A black hole on the moon? What could possibly go wrong? It looks pretty obvious when a bunch of Latverian terrorists show up, but was Victor Von Doom actually behind this? Find out in Doctor Doom #1!
Writer: Christopher Cantwell
Artist: Salvador Larroca
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: October 9, 2019
Previously in Doctor Doom: Victor von Doom has a long and intricate history as one of best- known villains of Earth-616. Brilliant scientist, skilled user of magic, and leader of Latveria, he has a strong sense of right and wrong that is only skewed by strong desire to rule the world. Big things are happening on Earth, and he’s not too sure about them, but with his reputation as a super-villain, will anyone listen to his concerns?
BIG PLANS ARE AFOOT
Doctor Doom #1 opens at the start of an ambitious project – a plan to remove CO2 emissions from Earth’s atmosphere, thus slowing global climate change. The downside – the process creates highly toxic waste. The solution to that? Creating a stable black hole on the moon to dump the waste into, of course. The tone on TV news is excited, but when they bring in Dr. Doom to discuss this, he tries to warn them. He isn’t taken seriously; the interview is cut short; and they mention that he was once defeated by Squirrel Girl. It is not Victor’s day.
The news in Latveria is that the border country of Symkaria, suddenly wealthy, is starting to chivvy them. Victor stews on the day’s events, and asks Victorious (Zora), his right hand man, to fetch him Steve, the news guy who didn’t take him seriously. He stays up late that night, writing, and Kang arrives, lost in time but apparently linked to Doom. Victor asks him about the black hole – Project Antlion – but Kang doesn’t remember specifically what happened with it. Victor is notably melancholy, ruminating about happiness.
The melancholy persists, and late at night he hears music. Searching for its source, he appears to have a vision of another version of himself, unscarred, with a wife and family. One of the things I like about Doom is that although he can be megalomaniacal, he has distinctly human and even distinctly kind moments. What makes him fascinating is how quickly he can shift focus.
A couple weeks later, Project Antlion seems to be going along nicely. There’s been a significant reduction in CO2, and even a bit of cooling. The press wants a statement from him, and his assistant mentions that without a statement, they’re likely to announce that Doom was wrong. But he seems not to care and to be content to wait.
And then it happens. There is an explosion on the moon, and then the missiles of Latveria launch and destroy the collection station, apparently a complete surprise to Doom. His people don’t know what happened, but they do know that the Antlion Control Center was destroyed before their missiles hit. Then breaking news shows terrorists on the Station flying the Latverian flag.
Suddenly Latveria is under attack, and their defense system is offline. Doom is a worldwide public enemy number one. He gives the order to surrender. He says he’ll be arrested and instructs Victorious to step in as regent and cede military control to NATO. Then the superheroes start arriving.
I really liked this as a first issue. We know as well as Doom does that he actually did not cause this particular disaster, and while his response seems uncharacteristic in a way, it is an intelligent response. While I don’t agree with his desires to rule the world, I can sympathize with his realization that he is in a situation that is not in his control and that blustering his way out of it may not work this time.
TRADITIONAL AND MODERN
The art of Doctor Doom #1 is solid. The only place I got lost was the apparent visions to another timeline, because they fit it so organically, and I first wondered if Doom somehow had had a son and grandchildren when I wasn’t looking. I did really like the opening. The newscasters have just the right amount of smarminess in their expressions – you can practically hear the brittle brightness in their voices. I loved that, after they spoke with the scientist who gave them the soundbite about Project Antlion, the opposing voice is Doom, and we see him sitting in his throne in front of a medieval fireplace.
There are some truly beautiful large panels, especially the ones in Latveria, in and around Doom’s castle. There’s a lot of detail in them and they have a rather European flavor, and definitely look like the place has been around for centuries. The contrast with his very modern war room is stark. I like the fight scene as well, and the resulting damage to Doom’s castle speaks volumes to how, right now, his world seems to be crumbling around him.
BOTTOM LINE: AN INTERESTING SITUATION FOR VICTOR VON DOOM
Doctor Doom #1 seems like a solid start. I like that the big project that goes awry is not, in fact, one of Doom’s. Putting him in the position of needing to save the world while not being believed or trusted is a good fit, and I’m interested to see what happens next.
Dear Spoilerite,At Major Spoilers, we strive to create original content that you find interesting and entertaining. Producing, writing, recording, editing, and researching requires significant resources. We pay writers, podcast hosts, and other staff members who work tirelessly to provide you with insights into the comic book, gaming, and pop culture industries. Help us keep MajorSpoilers.com strong. Become a Patron (and our superhero) today.
Doctor Doom #1
Doom knew things were going to go wrong, but this is not quite what he expected.