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The Doom In The Room

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This issue did not come up in any of my original data searches, because Doctor Doom doesn't actually appear, visually, anywhere in it. He is, however, mentioned a lot, so I think it needs to be included, while noting that this demonstrates both the need to read around the data and the primacy of the image over the dialogue in comics.

The biggest shock for me with this issue is that, after the psychedelic bombast of Steranko last time Kirby's artwork suddenly looks flat and old-fashioned. I'm used to it being exciting and fresh, but here it seems like old news. The story is a sort of retread of The Wedding Of Reed and Sue from Fantastic Four Annual #3 except with even MORE continuity. It starts with Daredevil swinging in from the end of the previous issue of his own series and meeting Thor, who has come straight from events in his own title. Spider-man quickly joins them, and Daredevil tells the group that Doctor Doom has taken over Reed Richard's body (he hasn't, that was just a Cunning Fib by Doom at the end of his last appearance). They then go and fight the three male members of the FF (Sue is on pre-maternity leave) who, in a classic comics misunderstanding, believe that Daredevil is actually Doctor Doom and the other two are some allies in disguise.

Like I said, Doctor Doom doesn't actually appear in this issue, but he is mentioned a LOT! Of course, none of the superheroes take the time to discuss the matter, or even try to explain that they really are who they look like, and a colossal punch-up ensues which only comes to an end on the penultimate page when Sue turns up and separates them all with her force fields. She know Daredevil can't be Doctor Doom because she's just seen a live report on TV, showing Doom in Latveria, addressing a conference of ministers. One might think that this was an oversight of Doom's - his whole plan was to trick the heroes into fighting each other, so it was a bit daft to go on telly and give the game away - but then again, how could he possibly be in Latveria? This issue takes place immediately after Daredevil #37 where Doom was specifically shown, on multiple occasions, to be in New York City. The whole story in the current issue can't have taken more than half an hour, which is nowhere near time for Doom to leave the embassy, fly to Latveria, and then prepare his notes sufficiently for a meeting, so what's going on?

Here's my No-Prize application: we don't actually see the news report Sue is talking about, so maybe she's just made it up, as a way of pointing out that everyone is clearly who they say they are, without making the men feel too silly?

As with last time, Doom's actual presence in the comic may be tiny, but we still get several of his defining characteristics - his cunning, his leadership of Latveria, and his immunity from prosecution - even if they're only related by other parties. By this point Doom is so recognisably Doom that he doesn't even need to be shown to make his mark!

link to information about this issue

posted 6/7/2018 by Mark Hibbett

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DOOMBOT FILTER: an animal that says 'moo' (3)

(e.g. for an animal that says 'cluck' type 'hen')

An examination of Doctor Doom in The Marvel Age written by Mark Hibbett