You're probably thinking that “no new comics from Diamond = no comic reviews”. Well, you're…
Doctor Doom #1 (Marvel Comics)
Villain led comics are typically pretty hard to pull off, but that doesn’t mean that Marvel isn’t going to try with Doctor Doom. From Halt and Catch Fire creator Christopher Cantwell and artist Salvador Larocca, the new series focusing on Victor Von Doom is both intriguing and a little confusing, mainly due to the characterization of Doom himself.
Recently reinstated as the ruler of Latveria, Doctor Doom is currently in conflict with other world leaders over the creation of the world’s first artificial black hole. Add in the fact that Doom is having visions of an alternate life that he’s never been a part of, one where he has a wife and family, it leads to a strange feeling of unease that Victor Von Doom is not used to. But all that pales in comparison to the terrorist attack that it is believed to be the cause of Doom. With the world after him now, Doom has to navigate the geopolitical world AND discover who is framing him, all before he loses control over the country he loves.
That’s the plot in a nutshell, and it’s pretty interesting, so what makes Doctor Doom so weird? Honestly, it’s Christopher Cantwell’s dialogue. While he easily handles the politics and leadership aspects of Doom, he also has Doom quip a lot, a move that’s not only strange, but also really out of character. It’s not even something that I feel like could be explained away with a malfunctioning Doombot. Having Doom make Brexit jokes and other lines makes him sound more like Spider-Man than one of the most menacing figures in the Marvel universe, and it honestly takes you out of the story.
Salvador Larocca is no stranger to villain-focused books, and after a lengthy run on Darth Vader with Keiron Gillen, it’s no surprise that he’s well suited here. Cantwell’s script may seem out of character, but Larrocca gives Doom the regalness and respect he deserves in these pages, and continues the stellar work he’s known for.
Fans of Doom are going to be in for an interesting time when they pick up Doctor Doom, and I’m really curious how they’ll react to this. I was very much looking forward to this series, and while I’m still going to pick up the next issue, I can’t say that it’s one I’m going to keep following right now.