By Kevin Mahadeo
The battle begins this February in DOOMWAR, a five-issue limited series by writer Jonathan Maberry uniting the Marvel super heroes against a common and deadly foe: the egomaniacal dictator Doctor Doom.
"They go after him in a major way; not just personally, but going after all of his operations, which we'll find out is a much bigger thing than we've ever seen before," explains Maberry. "It's kind of a 'we've had enough,' line-in-the-sand sort of thing. It's going to involve some key players and a whole lot of action."
The first sounds of battle ring out when Storm, stalwart former leader of the X-Men and bride of the Black Panther, stands trial in Wakanda with a death sentence looming. With their friend's life on the line, members of the X-Men set into motion events that reveal Doom's influence and lead to the current and former Black Panthers, the Fantastic Four and more joining together to save Storm and bring down the Latverian's empire once and for all.
Every hero involved in the coming conflict desires vengeance on Doom for various reasons, including his former Cabal compatriots Emma Frost and Namor, now both members in good standing of the X-Men. Storm's husband, T'Challa, feels a particularly ferocious passion for eliminating Doom after the malevolent monarch's recent attack led to the hero losing not only his title as Black Panther but also his kingship.
|Doomwar teaser art by John Romita Jr.|
Although Maberry wants to keep a few of these wild cards a secret, the writer admits to two characters that play very important roles in the heroes' war strategy: the six-clawed Canuck, Wolverine and the epitome of unpredictability, the Merc with a Mouth, Deadpool.
"From a strategic point of view, if you're going to put together a team that is going up against tremendous odds, you're going to want somebody who is going to be able to take a lot of injury and keep on fighting," says Maberry. "That's Wolverine. He's the person you want at your back in any fight. As far as Deadpool goes, I mentioned that what needs to tip the scales in this type of match is a chaos factor. You throw him into the mix and literally, anything can happen."
And as Maberry points out, what's the point of waging war against Doom without including the heroes who have foiled his every scheme since the character's first appearance, the Fantastic Four? A longtime fan of Marvel's First Family, Maberry says the members of that team all play key roles throughout the series. Arguably the only person smarter than Doctor Doom, Reed Richards' expertise provides an equalizing factor against Doom's advanced technological defenses. With the Storm siblings, Maberry says that while the Human Torch goes on the offensive, his sister, the Invisible Woman, acts more covertly and that "she's going to play into a couple of big reveals." As for the Thing, when it comes to this battle, it's clobberin' time.
"I've always loved when the Thing gets into the middle of a big brawl," admits Maberry. "There [are] a lot of jaws he can punch, a lot of things he can tear apart. I want to let him rip through this."
The fallout from this limited series looks to drastically change the landscape of the Marvel Universe, both on a political scale and on an emotional one. Maberry says the last issue contains quite a bit of shock value and a few last surprises:
"There is something else that is going to happen at the end of the series that is going to affect quite a few characters across the board. Echoes of this will be showing off in Marvel Comics for a while."
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