Details: Currently ongoing. More information can be found at https://www.marvel.com/comics/series/27932/doctor_doom_2019_-_2020
Somewhere along the way, Doctor Doom became one of my favorite characters. Part of that was because of Hickman’s time on the Fantastic Four and Secret Wars. Part of that was because of the Infamous Iron Man series where Doom became a good guy for a while. In any case, I really wanted to see more of the character.
Then this new series comes along that is all about Doctor Doom. This series focuses on all the aspects that make up the villain that is Doctor Doom. We get a look at the scientist aspect of Doom. We also get to see how Doom behaves as the leader of a country and his interactions with the rest of the world governments. Lastly, we get to see how Doom interacts with the other super villains of the Marvel universe as he himself is a super villain.
The story basically follows Doom getting dethroned. He is accused of some high crimes by the world’s government and goes on the run. Not something that is common for Doctor Doom. We follow Doom as he builds up his strength and tries to retake his country.
The story is fine, but it’s still a bit early to make any big judgments. I like seeing Doom vulnerable as he is often shown as an invincible character. Sadly, there is little to none of the morally gray character we saw in Infamous Iron Man. The Doom portrayed here is a super villain through and through and the reasoning he uses to get through his life is undoubtedly malevolent.
The art is fine.
Overall, the series is entertaining enough, but I would love to see a bit more of the Infamous Iron Man character. One who tries to do good despite his nature. This Doom here gives into his nature and any apparent acts of good are in truth self serving.
Details: First published in 2016. This is a review of issues one through twelve. Official site is http://marvel.com/comics/series/22596/infamous_iron_man_2016_-_present
At the end of Secret Wars, the Fantastic Four bid their adieu and disappeared, possibly never to return. While it is common knowledge that superheroes never truly die, it seemed as if the Fantastic Four had finally met its match: greedy business people fighting over movie rights who were willing to kill a historic comic book series in order to get their way. In my stupor over the potential death of the Fantastic Four comic book line, I desperately looked for some alternative to get my science fiction comic book fix. Luckily, Marvel decided not to wipe out all the characters in the Fantastic Four franchise and left us with the Infamous Iron Man.
There won’t be spoilers for Infamous Iron Man ahead, but I will go over the events leading up to Infamous Iron Man.
Link to the Marvel page: http://marvel.com/comics/issue/57620/secret_wars_2015_9
Secret Wars #9 concludes Marvel’s most recent universe spanning miniseries and it was great.
This is largely due to Hickman’s interpretation of the Fantastic Four. I’ve written about this in a prior blog post, but Hickman shows he truly understands the core of what makes the Fantastic Four appealing: that balance between cosmic science fiction and the intimacy of familial relationships.
Secret Wars #9 — as does much of the whole series — focuses on these two themes. The final climactic showdown occurs with all of the most powerful aspects of the Marvel universe clashing together. Piercing it all is the final battle between Reed Richards and Doctor Doom. It’s another look into their relationship; two rivals/brothers striving for a better world and pursuing it in different ways. One method being kinder while the other is ruthless.
The ending panels explain perfectly why I love the Fantastic Four and what they represent to me. I only hope Marvel is putting together another comic book series and not trying to screw Fox (who holds the Fantastic Four movie rights) by shutting down the Fantastic Four down forever.
Secret Wars is great. It’s Marvel’s great comic book event this year and, thankfully, it is really great. Hickman has often times written long winded, overly complex stories and this time, I am happy to say he has not done so.
The story here has many moving parts, but all parts feel essential to the eventual conclusion. The story moves along and each plot line has just enough to keep the story moving without going into the superfluous monologues I’ve come to expect from Hickman.
Fun moments abound, from a conversation between Reed’s, the current state of the relationship between Black Panther and Namor, and the discovery of what happened to the Fantastic Four in Doom’s Battleworld. It’s all interesting developments and interesting takes on the characters.
Which leads me to the saddest bit of this book: the Fantastic Four. Most prominent in this book is the Fantastic Four’s involvement in the story. They are essential. It is my greatest fear that this will be the last Fantastic Four story, that this will be Reed’s last story. I sincerely hope that is not the case because, while I have not enjoyed most of the Fantastic Four stories, I have enjoyed Hickman’s run. It embodies what is great about the Fantastic Four: family and fantastic science fiction. Reading through Secret Wars one cannot help but feel that this is Reed Richard’s last stand. His ultimate defeat comes not from Doom, but from Disney/Marvel and their desire for money (in case you are unaware, there are rumors that Marvel is ending the Fantastic Four comic books, not for narrative reasons, but because they cannot reacquire the rights to the films and they no longer want to promote the property).
Score: 8.0/10 While many characters from the Marvel universe are present, this is a Fantastic Four story to me and it is a great one.