nomadicwriter: Doctor Doom shooting fireballs (blast radius)
[personal profile] nomadicwriter posting in [community profile] doomfans
The issue opens with a scene of Ben Grimm at the Latverian Embassy in Washington D.C. (Isn't it in New York? Are there two? Has it moved? Did Bendis just not do the research again?) Anyway, Ben's making a nuisance of himself, smashing up priceless antiques and asking to see Doom. The embassy staff insist that they don't know where he is: "The Fantastic Four are no more. Doctor Doom is no more." Latveria has been in chaos since Doom abandoned them.

Then we get the scene from the preview, where Doom crashes the Mad Thinker's base, and we get the first glimpse of Doom's new Iron Man style armour in action. (In fact, Doom even says he appreciates the opportunity to test its functions.) As he leaves, he tells a pair of kids not to go in there and goes to teleport out. Then an android comes out after him and he returns to zap it. "My apologies. Making sure no harm will come to others is relatively new to me." (One of the kids appears to take a picture of Doom in armour on a phone, which I guess might be important later in terms of Doom's new hero shtick getting out.)

Cut to Cambridge, England. Doom surprises Amara outside her house, and she pulls out a gun and shoots him in the shoulder before she realises it's him. (He asks where she got a gun, and she says her dad gave it to her for protection, which doesn't really answer the question considering it's illegal to have one in England. A sign she's lying, or just Bendis research fail again? Probably the latter, TBH.)

Amara tries to help Doom with the wound, but he tells her to unhand him. She says she thought he had powers; he says she caught him unprepared, and "I thought you to be a safe place." She appreciates that he let his guard down around her, but he says: "It won't happen again." She says she didn't start carrying the gun because of him, but because of the people who questioned her about him. He prepares to leave, saying she won't see him again.

And that's when Ben Grimm smashes through the wall!

So, a more decompressed issue compared to the packed first one, but I'm liking the character stuff we're getting with Amara. Making Doom vulnerable this quickly now he's not wearing the armour full-time is an interesting choice, and one I rather like; one of the things that I've always appreciated about his character is that he doesn't actually have any inherent superpowers - he has technology and magic, but they only protect him if he has them prepared for use, and his efforts at trying to present as a good guy mean he's sacrificing some of his former levels of paranoid self-protection. Intriguing...

Still liking the art: Maleev's version of Victor is growing on me, and the new armour looks good in action. There's a great panel during the fight with the Thinker where we see a close-up of Doom's eye in a neat callback to the style of the classic armour.

I'm wondering if it's going to turn out Amara is cooperating with Ben to set up Doom. (Is that why she's carrying the gun?) If so, or even if not, I can see his display of trust in letting her get the drop on him here being something that sways her loyalties over to Doom's side.

It's a slight bummer not to get the teased Doom-Ben confrontation in this issue, but bringing Amara and Doom's injury into the mix mean it should be far more interesting than just a straightforward brawl. Roll on issue #3...
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