Tuesday, February 21, 2023

RGP #046 - Doom 2099 28 & 29


DOOM 2099 #28 & 29, Marvel Comics, cover-dated April & May 1995.

"Borderlines" and "American Caesar" both written by Warren Ellis, with art by Pat Broderick and John Nyberg.

What happens when Doom has his first new adventure under the stewardship of Warren Ellis? Has he changed his approach to leadership, or is he still the same calm and cool leader we've come to know and love?

 Listen to the episode and find out!

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Promo: Opal City Confidential

Next Time: Astonishing Tales 2 & 3 (only the Doom parts, obviously)

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  1. Very meaty episode Professor. Thank you for both the comic coverage and the discussion. Some points.

    About the comic. Taking Doom out of Latveria and putting up as President of the US is a bold choice. It also is risky. It also doesn't sound like Doom. When you make a huge change to a character, it better be damn good (I always point to Alan Moore making Swamp Thing a true plant and not a mockery of a man). You could make James Bond asexual and a pacifist ... but is that James Bond?

    Here, I think Ellis had an anti-American story he wanted to tell and bolted Dr. Doom to it. Kudos for him for the throwbacks to prior stories. But this doesn't necessarily sound like Doom.

    It reminds me more recently of Tom King's work. He has stories he wants to tell about trauma. He overlays it on characters who may or may not be well served by that. Mister Miracle as suicidal? Supergirl as drunk and angry and depressed? Ice as a murderous femme fatale? If these aren't tremendous stories, they don't work. Even worse, if they stick they potentially ruin a character for a time.

    Now, on to the idea of politics in comics. Yes, comics have been in politics forever. But it felt like there were a few rules. One, they were usually told as allegory. Mutants as stand-ins for marginalized groups, for example. Two, when told straight on - stories about antisemitism or poverty or wrongful conviction - they were infrequent. For every one of those stories, you had 100 stories of Superman fighting Terra-Man or the XMen fighting in a giant pinball machine. Third, as you say, it was nuanced or matter-of-fact. It wasn't ham-fisted and partisan and angry.

    I buy comics to read stories about bigger than life heroes fighting super-villains. I read them to be entertained. More and more, I feel like comics are preaching to me, often from the viewpoint that I'm the villain. And it is done in a ham-fisted way. And so one-sided it's silly. It isn't entertaining. It isn't fun.

    It just means it is easy for me to stop dropping $5 a month on something like that. Perhaps that is why my pull list is growing smaller and smaller.

    (Stepping off soapbox)

    1. I'm starting to think that Supergirl title didn't quite work for you.

      Good point about the bluntness of the messages today, as opposed to a more subtler approach from days gone by.

      "... I'm the villain." That's it.