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  1. #1
    Latverian ambassador Iron Maiden's Avatar
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    Default Doctor Doom #8 "Peace in the Valley" Review and SPOILERS

    There is just so much to unpack in this issue it's that one doesn't know where to begin. As seen in the preview pages, Doom is in a dark place as this issue begins. In the previous issue he returned to his castle in Latveria to deal with the puppet king Dimitri Fortunov in a most brutal fashion. It didn't take long for this killing to come back to haunt him as he sees a vision of his two sons from the other Earth and they have slashed there faces in honor of their father.

    Sal Larrocca fills the book with a mix of full page and double page spreads yet it is still a dense read. I liked a couple of the surprise cameos that pop up , one of them being a toy from the 1980s, and I will leave those out so readers can see for themselves.

    I know the Blue Marvel fans have been upset with how Cantwell has been using Adam in this series but I think you may like this better. He is pretty much left on his own along with the other Earth's more heroic Otto Octavius . He has been sent by that worlds Doom to solve the black hole problem from their end. Victor and Otto have a plan to take care of the black hole with negative energy explosives. Otto tells Adam that his Victor has also been seeing visions but only he sees our MU Earth. They view this Earth as Hell as opposed to "our" Doom's viewing an idyllic Earth where he is a benevolent ruler who has served his time in prison and came out the better for it.

    In the meantime Doom has been given carte blanche to annex Sykmaria...no one opposes the idea anyway.. and he accomplishes this in a rapidly brutal campaign, minus the Ultimate Nullifier he acquired previously. Some unnamed heroes snitched on Doom to Galactus and he had it retrieved by....well, you'll find out if you read this. Doom finds this warfare to be an exhilarating experience and wreaks havoc in Symkaria with his army, even killing most of the livestock. Once again Cantwell does sprinkle some dark humor to this as we see Doom's war machine that he rides in with.

    There is a big reveal here about Zora/Lady Victorious when she finds out the identity of her mother. She is forced into make a choice by Doom and it changes the whole dynamic between them. Doom confesses to himself that she is the daughter he wishes he had but he forces her into making a tragic choice that takes away the idealized version she has of Doom.

    I was glad to see that Doom treats Kristoff a bit better here than last issue and gives him the responsibility of governor of the new southern region of Latveria, formerly known as Symkaria. It remains to be seen if this stays in effect in the MU. So now Kristoff gets to earn his spurs I guess. He did have some experience when he was still under the influence of the Rembrancer and then later when Doom appointed him regent when Doom had suffered some brain damage in the Fall of the Hulks storyline.

    I am going really miss this series. I think Cantwell has done a good job of being honest with the character. He never forgets the villainous impulses that consume the character while at the same time making him all too human.




    The new status quo....but for how long??


  2. #2
    Extraordinary Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    To me this issue felt odd.

    It feels like Cantwell had plans for a longer ongoing but he was then told that he needed to wrap up, so he basically put the plot of multiple story arcs into a single issue. There's enough story in this issue for at least two 4-issue arcs (at minimum)...I mean the conspirator behind Doom's ouster is Victorious' mom feels like it should have worked out a bit longer. The entire Conquest of Symkaria feels like a bigger storyline that isn't told.

    And the entire Otto from another earth with a heroic Doom (i.e. the same Doom we are presumably seeing in visions) and the whole goofy cosmic thing that he shares with Brashear from Rick and Morty, feels like it should have lingered a fair bit.

    A fairly disappointing issue imo. It feels rushed up, and it doesn't really pay off the stuff built up to now.

  3. #3
    Latverian ambassador Iron Maiden's Avatar
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    I have to disagree with you a bit but I can understand the feeling that things are rushed. I just liked the story we got as it is. But I too wonder if Cantwell had to wind things up quickly. Perhpas during this series long absence he must have gotten the offer for Iron Man or he made the pitch and it was accepted. I am pretty sure that even before the shutdown in March, he had tweeted that Larocca had already drawn up to issue #9 at least, which is usually how these things are handled. They work pretty far ahead as long as everyone is healthy and has no unexpected delays. It doesn't explain why this series took so long to come back to publication when other series came back much sooner.

    I also got the impression that this was going to be an ongoing when it was announced but Marvel could have been hedging their bets to see how sales would go.

  4. #4
    Mighty Member Biclopcicle's Avatar
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    Really disappointed to see the January solicitations. Yeah Cantwell had an interesting take but his ultimate direction is basically a return to status quo that Hickman had established in 2015/2016 which various writers (Slott, Bendis) undid for their own purposes.

    Doom will always be somewhat of a misanthrope (upon which Cantwell capitalized magnificently)...but that doesn't mean he cannot become a permanent force for good. It is the inner struggle and not the outer that defines Doom. Maybe that is Cantwell's greatest contribution to the character: Doom doesn't have to answer to his scarred face or Reed Richards, he has to answer to his own formulations of a life best lived. In that sense, it should remain the status quo. I had felt that Slott and Bendis cheapened what Hickman had accomplished with the character. Now, with Cantwell's even deeper personal insight into the character, any move against this return to a resolved, made whole Victor would only be more cartoonish than the character has ever been

  5. #5
    Latverian ambassador Iron Maiden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biclopcicle View Post
    Really disappointed to see the January solicitations. Yeah Cantwell had an interesting take but his ultimate direction is basically a return to status quo that Hickman had established in 2015/2016 which various writers (Slott, Bendis) undid for their own purposes.

