etragedy's The Avengers #25 - Enter...Dr. Doom! review

A Letdown

Current events were largely on Stan Lee's mind in late 1965. Both Daredevil and The Avengers took on dictators of nations which the despots themselves referred to as 'comic-opera kingdoms'. For The Avengers, this meant taking on Dr. Doom (immediately after having taken on Kang, the Dr. Doom of the future).

Sadly, the issue is a perfunctory effort with both uninspiring writing by Lee and uninspiring art by Don Heck and Dick Ayers. Heck even tries to emulate Kirby's style in a few places (especially when depicting Dr. Doom's technology), but evoking Kirby just makes the issue seem that much poorer for not actually having Jack on it.

Things that should have been remembered before we bought the airline tickets!

As usual, Hawkeye and Captain America trade barbs and vie for leadership. While Dr. Doom plans to lure The Avengers to him and then use them as bait to get the Fantastic Four to come rescue them. Why he thinks this will be any easier than actually just luring the F.F. themselves is anybody's guess. But it works because when The Avengers get a letter saying that Wanda and Pietro have an uncle in Latveria that wants them to visit, all of the Avengers pack their bags, buy tickets and hop a plane to Latveria - where they are promptly arrested before the realize, oh yeah, Latveria is Dr. Doom's fiefdom - duh!

I'm done with that awesome invention.

Dr. Doom pretty much has machines that do everything - he pretty has limitless wealth and time, apparently, because even stuff like his awesome invention that allows him to spy on anyone anywhere in the world, in real time, is pretty much as disposable as a Kleenex to him.

Overall, it isn't the worst issue of the Avengers... that is, maybe until you get to the ending.

SPOILER:

Hawkeye defeats Dr. Doom, with a 'sneeze-fog' arrow, and the Avengers waltz away, with Cap joking, "The Deadliest villain of all... and we beat him because he didn't think to hold his breath!". Back in the castle, Dr. Doom is still sneezing as the Avengers walk off into the sunset. Yes, you got that right, the Avengers beat Dr. Doom by using a novelty store gag. It's a good thing Earth's Mightiest villain is such pushover - now they know there's nothing they won't be able to handle without a whoopee cushion, a joy buzzer, and maybe a rubber chicken or two!

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