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Why You Should Read: BOOKS OF DOOM

If you know nothing about one of Marvel's greatest villains, then here's your chance to learn more.

In comic shops today there is least one series featuring an appearance by what is arguably Marvel's greatest and most villainous of villains: Doctor Doom. In FANTASTIC FOUR #9, written by Matt Fraction (in stores today), we will see just what events Ben Grimm caused that resulted in Doctor Doom becoming the villain that he is today. And although a staple in many Fantastic Four comics, Doom's presence is one that is often felt throughout the entirety of the Marvel universe, and his appearances are not restricted solely to Fantastic Four books. In fact, the character has successfully crossed over (most recently) in books like DAREDEVIL by Mark Waid and in the more recent issues of Jonathan Hickman's AVENGERS. Clearly, he is the go to villain Marvel utilizes when they want to present to readers a force to be reckoned with, but who is Doom, really? What makes him tick? Why is he a villain and what events led to the character's obsession with power and his desire to be the most intelligent and most powerful man in the Marvel Universe? That kind of egoism isn't something that evolves in a character without a reason and it is one that was born in Victor Von Doom while he was still in the womb.

If you have read Doom's appearances in comics but you haven't really been exposed to the full scope of his story then BOOKS OF DOOM is a series that we believe you should definitely pick up. Published in 2006, BOOKS OF DOOM was a six issue series by Ed Brubaker with pencils by Pablo Raimondi that explores the character's identity in a great deal of depth. To write the story, Brubaker took from Doom's history, revisiting many of the events that already existed in comics and retelling them in his own way, but he did more than just regurgitate stories we already know: he gave readers a new perspective from which to view many of these stories and this character, and he does so in a way that might even make you sympathize with Doom. The result is a fantastic story the delves into the details of his life and the emotional repercussions of the events he experienced and the decisions that he made.

The first issue in this series opens with Doom's childhood and briefly explores his relationship with his mother. In the beginning, Doom never understood why his mother's "hands were always cold as ice," but eventually realized why as time went on and he realized that she was a slave to the dark arts. The thing that makes this all very compelling is the fact that although she was mixed up in some seriously evil stuff, she was doing this as a sort of self sacrifice so that her son (Doom), would have a better future. Yet, the death of his mother was far from the only tragedy that young Victor would be forced to endure. Living the life of a gypsy, being shunned from society and betrayed but those people that were supposed to understand him. One of the things Brubaker does very well in this first issue is depict the duality of Doom's personality: he was "marked by the Devil" very early on thanks to his Mother, but he had also retained a bit of innocence being that he was still a young boy. It is towards the end of this first issue that we see Doom lose the last bit of innocence left in him, and it is a very powerful moment.

The story progresses, glazing over Doom's first encounter with Reed and focusing instead on the character's psyche. Reading the series you may find yourself wondering whether there was any good to Doom. Whether the character is truly inherently evil, or if he is simply a man with a tremendous ego that is possessed by personal demons. Would he have been the same evil Victor Von Doom had he not been marked by the Devil, or would he have grown to be a very different kind of man? Doom is clearly his own worst enemy: never accepting that he is still human and in a sense, prone to failure sometimes. For Doom, failure is not an option and his scars became a constant reminder of that.

One of the great things about this series is the fact that it is narrated by Doom, and also that the character appears in some of the panels as he tells his story, recounting his past. This is a very interesting technique and certainly one that I personally felt made the telling of this story rather interesting. As the series progresses we find that Doom actually does have a heart, and it is that disparity within him between good and evil and right and wrong that makes the character seem so intriguing. In all his evil and all his rage, there is still a part of him that hasn't succumbed to the forces that harm him: there is still a piece of him that is capable of love.

The best thing about this series is that it is short, well written, and gives us an introduction to Doom that paints him in a rather complex light. He is not just good or evil, it is far deeper than that, and that's what makes this a great read. If you are a fan of Doctor Doom or you know nothing about him, this is both a great introduction to this character as well as a wonderful story that fans of Doom will certainly appreciate. If you have read it, what did you think of this series? Did it give you a new found appreciation for Doctor Doom? Big thanks to Ryan Dawson for suggesting this series to me, it was definitely worth picking up.

49 Comments
Edited by joshmightbe

I love books of Doom almost as much as Dr. Doom loves to strangle people (He does it a lot here)

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Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

An absolute classic for any Doom fan. I've not read it yet myself but want to...and It hink my local library has it in stock. Trip is on!

Posted by Duuz-Diz-Din

Is Doom gonna have to choke a bitch.

Posted by Lone_Wolf_and_Cub

Love this story.

Edited by BaneStrokeLoboGrundyBatArrow

doom

Edited by Zeeguy91

Love this story.

Same. This will always be the definitive origin for my favorite Marvel villain.

Edited by joshmightbe
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Posted by joshmightbe
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Posted by dondave

Definitely going to pick this up

Edited by FoxxFireArt

I've never been able to take Doom seriously. I could just never get over the idea that the man is suppose to be a super genius, yet didn't realize one shouldn't grab a hot metal mask and try to place it on his face.

Posted by joshmightbe
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Edited by fables87

I LOVED THIS BOOK! Glad to see it on here :D

Posted by LordRequiem

Hails to Doom. He is Marvel's finest villain, by a country mile.

Posted by Supermanwithatan01

Great story.

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Posted by JoseDRiveraTCR7

Okay, I will!!!

Posted by ravisher

does he get slap by powerman?

Posted by StMichalofWilson

Powerful story. I almost feel sorry for Dr. Doom if he wasn't such an evil jerk.

