It is better to know your enemy if you want to win a battle, and Marvel’sFantastic Four Evil Adversaries does exactly that. Unlike other books glorifying the heroes for their superpowers, this one presents the adversaries of Marvel Comics’ first family, and how they ended up on the dark side.

You will be surprised to know that in the past, many super villains joined hands to defeat Fantastic Four and one major Marvel superhero still thinks they are the bad guys! Thankfully, this superhero team never leaves each other’s side and is still defending the world to the best of their abilities.

Written by Simon Beecroft, this book for ‘Proficient Readers’ begins with an introduction to Fantastic Four, if you didn’t know the team. After explaining their powers and their abilities, we move on to those against whom they battle nearly 24x7. If you thought that only Dr Doom was their main adversary, think again because the bad doctor features very late in the list. There is The Mole Man who lives underground, but attacks whenever he wants; you also get to know why Namor The Sub-Mariner has ‘personal’ issues with the team; is The Hulk a friend or a foe to Reed Richards and his team and why Skrulls, The Mad Thinker and The Frightful Four believe that by ending their rivals, they can take over the world.

What makes this book all the more interesting is the way it has been published. Every character, be it the good, the bad or downright ugly is given equal importance and the team of illustrators must be commended for doing a superb job. Each terrifying tyrant and vicious villain, and the reason behind his tyranny and villainy respectively is explained so that the next time you witness a Fantastic Four adventure, you know the history behind the enmity. Even if you are not very fond of reading, this book compels you to read because the font is pleasant to the eyes, the sentence structure is easy to understand and there is a glossary at the end to make you understand certain words.

If you didn’t know who the Silver Surfer is, why Puppet Master doesn’t approve of the Fantastic Four, what makes Super-Skrull the most dangerous Fantastic Four villain and what were Doctor Doom’s origins before he turned evil, look no further. All major villains in the Fantastic Four universe are mentioned here making you understand everything there is to know about how ‘Fantastic’ our team of four superheroes really is!

Published in Dawn, Young World, July 4th, 2020