar 28

X-Men/Fantastic Four #3 annotations

Posted on Saturday, March 28, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

As always, this post contains spoilers, and the page numbers go by the digital edition.

COVER / PAGE 1. Well, it’s some of the X-Men and some of the Fantastic Four, isn’t it?

PAGES 2-6. The X-Men shoot down the Fantastic Four and capture them.

Hey, it’s a team-up series, they’ve got to fight. This is going to be a pretty short post, if you hadn’t figured.

We’ll see in the next scene that the FF get shot down over Doom’s island, which is where they were heading at the end of issue #2, but still feels a bit convenient.

PAGES 7-8. Recap and credits. The story is “To the Victor” by Chip Zdarsky, Terry Dodson, Rachel Dodson and Ransom Getty; I’m assuming you don’t need the pun explained.

PAGES 9-11. Dr Doom confronts both teams.

“Magneto could tear you apart… I believe he has.” In X-Men vol 2 #25, where Magneto tore out Wolverine’s adamantium skeleton.

That aside, this is pretty much people explaining the plot to one another, and Doom spelling out – as in the original X-Men/FF miniseries – that he’s going to prove a point by doing something that Reed Richards couldn’t.

PAGES 12-13. Franklin decides to let Doom carry out his experiment.

As Professor X helpfully points out, Doom has ulterior motives, but he’s not lying – he genuinely does intend to help Franklin.

PAGES 14-15. Some of the X-Men and FF decide to investigate the hidden Latverian mutants.

Magneto and Wolverine are taking the principled line here, that despite Franklin’s strategic importance to Krakoa as an Omega Mutant, it is morally unacceptable to abandon the other mutants in order to get hold of him. Note that the two characters who seemed happiest about this deal (other than Franklin and Doom themselves) were Kate and Professor X. Kate is mainly concerned to protect Franklin’s freedom of choice, but she and the Professor both seem to be attaching greater importance to Franklin’s power and value to Krakoa.

PAGE 16. A map of Doom Island.

PAGE 17. Mr Fantastic and the Beast check Doom’s technology.

This brings us back to a theory that was covered in a data page in issue #1 – it seeks to address the fact that most super powers are glaringly inconsistent with the Law of Conservation of Energy by explaining that mutants are channeling energy from some other source. (The original Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe was very fond of this sort of thing, so it has a long Marvel pedigree.) Doom seems to imply that his agenda here is partly to find a way into that source dimension so that he can claim it for himself.

PAGE 18. Professor X and Dr Doom talk.

Doom takes offence at Krakoa’s approach to international relations. He recognises the country but resents the mutant nationalism angle that claims that mutants are superior because they’re mutants – an argument that we have indeed heard plenty of mutants make, with their highly-dubious claims that mutant society is somehow going to be better than human society. To Doom, mutants are just people who start off with built-in weapons, and that isn’t anything worthy of respect in itself.

PAGES 19-21. Magneto, Emma and co find the Latverian mutants.

Doom Island seems to be a ludicrous mismatch of European architecture and clothing, and tropical plant life.

The two Latverian mutants, Ramonda and Hugo, are new characters. Emma immediately tells them that Krakoa is their “true home”, but they seem a bit more uncertain about that, and only partly out of fear of Doom.

PAGES 22-25. Reed and Hank discuss Doom’s plans, and Doom releases his Doombot Sentinels.

Beast endorses Doom’s plan on the basis that while there’s a risk of Franklin losing his powers altogether, he’s going to lose them soon anyway. Reed doesn’t seem to dissent from that explanation of the risk, so it’s not really clear why he advises Franklin against it – maybe just distrust of Doom, or maybe he’s hoping he can find a better way in the time remaining. Either way, he doesn’t make his case very well.

Doom seems to have disguised one of the Latverian mutants as a Doombot, and lured the X-Men into killing him. Clearly, Doom was always expecting the Krakoans to go blundering around looking for the hidden mutants, and he seems to be engineering an excuse to let his Sentinels out. Why he needed an excuse isn’t immediately clear, but presumably it’s tied to the X-Men being representatives of a nation state.

Bring on the comments

  1. Michael says:

    Doom does have a point.
    If you have the power to grow sharp claws, -does- that automatically make you superior to normal humans?
    But can you, by default, then claim that EVERY mutant is superior to humans? Because there are some pretty shitty mutant manifestations out there–some of which can be matched by a normal person, some of which are even detrimental… It’s just that we usually just see the 1 percent, the ones with useful powers. You have to assume some mutants, the ones who went to live with the Morlocks for instance, are downright useless or awful.

  2. K says:

    Doom’s point about superiority is somewhat undermined by it being strictly limited to whether every mutant is inherently superior to a *diplomat* (and thus deserving of diplomatic immunity) rather than just people in general.

    Of course limiting the scope is meant to make the point easier to swallow and avoid opening a broader debate.

    But at the same time… Latveria aside, a diplomat title has increasingly become, in more and more places, a cushy job handed out as a favor rather than “study of culture” as Doom says.

  3. YLu says:

    Doom’s point is wonderfully in-character because, like with everything else about Doom, it’s ultimately about his own ego.

  4. Joseph S. says:

    Psylocke is an odd choice, no? She doesn’t appear in this issue, or at all in the series if I’m not mistaken. Where does this push for the character come from? Some version of the character is already in Fallen Angels, Excalibur, and now Hellions, she really needs to be on the cover of a series she isn’t in?

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