This issue brings the last part of Doom’s Cosmic Power storyline. All in all, it’s a rather uneven tale, and this final installment holds to the off-kilter, uncommitted narrative of the previous ones. At one point, The Watcher leaves his laboratory on the moon because he’s too emotionally invested in the battle that is happening on earth. I wish the readers could be given the same reason for reading on, because there’s so much about this issue, and the three issues previous, that still doesn’t quite connect.
It’s such a great idea, and could have been one of the all-time greats. Before, the Fantastic Four faced the Power Cosmic and were flat-out defeated by it. Now it’s being used by a much more intelligent being that hates the FF with an obsessive, passionate hate. But sadly it lacks the depth, breadth, and conviction of the Galactus story. Doom spends too much time zipping around committing (relatively) petty acts of vandalism while the FF just bluster and moan in a fairly motivationless manner. In most of the tales so far, the bickering and squabbling only occurred when there was nothing else really going on, now they do it while fighting a threat arguably as great as Galactus, but for no reason or aim. And that does a lot to disarm the whole threat element of the storyline — the rest is disarmed by Doom’s unexplained inability to really finish off, or even adequately debilitate, any of the FF.
That side of it is really hard to accept, given that Doom’s had more than ample time, ability, and opportunity to finish off the FF, alone or together, many times over. And so the FF are never really punished for their selfishness and lack of teamwork — they just run out the clock until the Army can send in an “Anti-Cosmic Flying Wing”, which had been built according to Reed’s specifications. It’s a bit of a cheat, even though — as Stan Lee very helpfully points out in one of his up-front asides — we saw him designing and testing the thing last issue. The rest of Doom’s comeuppance only is effected by assumptions and guessing at what safeguards Galactus might have placed around earth to stop the Power Cosmic from leaving it.
Thankfully for the FF, and the rest of the world, Reed’s hunch pans out.