For ruining their wedding, Doctor Doom punishes the Human Torch in the worst possible way: by giving it the same horrible weakness as the Thing.

Warning: Contains spoilers for Fantastic Four # 34!

Doctor doom proves he’s Marvel’s most diabolical villain by ruthlessly punishing the Human Torch in a terrifying new way – giving him the same weakness as Ben Grimm, aka The Thing. The Fantastic four and Doom have fought many times before, but this time the only person to blame for the hostilities is Johnny Storm, for ruining Doom’s near-perfect wedding. In Fantastic Four # 34, written by Dan Slott with art by RB Silva and colors by Jesus Aburtov, the team (and especially the Human Torch) experience the true wrath of Doom.

Doctor Doom’s wedding to Lady Victorious was going to be the moment when he made his peace with the Fantastic Four once and for all. He even asked Reed Richards to be best man, an act that was once unthinkable considering the couple’s history. But Johnny Storm’s past actions spoil what could have been a monumental ax burial in comic book history. At the altar, seconds before the vows are said, Lady Victorious interrupts the ceremony and, in full view of the crowd, admits that she has “… I’ve been intimate … with Johnny Storm.” Everyone present is horrified … except Namor, who laughs hysterically.

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Doom is appropriately furious. A massive battle ensues: T’challa, Namor, and the Fantastic Four against Doom’s robotic army in the capital of Latveria. Amid the chaos of the fight, Doom sees Lady Victorious save Johnny Storm’s life from a robot and is devastated. He subsequently decides that death is too good for the Human Torch, and a Latverian device is activated, transforming Johnny Storm into an overheated version of his normal body covered in flames. He apparently has no control over its power, and more importantly, he cannot extinguish its flames. In Doctor Doom’s own chilling words, “From this day you will be a true human Torch.”

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In a single move, Doctor Doom has bestowed The Thing’s classic weakness on Johnny. Since then Fantastic Four # 1 was first published in 1961, Ben Grimm could not “turn off” his powers like the others, and considered himself an inhuman monster because of it. But Johnny’s fate is possibly worse; The Thing could still interact with people and live his life, but Johnny can’t even get close to others without risking their lives. Even Reed Richards doesn’t know how to heal Johnny, and the trouble ends with the four of them flying away from Latveria – Johnny keeping a safe distance, yelling “I’m really not going to be like this forever, am I?”

The scope of the consequences of Doom’s ruined wedding remains unknown. Doom is a dictator, and his control over Latveria’s media has ensured that his citizens will think exactly what he wants them to think; the whole country now believes that the wedding ceremony was a cunning ruse to extract Doctor doom’s enemies. But the assistants know the truth, along with the Fantastic four and Johnny Storm, now permanently a human torch.

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