Writer: Christopher Cantwell
Artist(s): Salvador Larocca & GURU-eFX
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover(s): Salvador Larocca & GURU-eFX
Release Date: 28 October, 2020
Here are some answers for your next bar trivia: Ever wondered where on the actual earth Latveria and Symkaria are? How about how many swords Victor Von Doom has in his sword room? Remember when you bought that Doom action figure that came with a Jeep for him to ride around on? That has a name! You find all these things out (and more) this issue. How? Let’s jump in and find out.
This continues to be a difficult book to review, this issue is no different. We have 3 seperate narratives taking place in this book, with a change of font (and context) to let you know when we’ve switched narrative threads, and they all kind of intersect. I’ll do my best to seperate out the threads as I go!
We pick up with Doom, writing in his journal, not surprisingly whining about Reed Richards and how he’s always cleaning up after him. Reed didn’t turn up to help seal the Antlion rift, so the world asked Doom to do it. He twirls his metaphorical villain moustache and agrees, as long as he can declare war and invade Symkaria. Not content to just order his cronies to do his (mwah hah) bidding, he rides in in a Jeep with a giant cannon- he calls it his BLASTER BUGGY! He destroys the country, kills the cows and loses the ultimate nullifier. That’s ok, he muses. It was giving him weird dreams, so alls well that ends well as far as the ludicrously powerful macguffin is concerned. Doom has over 50,000 swords, and uses one to kill the countess he believed led the coup against him, only SNAP! It’s not her. Turns out Symkaria embedded a spy in Latveria, who turns out to be Zora- Doom’s only ally and his herald. In A Shakespearean twist, Doom orders Zora to kill her mother. She’s not too happy about it, but she figures she might as well. Sandwiched between Serbia and Hungary and a stones throw from Romania, according to the pastel map, lies Latveria and Symkaria. Only problem? His new turf is overrun by refugees, and his hospitals are overrun. First world dictator problems! We close with Doom writing in his journal, in a somewhat dandy robe, scarf..and metal Doom mask. He pledges to refrain from evil. Oh boy!
Meanwhile, threaded through the Doom storyline is an inexplicably naked Blue Marvel and the other dimensional Otto Octavius are at the heart of the singularity, overrun by the Brood. The Blue Marvel escapes through the portal, to parts unknown, yet still naked.
This book continues to be a slow burner, with the luxury of being off in it’s own corner of the Marvel Universe and free from being derailed and caught in crossover land. We’ve seen Doom as both a villain, anti-hero and even somewhat a hero, but never has it been this multi-layered and complex; and frankly tragic. It makes a great book if you want to stay in the Marvel Universe but need a break from the “Capes and tights” books – It has a definite Shakespearean/Game Of Thrones vibe to it with enough callbacks to some heavy hitters in the Marvel Universe to remind you where it takes place.