nomadicwriter: Doctor Doom shooting fireballs (blast radius)
[personal profile] nomadicwriter posting in [community profile] doomfans
As seen in the preview, Doom has a vision of future Tony, who warns him that when 'they' come for him he mustn't be Iron Man, but he leaves the vision and collapses before he can find out more.

Ben meets up with Johnny Storm, and tells him about 'Reed' showing up. Neither of them believes it was the real deal, what with the failure to say anything about Sue and the OOC orders to kill Doom. Johnny leaves, finding hanging around Ben too much of a reminder of their lost family, and Ben gets called back to SHIELD: Doom has been taken into custody and is being kept sedated. A group of rogue SHIELD agents want to kill him while they have the chance, but Cynthia Von Doom shows up to protect him. She's pissed that Ben didn't listen to her instructions to leave Victor alone, and causes the Helicarrier to crash. (Great full page panel from Maleev there, and some nice ones of Cynthia kicking magical ass on the preceding pages as well.)

Victor, who's been sedated the whole time, wakes up at Cynthia's base. He's starting to believe that she could possibly for real, and she tells him she'll show him his true birthright.

To Be Continued...

So, largely setup, but at least stuff is happening! Not actually a lot of Doom himself in this issue, and he spends much of his time in an unusually vulnerable state: confused and asking questions of Tony, collapsing, kept sedated, waking up in a strange place. (I love the little detail of him waking up mumbling, "Begone, all who dare... Oh," and then realising he's at his mom's place.)

I was thinking the art for Victor looked kind of weird and somehow off this issue, but I realised that it's just that he's making a bunch of dazed and confused expressions that we've never really seen on his face before. (It's also interesting how much of what happens to him in this issue would probably have been flat out impossible for anyone to pull on him if he was wearing his regular armour with all of its protections. By becoming Iron Man and setting aside his former armour he's deliberately made himself far more vulnerable to attack than he used to be.)

I'm pleased that neither Ben nor Johnny are willing to take 'Reed' at face value, given what he's telling Ben to do. And it's an interesting choice to have had Doom kept unconscious through the crashing of the Helicarrier by 'Cynthia', considering I'd count that show of callousness towards collateral damage as the biggest indication so far that this is not the Cynthia Von Doom we know. Makes me wonder if we're headed for a reveal next issue where Victor starts to go along with her plans but then finds out from Ben what she did and starts to distrust her.

So this was quite a packed issue that set a lot of plates spinning, but it does mean several things get a bit shortchanged. I hope this wasn't the end of Riri's involvement in this plotline; she was barely around in this issue, and we didn't get as much of a confrontation and/or team-up between her and Doom as I would have liked. The "future Tony Stark is the Sorcerer Supreme and warning about Something" is a bit too mysterious to make anything of at the moment, and the Reed plot didn't really move along aside from it being nice to see Johnny again and reassuring to get confirmation Ben ain't falling for it that easily. I'm becoming slightly more reassured on the Cynthia front too: the way the end of this issue is structured makes me feel like there's definitely meant to be something off about her behaviour even if Doom hasn't realised it yet.

And hopefully we might get some answers about her next issue. (Though weren't we already promised that once before, several issues ago? I'm not holding my breath.) Anyway, lots of interesting stuff afoot and no treading water this month, so next issue is looking promising.
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