Thursday, December 31, 2009

Hero of the Week #31: Black Hand

Real Name: William Hand
First Appearance: Green Lantern #29 (June, 1964)
Group Affiliation: Black Lantern Corps
Gaming Credentials: DC Universe Online (TBA)
Infinite Wars Cumulative Ranking: #603

If you read the penultimate HOTW for 2009 [The Hood], then you already the score -- I'm finishing the year with representatives from the corporate "big two" and I'm forgoing my usual desire to tie that somehow to video games. I've regularly brought a comic book perspective to aspects of video games and I suppose I'll just have to embrace that (unless you offer gainful employment to freelance writers who could use the work, and are really willing to change this time! No, really!!! BABY!!!).

If you read the afforementioned previous HOTW, you probably also noted a hint of cynicism toward the once proud House of Ideas. At the beginning of the decade, they were instrumental to turning around the slump comics incurred in the mid-to-late nineties, reinvigorating the creative landscape of four-colour heroes with a renewed emphasis on characters and urban pseudo-realism. By the middle of the double-ohs, many of the key players in Marvel's turnaround were elevated into new positions of power, and sadly, their touch wasn't as golden at the top. A problem DC hasn't struggled with as they elevated some of their brightest talent from writers-for-hire, to architects of a DC Universe that will hopefully find it's way into the MMO gamespace in 2010. [There's that game connection!]

At the forefront of DC's hike to the top has been Geoff Johns, who's of special note today for his role in moving forward the Green Lantern franchise and spinning his work out into the DC-wide undead extravaganza that has been Blackest Night!

Putting a face to the name, at least until the real big bad revealed himself, was Black Hand: a villain who started the year a typically trounced upon halfwit out to cause problems, and has ended it as one of the most threatening figures in comics! As a scion of Nekron -- guardian of the universe and master of the dead -- Black Hand hasn't actually been dishing all that much mayhem himself, but like any general, is as culpable for raising armies of undead Black Lantern versions of characters as the murderous zombie-lanterns themselves. Moreso, if you consider the notion that the exhumed bodies are merely psychologically intriguing vessels through which Nekron is attacking the heroes!

It was in Green Lantern #45 that readers were introduced to the first official Black Lantern -- Black Hand himself! Detailed in an entire issue dedicated solely to the villain was a man twisted and demented, so obsessed with death that he had become barely human, ultimately willing to murder his entire family as a sacrifice to his idol, Nekron. In that story, Black Hand was elevated with a single chilling page, depicting his own suicide! The sinister and slightly disturbing character study, a trademark of Geoff Johns, and a terrific way to establish the creepy tone of the event and it's villain!

Blackest Night wasn't the only story to put DC on top in 2009, but it was instrumental to one of their first sales victories in an estimated four decades! Blackest Night #4, along with several related issues, pushed DC into the top six slots of top ten issues sold in October 2009 -- a rare win for the company who've often failed to garner the same blind dedication Marvel's media presence has. Of course, events like Batman: Reborn and Flash: Rebirth have also kept DC bouyant in the 'event' stakes, while quieter efforts have maintained the company's prestige when it comes to more experimental fare.

Just as they did in the comics; DC also succeeded in defying expectations and redefining what it means to make a licensed video game. Batman: Arkham Asylum was an undisputed Game of the Year contender for it's high-concept simplicity, attention to franchised detail, and competence in bringing a character to life whose exploits in the medium have often been less than admirable. It's little wonder that we're now looking toward a Batman sequel -- to say nothing of their efforts to crack the MMO genre open with story-driven adventures, free roaming superheroics that have the potential to defy the standard of stat-counting, and the iconic characters gaining traction in all mediums, in DC Universe Online!

Blackest Night player, Sinestro, is confirmed for DCU Online, while Black Hand remains an outsider possibility.

