Written by Jonathan Maberry
Art by Scot Eaton
Often when the big two have a large event going on, they’ll have a completely separate event for the appearance of variety. Civil War had Annihilation. Final Crisis had Sinestro Corps War. Doomwar is the counterpart to Siege, taking a bunch of characters who are otherwise standing on the sidelines in the battle of the Avengers. Sometimes, the back-up event may be just as enjoyable as or even more so than the highly-promoted one. Sometimes they’re not. This is starting to look like the latter.
T’Challa and Doom’s squabbles have finally come to a head after a radical group overthrows the Wakanda royal family. Of course, he goes to the X-Men for help, because if any particular team of superheroes is highly experienced in dealing with Doom and have a history with T’Challa, the X-Men top the list.
To be fair, the X-Men aren’t unqualified. Besides, while the Fantastic Four are supposed to eventually appear in the series (to what extent, we’ll see), it’s pretty obvious why T’Challa chose the X-Men by the end of the issue – for the most anti-climatic reconquering effort of any unconquerable nation ever.
The issue’s lackluster ending is not the only problem here. The dialog is extremely heavy in exposition, and even after that, it’s still pretty fluffed. From news reports to flash back and planning, all the reading and explanation slows the book down to a crawl. Bogging down the plot unfortunately gives readers more time to see its weak logical points and motivations.
The whole issue just feels like it had a good idea but lacked the creativity to make the idea into good story. Doomwar sounds awesome, having an all-out battle against Doctor Doom, but the execution is off to a poor start. It’s pretty middle of the road with more than enough writing issues that some script doctoring could have fixed.
In general, it’s passable. The characters and backgrounds work well enough and don’t look particularly bad. It’s just not particularly good either.
Detail occasionally vanishes from lesser characters, sometimes making them unrecognizable. It’s particularly bad when it’s a well-known character who just isn’t that big in this story, so they don’t even get faces.
Some of the panel placement is also a bit iffy, with one or two spots confusing the reader with just what happened, both by panel order and panel focus.
The cover of this issue, as well as the cover to the next previewed at the end, is done by John Romita Jr. Both look phoned in. Characters twist in awkward positions while being pretty flat. For just doing only covers, Romita should have done much better.
Doctor Doom is one of my favorite Marvel villains, and he’s a good antagonist to these characters. However, if this first issue is any indication, the weak plot, bloated dialog and average art might keep this miniseries from delivering the quality story it could be.
Overall (Not an Average) 4/10