Posted by Donovan Montgomery

Wanted to pick this up then, think I've read some of it but it is on my "want" list.

Posted by JamDamage

has dooms face ever been shown????

Posted by Gotham331

I don't read Marvel, but I might have to pick this up. Doom is awesome

Edited by OmgOmgWtfWtf

has dooms face ever been shown????

His damage face has not been shown as far as I can remember. Marvel does tease at the end of the books of Doom, when a reporter asks him to remove his mask and he says okay. I was so happy, but alas, like anything with Doom...It was a doombot :/ What was hilarious though is that it was a doombot telling the story in retrospect and not actually Doom himself. Guess Doom can't waste time telling his own life story :D

Edited by Miss_Garrick

"what events Ben Grimm caused that resulted in Doctor Doom becoming the villain that he is today."

What did Ben do? I thought it was Reed who Doom blames all his problems.

That being said, Doom is one of the best comic villains as he is multi-faceted. I liked how in John Byrne's version, after the fated explosion Doom checks his face and he only has a small burn scar, but his ego makes him think he is Dorian Gray's picture! Then he (thru impatience) has his face as mutilated as he thought it was.

Edited by vandinejd_1991

@babs: You got any good reads about my favorite villain of the Marvel Universe: Red Skull?

Posted by Onemoreposter

Oh fantastic! I'm always looking for Doom centered story arc's and mini-series to read. Can anyone recommend anything else like this to me?

Edited by hart7668

@jamdamage: I believe in the Marvel 1602 timeline, Dr. Doom's face was shown many times. In fact, he was actually considered the most attractive male in the "old world."

Posted by Perfect 10

it's awesome series. going to go read it again now lol

Posted by Pokeysteve

I've been looking for a really great Doom story but wasn't sure where to start.

For the people who have read this, is it really a good place to start?

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Posted by bunkerbuster05

This book is amazing. My local shop had all the single issues collected for a cheap price, so I picked it up. Definitely worth a loom at.

Edited by Meteorite

Something I quite liked about Books of Doom is that at the end it turns out that a Doombot has been narrating the entire time. Since this is something of an "origin" mini, it means that if you're not a fan of the interpretation, you can simply declare the entire thing non-canon in your personal headcanon. Works brilliantly.

Edited by Billy Batson
Posted by Jackmaa

I love this serie. It is my favorite storie of Dr. Doom, it's so cool to know what he was under that hood and mask.

He's by far my favourite vilain of whole time. Just a little ahead of the Joker.

Posted by Darkseid011

@jamdamage: yes look up jack Kirby dr doom face images

Posted by mr_gone

fantastic series for sure

Posted by 14NC3

I have issue 1 and after reading this i'm gonna go finish it off

Posted by Kerrigan

Can I just say how awesome Marvel Unlimited is? "You should read Books of Doom." So I go and read Books of Doom. Very glad I did.

Posted by DadaHyena

A fine read, for sure, but to me the very best story about Doom's origin and motives is the one-shot "Though Some Call It Magic!" by Gerry Conway and Gene Colan. True, his origin isn't shown, but you do learn all the details while also seeing Doom trying to make up for the past. Best of all it's beautifully drawn and filled with the action that Merry Marvellites crave!

Posted by lostlantern13

I'll gladly recommend any recommendation of Doom. Other villains pale in comparison to Doom.

Posted by Onemoreposter
Posted by Billy Batson

@billy_batson: Thanks Batson!

No problem. GSBG's lists are pretty good since they're fan voted and they usually vote for the best stories. Though I heard Waid's take on Doom was a bit iffy :p

BB

Posted by NathanXplosion

I became a fan of Doom solely from the Capcom Vs. Series, but really don't know anything about the character. I will definitely be picking this up.

Posted by Lone_Wolf_and_Cub

DOOM is inevitable...

Posted by Lone_Wolf_and_Cub

By the way the long out of print "Dr. Strange and Dr. Doom Triumph and Torment" is being released in a couple of months. A absolute must have for Doom fans, Strange fans or comic fans in general.

Posted by Killemall

@lone_wolf_and_cub: They had that on TPB before, i actually have the on hard copy with me. Its an awesome read (i myself am not a big fan of Book of Doom personally, i felt the book was very less action, slow, and the only real thing Dr. Doom did there was overthrow a monarch in Latveria, i just felt a top villian like him should have more highlights to show for in a series dedicated to him and his origin).

@babs: Awesome writeup, although i did not like the series as much. Oh just wanted to point something minor, Dr. Doom hasnt yet appeared in Hickman's run of Avengers, but has appeared in the other Hickman book, New Avengers, not sure if that was worth changing.

Posted by Killemall

I became a fan of Doom solely from the Capcom Vs. Series, but really don't know anything about the character. I will definitely be picking this up.

As a long time Dr. Doom fan i would recommend you 2 additional stories, Dr. Doom/ Dr. Strange: Triumph and Torment and Fantastic Four: Unthinkable. I personally find those better than Book of Doom.

Fantastic Four: Master of Doom is a pretty cool story as well, and the idea that series potrays is pretty awesome, which happens to be regardless of how powerful you are, you cross Dr. Doom you are eventually going to get f*%ked. :)

Posted by tikhunt

I might see if I can pick this up next time I go to my LCS.

Posted by FoxxFireArt

@joshmightbe: Impatience is hardly an excuse for doing what is easily one of the stupidest things a human could possible do. Even kids eventually learn not to grab hot metal. A person can not be both a super genius and that dumb at the same time.

Posted by joshmightbe

@foxxfireart: A person can be a genius and lack common sense, its actually quite common

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Posted by Arkhamc1tizen

bow before doom!!!!!!!!!