Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Ah, that's some good Doom face.

I'm not sure who Doctor Doom is talking to there, though. Besides the reader. And he gets a bit of the shaft, since on an earlier page, replacement-Doom Kristoff gets a full page spread!

From 1989, Thor #410, "Two Dooms to Destroy Me!" Written (and plotted) by Tom DeFalco, pencils (and plotted) by Ron Frenz, finishes by Joe Sinnott. Some years back, we checked out the final confrontation between Dr. Doom and his intended back-up copy Kristoff...except that was a dream sequence. I had to look it up, since I thought their conflict ran for years, and it did! Starting in 1987's Fantastic Four Annual #20 and continuing until Walt Simonson's elegant answer in 1991's Fantastic Four #350. Doom claims "No greater gift could I have bequeathed another...than to make him a true extension of myself!" Which is actually, really terrifying. But at this point, Kristoff held Latveria, and Doom was struggling to win it back; and in the previous issue, Doom stole Thor's hammer to use as part of his "time displacer!" (Doom breathlessly describes it as "through a process known only to Doom," which I imagine is like saying "patent pending" in conversation.)

While Doom freezes time in Latveria; Thor's current alter-ego Eric Masterson, Hercules, and She-Hulk follow to reclaim Mjolnir. She-Hulk's there as back-up and to fly the Quinjet, but Eric is powerless and Herc hasn't been at the top of his game lately, either: he had been having a somewhat uncharacteristic bout of nerves of late. The heroes battle Doom's robots, while Doom freezes time in Latveria and makes his way to his castle, where he'll be able to pop Kristoff at his leisure. Except Kristoff had thought of time displacement as well, and installed the appropriate counter-measures in his armor. (What counter-measures those would be, I couldn't say; but my intellect is sadly not the equal of Doom's!)

After a pitched battle, Doom manages to get Kristoff on the ropes, but while Doom couldn't shake Kristoff's conviction that he was the true Doom, Kristoff manages to place a tiny doubt in Doom's mind: if Kristoff is a copy of Doom, surely he is Doom's greatest achievement. If Doom was Doom, surely he couldn't just destroy his greatest achievement, right? Doom is given pause, possibly just so he can parse that out; but Eric manages to get to the hammer and bring back Thor, ending the time displacement. With troops loyal to Kristoff-Doom arriving, Dr. Doom is forced to flee...leaving a battered Kristoff to question why. The story ends with Doom, back in New York City, receiving an unexpected visit from a shadowed figure who offers "an act of vengeance!" which has its own logo, so you know it's a big deal.

Bonus: also this issue, a Volstagg story! In which a drunken Volstagg, making his way home from the tavern, is accosted by brigands. Or they may be animal rights activists, since they push him off his horse, because Volstagg on a horse is just mean. Still, Volstagg crushes--literally, in a couple unfortunate incidences--the bandits; either with drunken-fist style fighting or staggering luck. (I really want to find the Peter David Hulk issues with the Warriors Three, because there are some great lines with Volstagg: "There's not enough food for you here!" "Or anywhere," shouts another...)


SallyP said...

Voltage is seriously awesome.

Dale Bagwell said...

Kristoff definitely had a point, especially since more than likely the Dr. Doom in this one was just another Doombot, as we saw in FF#350, and again during the whole Acts of Vengeance, which I loved as a concept and crossover, even though some writers and artists working at Marvel back then didn't think so.