OF EVIL #1
By Jim Beard
In 2009, Doom will finally be allowed his day, and the Marvel Universe will tremble in response.
Arriving January 21, written by Paul Tobin with art by Patrick Scherberger and Jacopo Camagni, DOCTOR DOOM AND THE MASTERS OF EVIL #1 wastes no time in getting down with its bad self.
"Tony Stark has invented an amazing little piece of [technology], an enormously powerful energy booster, and Doom wants it," says Tobin, setting the scene. "Of course, Doom's not the kind of guy who favors dirtying his own hands, so he 'recruits' the Sinister Six to do his bidding.
"You may have noted the quotation marks around 'recruits.' They are rather important as Doom has his own way of going about things."
Victor Von Doom undoubtedly provides a fascinating subject for any writer to tackle, especially when the writer in question prepares to explore Marvel's #1 villain as the focus of his own series.
"An amazing thing about Doom is that he really isn't that bad a guy, you know," Tobin notes. "He really does want the best for his Latverian countrymen, he just has his own ideas about what's best for them, and his own ethics concerning how far he'll go to make sure his country is safe."
Sure, Latveria's sunny pastures and crumbling battlements put that special gleam in Doom's eye, but what about the rest of the world and its plethora of ne'er-do-wells?
"Outside of his countrymen, Doom has a fairly black and white way of looking at the world," states Tobin. "And it's not quite a 'my side/your side' viewpoint; it's a bit more subtle than that. It's more 'can I use
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you, or are you in my way?' viewpoint. If Doom can't use you, then you're in the way. If he can use you, then you're a useful tool, at least until you get in the way."
Readers of DOCTOR DOOM AND THE MASTERS OF EVIL will also be treated to the exploits of not just Doom, but Spider-Man's greatest adversaries, the Sinister Six. Tobin's eager to show off his take on this collection of characters, one that's spread their own brand of evil for years.
"I went old school on the lineup, using Sandman, Mysterio, Kraven, Chameleon, Doctor Octopus and the Vulture," the writer relates. "Additionally, I largely looked to the books of the past to key into what makes each of them tick. Past that, I appointed Mysterio as team leader, and 'voice' of the Sinister Six, because I very much wanted to—and very much did—play with the illusionary aspects of his character.
"The Sinister Six view Doom through fear-tinted goggles, but they also have a lot of respect for the man. Especially after Doom asks them so very nicely
to aid him in this first stage of his ongoing quest. As far as the Sinister Six ranking him in some sort of 'Top Ten Bad Guys' list, I'd say he's # 1. At least, he's number one among those villains whose names don't start with 'The Entity Known as…'"
Should interested Marvel aficionados worry that DR. DOOM AND THE MASTERS OF EVIL #1 features only those of a criminal bent, fear not! The Sinister Six also run afoul of Iron Man and Doctor Strange in this first adventure—but if the Six can't even beat Spider-Man, how can they hope to go toe-to-toe against those two powerhouses?
"The Sinister Six can
beat Spidey," insists Tobin. "That blasted wall-crawler just keeps getting lucky
! And as far as beating Iron Man and Dr. Strange, my guys are pretty confident they can pull an upset. It's all about team spirit. And cheating, of course."
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But at the heart of DOCTOR DOOM AND THE MASTERS OF EVIL lies Doctor Doom. Bad guy supreme. Super villain without peer—more or less.
"There are some people that Doom considers his equal," claims Tobin. "One of them is Magneto, who definitely will be showing up in [this limited series]. And then there's Reed Richards. Yes. Reed. Doom absolutely considers Reed Richards to be his equal.
"Umm, Doom's not going to be reading this, right? I mean, this won't be seen in Latveria, will it?"
Pick up a copy of DOCTOR DOOM AND THE MASTERS OF EVIL #1 on January 21, if you know what's good for you, see! Tell 'em Victor commanded you! And check out Paul Tobin's official web site while you're at it!
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