Welcome to 52 in 52, a look at the vast world of Marvel Unlimited. I will be reading and sharing my thoughts each week regarding a different single arc or event from somewhere within the world of Marvel Unlimited, trying to find things I haven’t read that are relevant to the current comic or cinematic landscape, or completely irrelevant and just fun to read.
One year. 52 tales. One per week. Marvel Unlimited.
Let’s do this.
On the docket this week: Books of Doom *Warning, there be spoilers ahead*
BOOKS OF DOOM #1-6
Written by Ed Brubaker
Art by Pablo Raimondi
Release Date: November 2005 – May 2006
We’re about half way through the adventure that is 52 In 52, and that calls for Doom.
Some of you may know this about me, and I suppose others may not. I’m partial to the mighty Doom. There is no greater villain in comics. Depending on the writer and take on Doom, there is arguably no greater character in comics. People say Darkseid is…well that’s just bulls***. DOOM IS.
I’ve been known to enjoy comics by Ed Brubaker as well, in my time as a comic reader. His Captain America run brought me back into comics like a ferocious wild man, and his work on Velvet is excellent. She puts James Bond to shame and Brubaker is a beast.
So, Books of Doom should be right up my alley, right? One of my favourite writers ever working on the origin of the mightiest villain of all time? It should be a slam dunk, right? It was such an obvious slam dunk that I found myself very nervous. What if it sucked? What if it was a terrible take, or even written half bad but full of weak, crappy art? What was I going to do if this one tanked?
It doesn’t matter….cause it was aces.
Victor Von Doom is an extremely complex character, and that is what makes him such an amazing villain. He’s not always wrong. He’s not always evil. Some things are simply a matter of perspective. His history is dark, as you can well imagine for a man who encases himself in armour and raises the Hell he has in the past, but Brubaker writes it brilliantly. He highlights the torment of the grand dictator without milking obvious points or exploiting difficult situations. He delves into the darkness but never lets it fully consume Doom, which I found astounding. I expected this miniseries to be darker than it is, even though there is really nothing happy occurring. It is the ominous beginnings of a tyrant who would go on to rule a country with an iron fist and save the world many times over. He’s complex to say the least, and Brubaker got him. He got him in a way that only Hickman has, and I’d be lying if I said I don’t want Brubaker to come back to Marvel and write more Doom.
As I mentioned, the greatest villains are the ones you can almost side with. The ones where if you put yourself in their shoes and twisted your logic you could actually side with. The ones with noble intentions but terrible methods. The Dooms and Darth Vaders of the world. Doom’s history with his parents, Reed Richards, the military and Latveria are told in a compelling way that makes this overlord make sense. I was very worried Brubaker wasn’t going to be able to set the foundation for such an iconic character in only six issues, but he did it. It’s all right there – how the Doctor came to be and why he is the best of the best.
The artwork by Pablo Raimondi is amazing. I will freely admit I have never heard of Pablo, but I was astounded by his work. This is some damn sharp artwork in these books, crisp and clean but dark and brooding. There are some astounding pages (like the one below) and Doom is well represented here, folks. The man who would save the universe and then build a new one and rule it with an iron fist is rendered with great style here.
Books of Doom, folks. Read it. Read it right freakin’ now. All hope lies in Doom. Hail.
Next up: Thor: Ragnarok
Special thanks to John Ernenputsch for helping to curate this adventure.
More information on Marvel Unlimited can be found here: http://marvel.com/comics/unlimited