    Doom will always be somewhat of a misanthrope (upon which Cantwell capitalized magnificently)...but that doesn't mean he cannot become a permanent force for good. It is the inner struggle and not the outer that defines Doom. Maybe that is Cantwell's greatest contribution to the character: Doom doesn't have to answer to his scarred face or Reed Richards, he has to answer to his own formulations of a life best lived. In that sense, it should remain the status quo. I had felt that Slott and Bendis cheapened what Hickman had accomplished with the character. Now, with Cantwell's even deeper personal insight into the character, any move against this return to a resolved, made whole Victor would only be more cartoonish than the character has ever been
    I don't think what Bendis did in Infamous Iron Man is as guilty as Slott of undoing Hickman's SW conclusion. In fact I think he definitely honored it by having Doom realize his old ways wouldn't work for him anymore. He really tried to do things differently but no one could accept it except for Doctor Strange.

    I agree that Doom's inner dialogue that is conveyed to us with his narration or entries into his journal are quite revealing. Doom has been a bundle of contradictions over the years...sometimes that his deliberate and sometimes it is because a writer's take is different. Or regrettably some just want to give the story a moutache twirling villain. Doom does have regrets about what he did to Zora but the deed is done and he will move on. I think Cantwell is showing us here that which he has discussed on Twitter. Doom feels he cannot be loved. He deliberately put her in the situation where she was tasked to kill her own mother, even if she never knew of her before this. In some ways he set herself up for the same thing he endured as a small child when his mother was killed by a Latverian soldier. Cantwell does drop a big hint that Zora may have to make a choice one day...Latveria or Doom.

    But one thing has been nagging me. What about Mistress Death and her plans for Doom? Will this play a role in the final few issues?

  6. #6
    Mighty Member Biclopcicle's Avatar
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    First, I agree Bendis is less culpable than Slott. But he did re-scar his face, which was part of a return to status quo

    There are definitely some loose ends that will stay that way. The last train ride with Kang helped, but I was expecting a lot more.

    Strange, BP, and now Doom have all lost their ongoings...such a shame. I'll still go back to my old idea of a Namor, Doom, Strange, and BP team up...like a modern Defenders. It could even work as a strictly GN format (maybe 2-3 volumes a year), but that's not how marvel does it

  7. #7
    Latverian ambassador Iron Maiden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biclopcicle View Post
    First, I agree Bendis is less culpable than Slott. But he did re-scar his face, which was part of a return to status quo

    There are definitely some loose ends that will stay that way. The last train ride with Kang helped, but I was expecting a lot more.

    Strange, BP, and now Doom have all lost their ongoings...such a shame. I'll still go back to my old idea of a Namor, Doom, Strange, and BP team up...like a modern Defenders. It could even work as a strictly GN format (maybe 2-3 volumes a year), but that's not how marvel does it
    What an excellent idea! But I don't know what BP's current frame of mind is and whether he would put up with Doom. In Doomwar his uncle was killed even if Doom didn't have a hand in it directly. IIRC one of the Wakandan dissidents shot him (the Desturi?)

    I figured that Doom would not keep that nice face....they want to keep some of Doom's "issues". It is this horror that he has lived with for years and keeps him in isolation from any kind of close relationship. People that get too close get shoved away. I'm surprised there has been no incident with Valeria now that she is older. BTW, I keep wondering if Zdarsky was laying the track for some kind of war with the mutants in the X-Men/Fantastic Four mini considering that conversation between Doom and Val in the last issue.

    I was expecting more developments with the Ultimate Nullifier but that was wrapped up pretty quickly too, another sign perhaps that there were more than 10 issues planned. I hope one day there is a volume 2. It seems like Marvel keeps producing mini series for Doom at certain intervals for the book market.

  8. #8
    Extraordinary Member JudicatorPrime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biclopcicle View Post
    Doom will always be somewhat of a misanthrope (upon which Cantwell capitalized magnificently)...but that doesn't mean he cannot become a permanent force for good.
    Doom may be complicated and in some respects a sympathetic, if not entirely endearing figure, but I hope they never make him a permanent force for good. He's like an affable serial killer. At a certain point you must recognize the irremediable flaw in their nature, or you will be left wan, gurgling viscera and wondering, "How could this happen?" before that eternal night takes you. I suspect someone like Doom sees redemption as more of a capitulation than an actual opportunity for absolution. If there is an immutably "good" Doom, keep him far away from 616. In our reverence we have lost sight of what true villainy is. It's time we got back to that. In comics and elsewhere. Let Victor lead the way.

  9. #9
    Extraordinary Member JudicatorPrime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Maiden View Post
    I know the Blue Marvel fans have been upset with how Cantwell has been using Adam in this series but I think you may like this better.
    Sadly, no. The farce continues. This is more of the same tripe where Blue Marvel is concerned. First, he doesn't need to breathe. Secondly, his intellect, which is supposed to be on Reed Richards - Doctor Doom level, was grossly nerfed the entire series. He doesn't fully grasp Doom's plan, didn't understand Otto's plan either, and has no plan of his own. The portal he stepped into must be called BM Futility. Thank you Cantwell for reminding us. And the clincher, of course, is that he's sitting there with Otto stark naked as if this is some kind of weird cult metaphysical exercise. When it's all said and done, Blue Marvel, a man that has gone toe to toe with the likes of King Hyperion and Sentry without even needing his energy manipulative powers, turns and run from the Brood. The Brood.

    At the end of the day I'm still left wondering why they used Blue Marvel at all for this story. But I guess a Sunday picnic all by itself wasn't good enough. They needed strange fruit swinging from the tree, too. Thus, we get this disastrous spectacle. I'm not familiar with Cantwell, but if this represents par for his storytelling ability, I'm embarrassed for him and Marvel.

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