Writer: Christopher Cantwell
Artist: Salvador Larroca
Color Artist: Guru-eFX
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover Artist: Aco
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Publisher: Marvel Comics
It can’t be denied that when it comes to Marvel villains, Doctor Doom reigns supreme. The iconic armor, the cloak, the nation state under his despotic rule–he’s the premier supervillain of Marvel Comics, the one longtime fans know and love but also love to hate. Victor von Doom is a complicated character, at times sinister and sympathetic, and with Doctor Doom #1, we’re treated to both sides of the equation, leaving us to wonder: just what will the good doctor do next?
A new lunar installation promises to reverse the effects of pollution with cutting-edge science contributed by Reed Richards and Tony Stark. The media and scientific community are gung-ho to begin the project, but Doctor Doom makes it clear he has grave reservations, as it involves the creation of a miniature black hole. On the moon. Of course, Doom being Doom, he doesn’t phrase things diplomatically, and his warning is dismissed as a case of sour grapes. In the wake of the broadcast, tragedy strikes and Doom looks to be responsible. With time running out, can Victor clear his name? And will anyone actually believe that Doctor Doom isn’t the bad guy?
It isn’t an easy feat to walk the fine line between villain and anti-villain, but Christopher Cantwell manages to make Doom equal parts menacing and understandable, often at the same time. Doom is a genius, a man who has sought redemption but has also committed some heinous crimes. With this new series, Doom’s recent run as a would-be hero is still fresh in the reader’s mind, but we know from experience in comics that villains becoming heroes rarely lasts for long.
The art by Salvador Larrocha is beautiful, giving everything from the lunar installation to Doomstadt to Doom’s armor a real weight and sense of power. Doom is commanding on every page, and the interplay between the dialogue and the impassive metal mask is a nice touch. The colors by Guru-eFX jump off the page, and when another colorful figure arrives on the scene, there’s a nice contrast between Doom and his flag-themed opponent. The lettering work by VC’s Cory Petit provides some nice vocal flourishes for the characters, and the cover by Aco is breathtaking.
Doctor Doom is a series with rich potential for good or evil. With this debut issue, it looks to be off to a pleasantly ambiguous start, leaving the reader with questions, concerns, and a desire to know more. I can’t wait for the next issue.