Fantastic Four Annual #2: Reed's Stretchy Body 82
A Stan Lee Story Spectacular
A Jack Kirby Illustrative Idyll
A Chic Stone Delineation Delight
A Sam Rosen Lettering Landmark
It's a little harsh to brand the final story in this annual as 'throwaway', but coming after the detailed origin of Doctor Doom, and the enjoyable wackiness of the reprint of Fantastic Four #5, having the team fight each other for a bit in an embassy is underwhelming. The whole story feels like filler, from the uninspired conflicts through the conclusion of the Reed/Doom mind battle (spoilers: this is the one where Reed convinces Doom that he's killed him, so the villain happily walks away).
Even this moment that snaps Sue and Reed out of their conflict lacks weight. Doctor Doom randomly decides to check if his face is still messed up, and when he sees his reflection, he starts shooting up the room that he's in, which distracts the feuding lovers.
What works a bit better is how Reed gets himself out of the way of one of Doom's errant laser blasts, corkscrewing his body to maintain his momentum without getting hit, an example of how Kirby's energetic visuals can raise any old tired plot.
Check out our coverage of Fantastic Four Annual #2 on our thirty-fourth episode: The Doomcast, with special guest host Alan Middleton