Episode #2: Doomed
Original Airdate: September 9th, 2006

Doctor Doom hacks into Reed’s consciousness, transferring his mind into Reed’s body. Now trapped inside Doom’s body, Reed must fight his way back to his family and friends before Doom transforms the Baxter Building into a weapon that could wipe out the Fantastic Four and half of the city.

Written by Rob Loos and George Taweel
Directed by Franck Miohel
Music by Noam Kaniel
Animation By Sunmin/ The Animation Studio/ Fantasta

Mr. Fantastic - Hiro Kanagawa
Invisible Woman - Lara Gilchrist
The Thing - Brian Dobson
Human Torch - Christopher Jacot
Dr. Doom - Paul Dobson
H.E.R.B.I.E. - Sam Vincent


Screw On Head - Even if “Doomed” isn’t a quantum leap in quality, it’s certainly an improvement in terms of story and animation compared to the series premiere “Trial By Fire”.

Call the body switching scenario cliché, but I found that this story was very fun and enjoyable. Reed’s experience as Doom, particularly in the Latverian Embassy, was the most enjoyable part of the episode for me. Even if it’s a goofy place to imprison Reed, I thought it was neat that Doom would choose to lock Reed up in his own body, trapped inside his own lair. I really enjoyed the bit where Reed orders a Doombot to destroy itself, and it wilfully plunges to its death.

Doom causing trouble in Reed’s body was fun, but it just didn’t strike me as interesting as seeing a peek into Doom’s neck of the woods. There was a sense of danger and intrigue seeing Reed roam threw Doom’s foreboding fortress, while seeing Doom hurt Ben’s feelings and weird Sue out in the Baxter Building just doesn’t seem that interesting. Granted, Doom’s scenes worked to arouse suspicion among the rest of the four, but it wasn’t all that exciting until Doom finally revealed his plan and it began going into motion.

While the visual direction is about as awkward as the first episode, the animation this time around seems a bit more fluid and lively, thought that isn’t saying much, as it’s still pretty stiff when all is said and done. The fights scenes are a tad hard to follow, but they’re definitely more exciting than those in “Trial By Fire.” To pick the lesser of two evils, I definitely feel the direction needs to tightened up on the series, as it’s a sad moment when you realize you’re watching an episode that’s directed just about as well as any awkwardly conceived “Spider-Man Unlimited” episode.

“Doomed” is not a bad episode by any means. Even if it isn’t told all that well visually, the story here is very solid and satisfying in the end. The voice actors, particularly Paul Dobson as Dr. Doom and Hiro Kanagawa as Mr. Fantastic, all did a fine job here. If Moonscoop can tighten up their direction to be clearer and more concise, and animate shots a bit more fluidly, Fantastic Four has the potential to be as satisfying all around as this story was in itself.

Arsenal - The body-switch episode. It's an old plot device. The hero and the villain switch bodies, supporting characters act surprised when the switchers act unusually, and hilarity ensues.

The trick doesn't work as well in "Doomed" simply because we do not know Reed and Dr. Doom well enough to know when they are acting uncharacteristically. We have only been following Reed for one episode; and the first time we see Victor von Doom, he has Reed's brain in his body.

The obvious questions: Who is Doom? Why does he want to switch bodies with Reed specifically? Why doesn't the Fantastic Four try to stop Doom from escaping at the end?

This is the second cliché sci-fi plot in a row for Fantastic Four. First, a hero was put on trial; now, we have a body switch. At this rate, we should expect Fantastic Four to travel in time or get struck with a shrink ray soon. (In all fairness, Fantastic Four used a lot of these plots in the comics. Unfortunately, FF has been so heavily imitated over the years, it comes off as unoriginal.)

This episode is not bad--not by any means. Character interaction is stronger, and Doom shows promise as a villain. Once again, there are some funny lines--most of the Johnny's.

The animation is also strong. The fight scenes are better staged than "Trial by Fire." Less punches are pulled, literally.


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