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Week of the Dead

Week of the Dead, Day 3: Mr. Fantastic

We crack open artist Juan Doe's sketchbook for a peek at FANTASTIC FOUR: ISLA DE LA MUERTE

By Ryan Penagos FANTASTIC FOUR: ISLA DE LA MUERTE sees Marvel's First Family heading to Puerto Rico to tackle both the Mole Man and the chupacabra, courtesy of Tom Beland (True Story, Swear to God) and artist Juan Doe (X-MEN: THE 198 covers)! Check out a bevy of Doe's behind-the-scenes sketches and designs, and see what the creative duo has to say about the FF's big brain, Mr. Fantastic!
Beland and Doe, working as writer and artist, respectively, obviously approach the story and the characters differently, but they both see the core characteristics that truly make Reed Richards "Mr. Fantastic."

Mr. Fantastic sketch
by Juan Doe

"Reed was an absolute blast to draw," says Doe. "He literally came to life for me the first time I put down the pencil to draw him. His elasticity was such an engaging aspect, I approached it as if I had those powers. Even in the most pragmatic situations, like when Reed is sitting with Sue waiting to watch a movie, he stretches his arm all the way into the kitchen to grab a bowl of popcorn. Even the most brilliant man on Earth can see that it's pretty smart to maximize ones ability in the most efficient of ways. That's his style."

Mr. Fantastic sketch
by Juan Doe

Connecting with Reed didn't come quite so easily for Beland at first. "Possibly the toughest character to write, in my opinion," notes Beland, referring to the FF's brainy leader. "He's a genius and I'm not (I had to look UP the word 'genius' on my spellcheck, for example), so it's a tough voice to bring out to the page. I can read other writers who pull out this AMAZING stuff, especially in the gadgets he creates and how he explains how they work. Go read some of what Dwayne McDuffie does with that character and you'll see why I was intimidated writing him myself. Dyayne's Reed is a genius, who can explain anything and everything and my Reed is riding the square bus to science class.

Mr. Fantastic sketch
by Juan Doe

"But Reed is also a loving husband and good friend...who is also the smartest man alive. So, I focused more on Reed's role of husband and friend and at that point he was fun to write. Of the three [men on the team], Reed has the most patience...since he has to catch everyone up on what's going on. I mean, I could NEVER be that patient when I'm explaining what unstable molecules are for the billionth time." "At one point I dressed him in a black turtleneck," adds Doe. "It was a nod to Steve Jobs, who I would assume has Mr. Fantastic's name on his iPhone. By the way, I think Reed had a hand in designing that marvelous little phone, really I do.

Mr. Fantastic sketch
by Juan Doe

"In the end, Reed is the consummate hero and tactician," muses Doe. "His skills marvelously displayed at the crux of the book. That was a great dynamic to work with, when the leader sets off the plan in reaction to a seemingly dire situation and the rest of the team reacts in unison, with complete confidence and execution. All that stems from him, a born leader."
Join us tomorrow as we spotlight the Human Torch!
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