nomadicwriter: Doctor Doom shooting fireballs (blast radius)
[personal profile] nomadicwriter posting in [community profile] doomfans
As seen in the preview, Doom angrily confronts the woman claiming to be his mother. She says she's been alive all this time "in the technical sense", but didn't contact him until now because she was ashamed of the way he was acting as Doctor Doom. (She also says she thinks he should be Sorcerer Supreme, and Doom says, "I'm not convinced I'm not.")

She claims she wants to protect him from those who would ruin his chance at greatness, and says Ben needs to be "removed", but Doom asks her to let him go free instead. (And also, interestingly, seems to make a point of referring to him as "that man" where Cynthia calls him a monster.) Ben is irked to be transported off to the Helicarrier just as the conversation was getting interesting, (though we find out later that Cynthia teleported away only moments after, saying they'd finish this another day). He reports to Maria Hill, who reveals that they're actually hovering above Latveria - it's the excuse SHIELD has need to send forces into Latveria and clean up the chaos.

Meanwhile, at Cambridge, Amara is being questioned by SHIELD about her connection to Doom. She's frustrated that all of this is happening "because Doctor Doom decided he fancied me". Doom appears as soon as SHIELD are gone, and thanks her for not sharing the details of their interactions. She says he's stalking her; he says he's not, he just doesn't have a phone. He apologises for the turmoil, and repeatedly promises he'll fix it despite her telling him not to. She tells him that whatever he wants from her, he can't have it; she can't fix him or even herself.

Cut to Cynthia, watching him in her cauldron, where the identity of her mysterious ally is revealed: Ultimateverse Reed Richards. (It's a nice detail that we see him speaking in the lower case Ultimate Universe font as a subtle tipoff to which Reed this actually is - though I checked the earlier issues to see if I'd missed that obvious clue and discovered they cheated and had him speaking in all caps like everyone else back then.)

So, some answers at last, though not all of them. That "alive in the technical sense" detail is interesting; makes me wonder if she was perhaps around as a spirit of some kind after Doom freed her from hell, and Ultimate Reed resurrected her somehow. Or perhaps she's even Ultimate Cynthia? We never learned anything about Doom's mother in that universe.

I have mixed feelings about her characterisation here; she was always a badass in earlier comics, but she seems more coldly ruthless than I quite like here, especially in her attitude to Ben. It clashes with her story about only approaching him now he's turned hero, and the whole idea of her staying away because she was ashamed feels off as well - but then maybe it's supposed to, and it's all part of Reed's scheme? Still, I'm attached to the backstory detail of Doom's parents both being genuinely good people, so I continue to be wary of how this might play out.

(On a happier character note, I loved that little detail of Doom insisting on 'fixing' things for Amara even though she'd rather he just went away and stopped interfering. Even when he's trying to do good he still has that arrogant assumption he knows best.)

Art remains as strong as ever, though, I dunno, I'm getting a little bored with the shadowy, murky colouring. Can we get some bright primary colours up in here now and then just for a change? That said, the Iron Man-style Doom armour has grown on me a lot, and does look good with the cape in this kind of dark colour scheme.

All in all, a decent issue, but hasn't fully assuaged my fears about how the Cynthia thing is going to play out, and I'm not quite sure how I feel about the Ultimate Reed twist yet, either. So I'll be hanging on eagerly for issue #6, I guess.
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