DC won't be able to rest on their laurels in 2010, however, as Marvel initiate their Siege counterfire that already looks like a vast improvement over some of their recent failures. It also paints a stark contrast to the continuation of DC's Blackest Night juggernaut, which, although well orchestrated and enjoyable for it's simplicity, has been spread quite thin! Fortunately, there's plenty on the DC horizon with announcements preparing fans for the return of Bruce Wayne from his in-universe fake-out death, and a new effort to explore original graphic novels with a pair of single-volume stories coming in the form of Earth-One Batman, and Superman.

With that, we bring 2009 to a close!
Barring unforseen distraction, we'll do it all over again in 2010 with a brand new sweep of influences to steer observation across the world of superheroes and beyond! If you haven't quite had enough for this year, ring in the new one with more me via the Best of 2009 recap, or head over to The Comic Book Fight Club and vote in the Annual Year-End Infinite Wars DC vs Marvel Fantasy Fights, whilst wondering why updates stop at July. Hey, it's been a big year, and you are my favourite readers!

Happy New Year, folks!
Hope it's a good one for us all!

In case you missed them, DC's 2009 HOTWs: Batman (06/08); The Flash (06/15); Green Lantern (06/29); Superman (07/13); Hawkman (07/20); Batman (08/11); Aquaman (08/17); The Joker (08/25); Scarecrow (09/05); Green Arrow (10/04); The Flash (10/18); Solomon Grundy (11/01); Dr. Fate (11/15); The Sandman (11/22); Two-Face (12/13); Black Hand (12/31).

<< Hero of the Week 01/08: Wonder Woman       [Home]       Hero of the Week 12/27: The Hood >>

Originally posted:

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What Ever Happened to the Comic Book Fight Club?...
Seasons Greetings, True Believers!

Y'know, it's a pretty fair question: what did happen?
Long time readers will know I've often been fairly ambitious with my time, but in 2009, more than ever before, time got away from me! 2009 was to be the first year the Infinite Wars would reflect the weekly goings on in comics. Even now I have a hefty stack of comics to my right, no less than two for every week, that were chosen when contemporary, to be our classic Friday Night Fight (with extra madness for Mondays)!

For the time being, I have every intention of working my way through the 2009 stack. Though not quite hot off the press by now, each issue is a worthy addition to our hallowed halls of hard hits! There is still the statistical element of crowning a grand hero (or villain) for Season 2009, as well! I've got my fingers crossed for a late surge up the ranks by Hawkman, but I've got a nasty feeling when I finally feature Blackest Night #1, his chances might diminish just a fraction...

It was a series of events that conspired against regular updates on the Infinite Wars this year, not the least of which was the passing a very dear friend and family member, in October. Things like that tend to take a lot of wind our of your sails, and, hey, I haven't exactly hit that "dot com" boom in the four years we've been doing this dance of review, discussion, and appreciation.

I've been sharing the wonderful world of superheroes on a blog I've managed to keep better updated, partially dude to it's lack of format:
Be sure to check it out, bookmark it, click the thumbs up, read stuff, and just enjoy a slightly different perspective to the Infinite Wars. Hey, don't feel like you can't drop a comment to make me look good, either!

Like so much about 2009, I'm a little late to the punch, but I've finally settled on a series of scintillating match-ups for our Annual Year-End DC versus Marvel Fantasy Fights!
Be sure to check back regularly for the polls (located top-right in the site menu), and vote for the hero or villain who is most worthy of victory! Last year DC completely swept the pot, but it's a whole new ball game, with brand new pairings inspired by the parallels between stories and ideas from both of the major publishers. If you've got a Fantasy Fight suggestion, it's probably not too late to suggest it in the comments, either!

I hope everyone's holidays have been fantastic and your new year starts the same!
Not sure what lies ahead in 2010, but we'll cross that bridge when it comes!


