Monday, June 20, 2011

The X-Men vs. Magneto greatest hits, that's a good use of a time machine...

Yeah, I'm sick of spoilers too.
In 1998, Marvel did a batch of team-up annuals, often with odd pairings. X-Man/Hulk. Deadpool/Death. (One of the few older Deadpool issues I don't have!) Machine Man/Bastion. Alpha Flight/Inhumans. Even Generation X/Dracula, and more. And the issue in today's post, X-Men/Dr. Doom, "Doom Quest" Written by Jorge Gonzalez, pencils by Aaron Loprestri (misspelled Lopestri), inks by Art Thibert and Jaime Mendoza.

In pseudo-Neal Adams style.
While some of the 98's were one-shots intended just to get some mileage out of two great tastes that don't usually go together, some (particularly the Deadpool and Machine Man ones) were meant to move the character's plot forward a bit. But this issue is just an excuse for Loprestri to draw an X-Men vs. Magneto retrospective. With Dr. Doom in the backgrounds...


But Loprestri may have missed a touch that cover artist Dusty Abell got: he draws Doom with the more monk-styled outfit he wore in Fantastic Four #5, Doom's first appearance in the Marvel Universe, as well as when Doom had his time machine. Reed and the FF would take Doom's, although presumably Doom could build another...although he never seemed to get as much use out of it as all that. Loprestri draws Doom in a more traditional outfit, but while the monk look would be a signifier of the time, it was also ugly as hell.


Anyway, with white-haired geezer Seer as his guide--and it's never really made clear if he's a mutant, or a magician, or other--Doom has the bright idea of using Seer's visions of a powerful future mutant named Onslaught. Thinking about how he might be able to harness his power, Doom realizes there's something familiar about Onslaught: he vaguely resembles Magneto, who Doom had just seen on TV in Mag's failed attempt to take over Santo Marco in X-Men #4.

Doom decides to take Seer on a magical mystery tour, using his time machine to follow Magneto's history until he finds out how to exploit Onslaught's power. Which conveniently takes us through his best appearances in X-Men, mostly in the order in which they were published, even though that involves an accidental hop to the Days of Futures Past...where Magneto was already dead, oops.

Skipping around some more, Doom eventually sees the genesis of Onslaught, during Professor Xavier's shutdown of Magneto's mind after he pulled Wolverine's adamantium out of his bones. A "dark mass" at the center of Magneto's astral avatar reaches out and leaves something in Professor X that would grow into Onslaught. (This kind of reminds me of the Hal Jordan/Parallax thing in Green Lantern; another over-complicated mess.) In an amusing moment, Doom, who's watched a good chunk of the X-Men's history by now, is more concerned about how the hell Jean Grey is alive again...

Still, even the nascent Onslaught ends up being too powerful, and Doom ends up with nothing for his trouble, except knowledge, which is power. Except a future Magneto straight-out tells Doom that Onslaught kills him: Doom would be sacrificed with the heroes to stop the monster, and Doom (and Thor) wouldn't return right away from the Heroes Reborn world. Doom apparently forget that, years later when it finally happened. On the brighter side, this isn't a bad little clipshow of an issue, and there's always something to a Dr. Doom issue where he doesn't yell "Richards!" even once...

2 comments:

Sea-of-Green said...

Y'know, I'll bet Doc Doom would have ended up a MUCH cooler villain in the movies if they'd made him an X-men villain. What they did to him in the FF films, though ... what a travesty.

Dale Bagwell said...

If they had just let his armor not be part of him, and not include him in the in the flight through the cosmic rays, then yes, Doom would've been salvaged.