Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Who Dares Challenge Doom?

I have a general rule of thumb. Any comic that prominently features Doctor Doom is 90% of the time going to be awesome. So as you can imagine I'm a sucker for those solo Doom stories in the early issues of Astonishing Tales. Old Larry Lieber (Stan's brother no less) doesn't disappoint, giving us tales of Doom being ruthless, evil and thoroughly cool. However with Doctor Doom as your protagonist you inevitably face a dilemma 'who is tough enough to cross swords with the Marvel Universe's number one bad guy'? It can't be the Fantastic Four or the Avengers again and again, but a face-off against Rhino or The Shocker just isn't gonna cut it. I mean once you have him summon up the devil and yell 'I AM DOOM!' in his face (which is just what he did in Astonishing Tales #8) where is there left to go?

Who is bad ass enough to take on Doctor Doom?

It's got to be someone who has the charisma to convince the Latverian peasants to strap on their jet-packs take up their ray guns and throw off the shackles of oppression. It's got to be someone with the balls to meddle in the creation of Doctor Doom's most unstoppable android ever - the Doomsman. It's got to be someone with the fashion sense to steal 'the-goldfish-bowl-for-a-head' look made so very popular by super-villain fashion diva Mysterio.

In Astonishing Tales #8 Larry give us the answer. It's got to be the Faceless One!!

Never heard of him eh? Don't worry about it, just take it from me that he's bad to the bone. Look at this picture (rendered in sumptuous Wally Wood art) of the Faceless One trying to wrest mental control of the Doomsman away from his master:
Okay, you call the Doomsman, then I'll call the Doomsman and we'll see who he comes to.

Obviously in order to be a worthy foe to Doctor Doom you can't just cause an uprising amongst his subjects, you can't just steal his best toy,you can't be just like all those millions of other goldfish bowl wearing Mysterio knock-offs that are wandering around out there. You have to have a secret weapon.

A secret weapon that is so shocking it will amaze and disturb not just Doctor Doom, not just his Doomsman but all of the cynical jaded fanboys of Marveldom Assembled.

A secret such as:
Oh My God! He's just a goldfish bowl with legs!!

Okay, okay, I know you're freaking out, but everything's okay, calm down. It all works out in the end. Doctor Doom exiles the rebellious Doomsman to another dimension and sticks it to the jetpack touting malcontents invading his castle reaffirming his iron grip on Latveria. All is well. Doom is supreme.

Oh No, wait! He forgot about the Faceless One!:
Geez, you'd think Castle Doom would have an elevator

Take note all would be dictators out there in the audience. If your arch-enemy reveals himself to be a goldfish bowl with legs don't leave him to scuttle about your lair unattended while you go to put down a filthy peasant uprising and banish your evil android lackey to another dimension. That's just going to give him the precious seconds he needs to find your master control room!

Or maybe he'd just go looking for the little goldfish bowl's room. Whatever.
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