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Hero of the Week #30: The Hood

THE HOOD (Marvel)
Real Name: Parker Robbins
First Appearance: The Hood #1 (July, 2002)
Group Affiliation: The Cabal
Gaming Credentials: -
Infinite Wars Cumulative Ranking: #331

Throughout the year I've been pleased to deliver a HOTW that at least has some tenuous connection to video games. For the most part, that's meant characters who have, at some point in their fictional careers, appeared in the medium, assuming their selection was based on some other influence. Well, with the year about to end, I figure it's time to abandon convention and take these last opportunities to acknowledge characters that shaped 2009!

Second only to the dastardly Norman Osborn [aka; Iron Patriot, aka; Green Goblin, aka; former HOTW] in both command and villainy; The Hood was an unlucky omission from this year's comic inspired action-RPG adventure, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2. The hero-v-hero aspects of the Civil War-inspired game no doubt bumped out the villain, who, over the past two years, has been elevated from gun-toting jerkass schlub, to devil-dealing 'Kingpin of Super-Villains!'

The Hood acts as gateway for Dormammu to escape the Dark Dimension and attack, in New Avengers.

As a major player in Marvel's Dark Reign of Osborn: The Hood has gone from controversially beating up former-Avenger, Tigra, to playing host to one of the biggest baddies of them all, in Dormammu, before being stripped of those demonic powers, and boosted instead by Loki, who led him to some Norse rune stones that can make his every wish a reality! It's all part of the job description when you throw in with the most powerful forces of machiavellian evil on Marvel's Earth -- The Cabal!

The Hood represents the attitudes of the current Marvel regime, whose last few years have been a hit and miss mixture of conspiracy and alleged longterm planning. He's a character typical of the type of villain that's emerged throughout this decade, one who plays just a fraction ahead of the heroes who are usually off-side per their own internal conflicts and self-generating headaches, which, in the case of The Hood's meteoric rise, were the direct legacy of 2006's Civil War.

After some less desirable efforts, Dark Reign has proven to be something of a success for Marvel in '09. Creatively less on-song than their DC counterparts, Marvel have been somewhat scattershot in their approach to the many properties under their umbrella. Dark Reign supplied an unlikely creative boost to many corners of the Marvel Universe, providing the apparent shock evisceration of The Punisher, twists in the Marvel Zombies saga, and an A+ shift that took their flagship New Avengers book out of crossover-hell, and drove it forward with a new sense of purpose and excitement!

Iron Man leads Marvel's multimedia charge as their great white hope of 2010.

If you're a gamer with only a casual interest in comics, then chances are your immediate reference point is Marvel Comics. Marvel have assured themself a dynasty of familiarity, starting way back in the sixties with the Spider-man cartoon, right up to the noughties with the advent of blockbuster superhero films, and, of course, video games. Cross media exposure has long been Marvel's ticket to ride, but in 2009, they showed unfortunate signs of weakness as DC gained traction with the ever growing Batman franchise.

2010 will provide a double-whammy of Iron Man when the sequel to the film and it's tie-in game arrive in the second-quarter, but it remains to be seen if they'll improve upon this year's creatively disappointing release based on X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and the under achieving Super Hero Squad and Ultimate Alliance games. It's a state of mediocrity that echoes the coasting of the comics, which were challenged for the first time in decades in sales by DC's powerhouse Green Lantern/DC Universe event, Blackest Night. It will be interesting to see how -- if at all -- Disney addresses issues of quality within Marvel's future output.

As you've no doubt gathered by now, it's been easy to be cynical about Marvel's direction over the past few years. Much moreso than many fans might have you think! Fortunately, while Iron Man 2 might be yet to fully convince, there's still plenty of promise for 2010. The comics in particular have a serve of treats that will begin with what's promise to be a uniquely fast-paced 'event' in Siege, which elevates the stakes of Dark Reign. There's also positive things happening in the world of Amazing Spider-man, which went from carcinogenic just a year ago, to classic by the end of '09!

