Okay, so by now even the most casual of fans know that Dr. Doom is a pretty evil guy. I mean, his name’s Dr. Doom, not Dr. Friendship. As a villain though, Dr. Doom is one of those characters whose evilness seems to wildly fluctuate. In some issues, he’s like Marvel’s Wily E. Coyote, and it’s fairly clear from the beginning that his newest plan is going to fail miserably. In other issues, he seems like a good guy. He’s practically a frequent dinner guest of the Fantastic Four. He’s even at Johnny Storm’s funeral among the mourners, despite how he tried to kill Johnny–I don’t know–a thousand times. Thor #605 and several issues preceding it shows that beneath Doom’s veneer of civility, he can still be the sort of malevolent tyrant that would make Machiavelli shudder at the thought.
(Spoliers) In the issues leading up to this one, Dr. Doom, by partnering up with Loki, manages to connive the Asgardians to move their base of operations to Latveria–one of the most poorly thought out relocations since American Horror Story. The only one who knows Dr. Doom isn’t a pleasant gentleman is Bill, a mortal character introduced by J. M. Straczynski during his own run on Thor. Bill was a well-developed character, and I greatly enjoyed following his subplot–until Doom and Loki had him killed. Not only that, but when Bill’s sweetheart, an Asgardian goddess named Kendrik, goes to avenge his death, Doom kills her too, going so far as to remove her heart as part of his plan to harness immortality for himself. If that wasn’t enough, Doom then reanimates the corpses of other Asgardians he’s killed, and sets them to fight against Thor and his cohorts.
Thor is quickly turning into one of my favorite ongoing comics, which is frankly surreal for me considering how much I disliked his character before. I’m normally not a fan of the big bulky superheroes, and found Thor particularly grating when he spoke in long, purplish, and overly-ornate sentences. In retooling the character, I think J. M. Straczynski did wonders for Thor, making him down to Earth, fairly plain-spoken, and transformed one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel Universe into an underdog.
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I’ve got a book of short fiction out in paperback and as an ebook, available on Amazon and through Barnes and Noble. It’s titled The Madness of Art: Short Stories. It’s eight short stories written in several different genres, connected by the theme of artistry. Some of the stories include “The Shopper Awakes” a tale about time-travel and high-fashion, “What Irony” a thriller about a patriotic painter who witnesses a murder, and “The Scream” that’s actually about the famous painting The Scream, where the screaming man comes to life.