Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Another post on this issue? You're lucky it's not a month on it. Seriously.
Release the...whatever the hell those are.  They couldn't win the Latverian Kennel Club.
Last week, we started on Super-Villain Team-Up #7, ("Who is...the Shroud?" Written by Steve Englehart, art by Herb Trimpe, inks by Pablo Marcos.) and focused on the origin of the Shroud himself. This time, let's take a peek at some of the rest of the story.

In the last issue, Dr. Doom has Namor onboard, sworn to serve him in order to save his Atlantean subjects. Show of hands:  who else is surprised Johnny could even identify World War II? Doom has also just signed a non-aggression treaty with Henry Kissinger for the United States. This frees up America to focus on Russia and China (this is 1976) but bars Americans, like the Fantastic Four, from interfering with Latverian affairs. Somewhat uncharacteristically, Johnny Storm gets really, really worked up about it. I was going to say he probably fell asleep in front of the Discovery Channel, but again, 1976. Let's go on.

While Doom gets ready for a little walk, the Shroud introduces himself to Namor, shares his origin, then his purpose for being there:
Again, the Kali-logo would eventually be added to the cowl; this outfit looks like the Shroud bought it off the rack. It's interesting that the Shroud's motives are still completely above board: he's not doing this to profit off his name, he's doing this to strike fear into the hearts of criminals, by taking out what he sees as the lead dog. Plus, this is well before 'think globally, act locally,' the Shroud doesn't believe in taking out small fry and working up the ladder.

This brings us to the page we started with: Doom walking his uglyass hounds, and deciding to avail himself of his droit de seigneur, or ius primae noctis; several years before Michael Scott or the movie Braveheart. It's not really clear what Doom has planned for Gretchen--look, with the mask, the armor, the robot servants, Doom doesn't seem like the type that craves close contact, does he? But the Shroud calls Doom out before it goes any further.

'Copyright infringement, away!'The Shroud uses more gadgets in the rest of the issue than he would the rest of his publishing history: at this point, he has his mystic sight, but his "mastery over darkness" seems more figurative. Later, he would have actual, darkness-casting powers, but not here. Still, he does pretty well, eventually using a magnesium bomb to force Doom to discard his chestplate, and Doom's luck continues to go south from there:
Wolf attacks are so scary, Doom's mask closed it's eyes!
I do like how Dr. Doom is still up for kicking the Shroud's ass without his armor. Until the wolf attack, of course. Better get some wolfsbane on those scars before the next full moon...

Doom and the hounds and the wolf go over a cliff in a literal dogpile, and the Shroud gives the poor, seemingly mute Gretchen a celebratory kiss on the head in celebration. For his part, Namor is waiting around for that ass Doom to come in, bragging about wasting some punk superhero; and is surprised and appalled to find out the Shroud apparently won...especially since Namor needed Doom for the antidote for himself and his people.

Of course, Doom wasn't really dead, he was rescued/captured by Namorita. Of course. Hey Doom? How well does this issue hold up?
Those darts are going fast enough to embed into a redwood, do they even need to be poison?
Damn straight.

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