I'm sure I could go on and on, but it's the holidays, and I'm sure you get the picture.
Watch out for one final villainous HOTW before we ring in the new year. who represents DC's '09!
If you haven't already, you might also like to reflect on the year via my Best of 2009. You should also vote in the Annual Year-End Infinite Wars Marvel vs DC Fantasy Fights poll at The Comic Book Fight Club! Happy Holidays!

Or, finally, check out Marvel's 2009 HOTW offerings here on 1up: Wolverine (06/01); Captain America (06/22); The Punisher (07/06); Iron Man (07/27); Spider-man (09/11); Iron Patriot (09/18); Deadpool (09/26); Carnage (10/23); Magneto (11/08); Dr. Doom (12/06); War Machine (12/20); The Hood (12/27).

<< Hero of the Week 12/31: Black Hand       [Home]       Hero of the Week 12/20: War Machine >>

Originally posted:

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Hero of the Week #29: War Machine

Real Name: James Rhodes
First Appearance: Iron Man #118 (January, 1979)
Group Affiliation: United States Military
Gaming Credentials: Marvel Super Heroes (1995); Marvel vs Capcom 2 (2000); Marvel Ultimate Alliance (2006); Iron Man (2008); Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 (2009); Marvel Super Hero Squad (2009); Iron Man 2 (TBR)
Infinite Wars Cumulative Ranking: #100

Once again we find ourselves looking toward 2010 with a Hero of the Week that has garnered mass attention this week, but for something that won't happen for another 100+ days. I am, of course, referring to the monumental online release of the Iron Man 2 trailer, which sets the stage for the May release of the much anticipated sequel. As you would expect of a project of this nature, there's a video game tie-in on the way, which was the basis of the more obvious HOTW: Iron Man feature, which hit back in September. The game (infamously) features dialogue by Iron Man comics writer, Matt Fraction.

Considering the first movie ran through a rapidfire upgrade cycle that condensed forty-years of comic book armor designs into about an hour of film -- you probably haven't found yourself doubting the necessity of a War Machine. Why would you? In the world of the movies, the benefits of upgrading the armor technology are right there in front of you. If you have, however, found yourself asking what extra bang you're going to get for your buck, then you might look to the comics for a little advice...

Although War Machine (aka; Jim "Rhodey" Rhodes) appears only briefly in the trailer, it speaks to two of the great strengths of the character. Okay, one of those is being a greyscaled Iron Man with giant rocket blasters and guns stuck all over him, but the other is the man inside the armor, who makes similarly brief appearances in the trailer, but can benefit from the overall tone of the preview.

In the comics, Rhodey was inserted as a soldier during the Vietnam War who teamed up with Iron Man while he was still wandering the jungles around Vietcong camps having had a lethal piece of shrapnel suspended in his chest by super-magnets. This is the kind of foundation that lies beneath the relationship between Tony Stark and Rhodes, and why, throughout the eighties and nineties, Rhodes was entrusted to share and uphold the mantle of Iron Man, himself.

Rhodes remained an integral part of Tony Stark's internal entourage for two decades before the War Machine struck out on his own. It'll be interesting to see how some of this interplay finds it's way into the movie, particularly if there's more than overwhelming odds in terms of firepower, and a little demon in a bottle working it's way into Stark's life, to force Rhodes to take the helm.

In the games, War Machine might've been largely relegated to cameos as a colour swap for the Iron Man armor, but hopefully with Don Cheadel stepping in for a less-than-impressive Terrence Howard, we'll get a look at a character on even-pegging with the titular hero. That's certainly what you'll find if you check out current issues of Invincible Iron Man, where Rhodey's been lending a hand to Pepper Potts, Bucky Barnes, Dr. Donald Blake, and Captain America, as they attempt to rebuild the fractured psyche of a vegetable Tony Stark, who inflicted this horrible fate upon himself to protect all whose secret identities he knew from Iron Patriot's Dark Reign! (Trust me, it's not as complicated as it sounds!) You'll also find a special Iron Man vs Whiplash mini-series building up the new Mickey Rourke villain that combines elements of classic foes, Crimson Dynamo and Blacklash!

