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Marvel Novel Series (1978) - #5
"Fantastic Four: Doomsday"
Pocket Books

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Marv Wolfman

Len Wein
Marv Wolfman

Cover Artist(s):
John Buscema
Peter Ledger

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Cover Date: May 1979
Cover Price: US $ 1.95

Issue Tagline: None.

Format: Black & White; Bookshelf; 191 pages

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Dedication: "To my father Abe, who started me out. And to Michele and Jessica, who are continuing me on my trek."

During the course of an interview with Paul Kupperberg (posted on Kupperberg's blog Capes, Cowls & Costumes at, author Marv Wolfman recalled writing this novel: "With FANTASTIC FOUR: DOOMSDAY, I had eight days to write it.... With the FF, the one I did on my own, I started the book with the origin of the FF, wrote about 30 pages, decided their origin made no logical sense and trashed all the pages, then went back and sluffed [sic] off their origin in a few lines and spent the time concentrating on Dr. Doom. I realized what worked with pictures didn’t work with prose, and therefore, had to aim the novel toward what I thought could work that way and their origin couldn’t, or at least I didn’t have the skill to pull it off satisfactorily.

I also realized you couldn’t concentrate on action as you did in all Marvel comics of the time. You had to write the characters. It was a real learning process, even as I was rushing through it, hoping I wasn’t mangling the entire English language as I did it. There was no time for rewrites, and because of the deadline, I made up the entire plot as I was going along, so I wasn’t always sure if it was coherent.

Len was making corrections, but for some reason, they didn’t use them, which might explain why I’ve never read the printed book. Working on a computer like I do today, it would have been much easier and I could have corrected lines as I wrote them, but I didn’t have time to do that while typing as fast as I could. I needed the backup corrections to take what was being vomited out of my typewriter and turn them into real sentences. Alas, that never happened.

But I learned a lot. You really did have to see comics and novels differently, and as I wrote, I think I may have gotten fractionally better at that. But at the end, I swore that I would never write another book unless I had the time and the talent to do it well. I didn’t write another novel for 26 years, because I felt my prose writing would pale in comparison to everything else being published. Every time I thought about it, I backed away in fear, until I was assigned a novel and realized I had to face that fear."

ISBN 0-671-82087-7

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