Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Catching Up On Miniseries

I recently got a chance to read 2 miniseries of Randy's that I hadn't picked up myself; Son of M and Books of Doom. Here, then, is what I thought. Massive Spoilers Ahoy!


Have you ever wondered just how much of a jerk Quicksilver would be if he suddenly had his powers taken away by his sister in a big Marvel Summer Event?


Well, me neither, which is why I originally passed on this series by David Hine. And it's a good thing, too --- not because it's terrible, but because the first issue and the last issue are the only ones I could comprehend. The first ish actually is a great Spider-Man comic, as we see him deal with the conflicted, tortured feelings he had coming out of House of M.

And it's done really, really well.

Well enough to make me think, "Why exactly are they giving Quicksilver a miniseries about this when I'd rather read about Spider-Man?"

(Side Note: Did they ever get around to exploring this potentially status quo-changing event in any of the Spider-Man comics? No? Nice job, Marvel. Sigh.)

Anyhoo, Pietro tries to kill himself, then is saved by Crystal from the Inhumans, and then it's 4 issues of Pietro in the Inhumans' land, as he attempts to steal the Terrigen Mists to give mutants back their powers and reconnect with his daughter.

He does, they do, and there's a big confrontation at the end between Magneto (who's still pissed because of the whole House of M thing), the Inhumans (who're pissed because Pietro stole the Mists and his daughter), SHIELD (who are pissed because he's powering up mutants again), and Pietro (who's pissed because, well, he's Quicksilver, and he's sort of perpetually pissed).

At the end, Black Bolt gets a F#$% Yeah! moment that would bode poorly for the Marvel Universe if, you know, they had any intention of following up on interesting story lines.

But the middle 4 issues were a largely confusing, jumbled mess, made even more incomprehensible when Quicksilver gets the ability to jump forward in time, so we've got multiple copies running at different times, and it only gets worse from there.

But the first and last issues were pretty good. Recommended only for diehard Inhumans fans or Quicksilver groupies.


This one by Ed Brubaker is a retelling of Doctor Doom's origin as told by Doom himself to a person that we're not shown until the final pages of the last issue.

This pissed me off at the end, because Brubaker got cutesy.

Anyhoo, it follows Victor Von Doom from boyhood as a gypsy, to his patronage and schooling courtesy of the U.S. military, to his return to Latveria and his eventual conquering of that kingdom. Along the way, it does a great job of showing Doom's fixation on getting his Mom out of Hell, and touches ever so briefly on his rivalry with The Accursed Richards.

It also shows his relationship with Valeria, and portrays his intelligence and ego extremely well. The best part was when we see why he's called 'Doctor' Doom.

(OK, I'll spoil it; he hears The Accursed Richards referred to on TV as 'Doctor Richards', and gets so jealously mad at it that he makes everyone refer to him as 'Doctor Doom'. That is pure Silver Age Marvel Villainy in action right there, people.)

I was stoked to see what I thought was a definitive story of the origin of one of comicdom's greatest --- if not THE greatest --- villain, and I was digging the slower pacing through the series.

Then we turn the last pages, and see that Doom has been narrating this tale to a reporter who was granted exclusive access; she even gets Doom to unmask and we see the horrifying visage...

...of a DoomBot.

Yes, the entire story has been a yarn spun by a DoomBot, so it may or may not be true, which makes the whole thing a bit of a cheat.

In a very cool twist, however,the reporter ends up being locked up forever in Doom's dungeon, so the world will never know what she was told. Or something.

I understand now why Marvel did such a piss-poor job of promoting this series; it ultimately doesn't matter in the context of the rest of the Marvel U because of that cheat.

That said, I rather enjoyed it. Recommended for darn near anybody who has even a passing interest in origin stories or Doctor Doom, though beware if you like your comics fast-paced.


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