That's about all you'll get outta me tonight.
Check out the trailer [above] and soak it up. I'd like to say I was giddy with excitement, but I'm really not. You'll find more of my thoughts on the Iron Man franchise over on the Infinite Wars, and more of my thoughts in general, in the Pop Arts: Best of 2009 post. Happy Holidays!

<< Hero of the Week 12/27: The Hood       [Home]       Hero of the Week 12/13: Two-Face >>

Originally posted:

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Hero of the Week #28: Two-Face

Real Name: Harvey Dent
First Appearance: Detective Comics #66 (August, 1942)
Group Affiliation: NA
Gaming Credentials: Batman: The Animated Series (1993); Adventures of Batman & Robin (1994); Batman Forever (1995); Batman: Chaos in Gotham (2001); Lego Batman (2008); Batman: Arkham Asylum 2 (TBA); DC Universe Online (TBR)
Infinite Wars Cumulative Ranking: #327

The (Super) Hero of the Week was always about reacting to cross-cultural references that would resonate with gamers, fanboys, and those that fall somewhere between. Arkham Asylum certainly achieved that goal in 2009 by harnessing multiple facets of the Batman license to deliver an experience just as sure to satisfy the hands-on interaction of video games, as it was the customary plotlines more familiar to comic books.
I feel a little like I'm jumping the gun by talking about a character that will inevitably have far greater significance in the future, but there can be no denying the immediate impact of the revealed return of Rocksteady and their take on the Batman license.

Revealed live during Spike's Video Game Award show; the trailer for 'Batman 2' quickly guarantees more quality adaptation from the developer, with a string of references promising a wider perspective of Gotham City as a platform and presence. Honing in on these clues that point to appearances by enduring villains like The Penguin and Black Mask, as well as less subtle inclusions, Joker and Harley Quinn, was eagle-eyed 1up Editor, Mike Cruz. He was first on the scene and already shared his findings with "detective vision" clarity on his own 1up blog.

By nestling deep within the confines of the iconic Arkham setting; the first game set utterly realistic expectations of itself by opting to tackle a single refineable location, rather than the vast landscape of a sprawling stylized city like Gotham. The flow-on effect was felt in everything from the mechanics of Batman's interactions with the enviroment, to the scale of the villains he was set to encounter.

In a game that presented such a respectable slice of the Batman mythos, I personally wasn't about to buy into vague references at the end of the game to Two-Face. Some of us might call that a very obvious way to establish intended content for a sequel -- a method that's a little too conventional, or similar to other popular examples [Batman Begins]. Hyperbole aside; it's seems the duplicitous former District Attorney is indeed set to play a significant role when Rocksteady return to the annals of the Dark Knight Detective. The biggest clue pointing in that direction -- jingoistic propaganda, found at, featuring a (literally) defaced poster of a distinctly half-soiled, gun-toting Uncle Sam figure. Another none too subtle reference sure to be familiar to movie-goers.

Image borrowed from Mike Cruz' blog: Batman Teaser Trailer Impressions.

2008's The Dark Knight presented the second cinematic account of Harvey Dent's fall from grace, combining the chaotic preaching of their version of the Joker, with the half-scarring that gave visual origins to the psychological bifurcation of the former lawman. It was a respectful vision that put the illdefined manic Tommy Lee Jones character of Batman Forver aside, to firmly establish the significance of Harvey Dent as a presence in his life before becoming Two-Face.

Harvey Dent/Two-Face represents many of the ideals that are closely associated with what makes Batman's rogues gallery one of the best in comics. Like Joker or Scarecrow; Two-Face is identified not for any superhuman trappings, but for the simple exaggeration of mental illness that could easily be found anywhere within society, taken to the nth degree in this homicidal package. Despite his relevance to the classic definition of a Bat-villain, it's actually been the continued work of writers right through to the nineties, that has fully realised the definitive Harvey Dent.

