Doctor Doom is one of the most complex and challenging villains in the entire Marvel collection; Doctor Doom #2 by Christopher Cantwell, Salvador Larroca, Guru-eFX, and VC’s Cory Petit takes this stance and runs away with it.
Cantwell’s script, along with Larroca’s stellar art, is elevating an already prestigious comic character. Doctor Doom #2 reads and looks like one of the most in-depth and intense character analysis in the medium.
Picking up after Doom’s apprehension following the bombing of the Antlion site, Doctor Doom #2 sets the story’s goal on Doom’s “redemption.” It’s difficult for this character to be redeemed, despite several other series’ attempts, in light of his past actions, which is why Doom has remained one of the most complex characters in Marvel’s canon. But Doctor Doom #2 seems like one of the character’s last real chances at total redemption or eternal damnation.
Cantwell achieves this by using the majority of Doctor Doom #2 to focus on how people interact with Doom. Perhaps the most significant interactions are from Doctor Strange and Silver Sable. Strange, in an odd way, respects Doom in some amount. Cantwell shows this by having Strange, not Doom, correct the robot to appear in Reed Richard’s absence H.E.R.B.I.E. Herbie calls Doom, Mister Doom, which is typically a big no-no but Doom, walks away. Strange has to say that it’s Doctor. But during the plane ride, Strange seems unsure of Doom’s innocence. Even after Doom swears on his mother’s grave, Strange’s face is unknown as he is silent and cloaked in shadow.
In a way, this scene also reads like Cantwell’s attempt to immerse Doom full throttle into magic, if he wasn’t already. After Kang’s jailbreak and Doom is in absolute free-fall, he doesn’t have a tech solution like rocket boots or a jet pack; instead, he casts a spell to summon a force field. This is such a subtle touch that calls back on every aspect of Doom’s history, and it shows how in command Cantwell is of this character.
Legendary comic artist Salvador Larroca adds his hand to this series, and his super realistic and sleek style is the ideal match for this story. Particular notice should be taken to Larroca’s character design. Even some of the more outlandish characters like Kang and Doctor Strange look realistic to a certain extent, which special focus on their faces. Larroca can coax so much unease from his characters as they are unsure of Doom’s new intentions. The scene mentioned above between Strange and Doom in the jet plane rests on Larroca’s abilities and succeeds because of them.
The teaser for the next issue looks as if it will allow Larroca to go a little more fantastical, which I have no doubt he will flourish. Guru-eFX’s colors are a good match with Larroca’s art. eFX’s colors are stark and solid with no ambiguity, and they make good use of the color black as they highlight the ominous undertones that come with the color. Cory Petit’s letters are similarly stark and defined. Special note goes to his lettering of the character The Witness, as the spooky script he uses is the perfect amount of camp and humor that is needed before the story takes a dark twist.
Christopher Cantwell, Salvador Larroca, Guru-eFX, and VC’s Cory Petit should be commended for their work on Doctor Doom #2. It is hard to point out some if any flaws in the story’s execution. Doctor Doom #2 is shaping up to be one the most defining stories in not only its character’s history but the entirety of Marvel’s canon.