The portrayal seen in The Dark Knight owes the bulk of it's characterization to The Long Halloween -- a 1997 maxi-series by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, which has been regularly referenced throughout production on the revamped Bat-movie franchise, (Batman Begins included).

Loeb's portrayal of Harvey Dent; who is a central figure in The Long Halloween; was partially inspired by late DC editor, Archie Goodwin, with specific reference to the work of Frank Miller [Batman: Year One], who at some point once described Two-Face as a great under utilized Bat-villain. Dent played only a supporting role to the more significant (would-be) Commissioner Gordon, and Bruce Wayne, in his descriptive telling of the first adventures of Batman in Gotham City. It introduced a dynamic of antagonism between the traditional mobsters Batman fought regularly in his early stories, with the garish "freaks" who became more typical recurring foes in later years. Harvey Dent was to fall somewhere in between, making the transition from fiercely dedicated District Attorney-stroke-potential vigilante, to mentally and physically scarred miscreant.

Loeb's version further emphasised the treaty between Gordon, Dent, and Batman, and elaborated on the drive to see justice done that had made him a prime-suspect for being Batman, in Year One. The motif of duality has since continued in the characterization of Two-Face, who is often seen as more than a simple criminal menace, with the Harvey Dent persona often commanding some form of perspective based around the beliefs he held as District Attorney. It is a lingering presence that has also created a unique personalized relationship between he and Batman, rarely seen in the Dark Knight's dealings with other criminals in Gotham.

It will be interesting to see if these nuances of personality will have a platform to play out in the upcoming Batman video game sequel. If Paul Dini -- the writer behind the game and popular instalments of the animated series and comics -- returns for the sequel, we can certainly have high hopes for a success similar to the first title. As good as the movies are, it was the last game's ties to the source material that really impressed me. Here's hoping the team is ready to navigate the minefield of the sequel, which has the potential to undermine the great work done in the last game if the path forward isn't carefully considered.

I'm reluctant to refer to it as "Arkham 2", if only for the notion that it would be an error to attempt to recreate the confined systems of Arkham Asylum. As much as keeping the game contained to a single location played in it's favour, there's an expectation that sequels will be able to unfold on a much larger scale. There's only so often you can plonk players into the heart of Gotham City and expect the to remain a rat in a maze. This is "the goddamn Batman" we're talking about, after all.

A far less definitive version of Two-Face has been appearing in the pages of Batman as a quasi-caped crusader himself, battling the newly appointed Dick Grayson version of the Dark Knight amidst DC's Batman: Reborn line-up. You can find more information about these titles and more at DCcomics,com, more info about the next Bat-game at, and more blogging from me in my Best of 2009 post!

<< Hero of the Week 12/20: War Machine       [Home]       Hero of the Week 12/06: Dr. Doom >>

Originally posted:

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Hero of the Week #27: Dr. Doom

DR. DOOM (Marvel)
Real Name: Victor Von Doom
First Appearance: Fantastic Four #5 (July, 1962)
Group Affiliation: Latveria, The Cabal (former)
Gaming Credentials: Spider-man & Captain America in: Doctor Doom's Revenge (1989); Spider-man: The Video Game (1991); Marvel Super Heroes (1995); Marvel Super Heroes in War of the Gems (1996); Fantastic Four (1997); Marvel vs Capcom 2 (2000); Fantastic Four (2005); Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects (2005); Marvel Ultimate Alliance (2006); Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007); Marvel Super Hero Squad (2009)
Infinite Wars Cumulative Ranking: #64

If you've played one of the Fantastic Four video games, saw the movie(s), or dabbled in the comics, you probably think Dr. Doom is a pretty bad guy. As the major villain behind Marvel Ultimate Alliance, he certainly didn't do his public image any favours, but while MUA presented a great slice of the Marvel Universe as opposed to the usual brand-specific outings, it wasn't a game that excelled in the plot or characterization department.

Contrary to the name; Victor von Doom is neither an officially recognise practitioner of medicine, nor is he a harbinger of doom. In fact, depending on your reference, he's potentially a downright tragic hero, trapped within a prison of his own making, and intent on redemption through science and mysticism. Behind the cartoon trappings of a European hellbent on world domination, Dr. Doom is a rare breed of villain, as likely to save us all from damnation, as he is to condemn us. It's dramatic tragedy as bold as this that inspired one of cinema's greatest villains -- Darth Vader -- and assured the good Doctor a place in comics legend.

Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1962; Dr. Doom was an incomplete concept, alluded to only in the broadest sense, but quickly defined through keen visual design and playful antagonism as one of comics' greatest arch-nemesis.

Since his inception, Dr. Doom's story has unravelled through many interpretations. Some introduced legendary milestones, like the moment he scarred his own face by applying a still hot metal mask to the insignificant scarring he sustained during a failed college experiment to converse with the Netherealm. Other more modern tales have cast doubt on the truth of Dr. Doom's many stories, suggesting a man capable of travelling nimbly through time has, during some stories, been represented by a robotic doppelganger left in his stead. This is the explanation best used to dismiss some of his less refined appearances, where the character has fallen into the mindless antagonism of some of his video game appearances.

Despite forming strong rivalries with the likes of Iron Man, Silver Surfer, Hulk, Namor, Mephisto, and Dr. Strange; Victor von Doom will always be remembered as the arch-nemesis of Reed Richards and the Fantastic Four. It's through this association that the character made his way to the screen, both in live-action film and television animation, and been couriered to the world of video games, typically as a final boss in the heirharchy of villains.

While Dr. Doom is undeniably destined to play the role of antagonist, I feel the most true vision of the character is one less than evil. When Marvel launched their 2099 line of comics set in an possible future; readers were privvy to a glimpse of the world if Doom were to have his way with it. As it turned out, much of the globe came to share the opinions of the Latverians he ruled over in the presence, finding a man as capable of ruling the Earth as he had always claimed.

I think a comparison that does a wonderful job to convey the nuances of Dr. Doom is that of his well known mutant counterpart -- another Lee/Kirby creation from the sixties -- the master of magnetism - Magneto. Though a distinct personality; Magneto has essentially played the same arch-villain role to Professor X and the X-Men that Doom has to the FF. Magneto's experiences with the darker side of humanity have compelled him to turn the same level of intolerance onto the ruling class that once threatened him. Doom's rise against adversity, however, compelled him to practise an entirely different brand of superiority. Where Magneto desires to destroy, Doom hopes to control.

Sure, he's arrogant and uses violent methods, but really, all Dr. Doom potentially wants to do is make sure we're all protected from our own stupidity. Is that really such an awful thing? Y'know, if you assume that that's really what he's all about, and all those crazy Dooms were just rogue or malfunctioning Doombots... And if you don't mind him killing one of America's greatest heroes and scientific minds... And if you don't mind surrendering your freewill to the state...

Latverians -- ready to kill at the snap of a finger, 'cause Doom's a merciless dictator with benefits!

The complexities of Dr. Doom's character are set to play a significant part in Marvel's upcoming special event, Siege, which reunites the figurehead Avengers trio of Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor, for the first time in five years! It will also tell the tale of Norman Osborn's gambit as his Dark Reign over the Marvel Universe is tested by the galvanized union of superheroes once fractured by a Civil War, and by those allies who once stood beside him in The Cabal, namely the likes of Dr. Doom and Sub-Mariner! It should be a doozy and it's also why Dr. Doom is our HOTW!

Siege: The Cabal is a one-shot special released this week, previewing the meltdown of The Cabal and the upcoming Siege event. You should still be able to find it at comic stores if you so desire, or, wait for the event to kick-off proper in 2010. You'll find more information on good comics sites, and somewhere on, too.

<< Hero of the Week 12/13: Two-Face       [Home]       Hero of the Week 11/29: Spawn >>

Originally posted: