"Doctor Doom as a good guy."
Roll that around on your palate a bit. Break down the composition. Taste the complexity of the idea, the premise, and allow your senses to take it in and fill your thoughts.
Yeah, it doesn't sit well me with either.
Marvel is bringing us this book while Civil War II is going on, which was on the heels of the Marvel line-wide soft reboot, which came after the incredible Secret Wars series. That series had, as its god-like supervillain, Doctor Doom - the single being in all of the Marvel universe who has the ego and the indomitable will to defy everything that has ever been. HE imposes HIS will on the universe, HIS interests, HIS moral system.
But anyway, going along with the notion of a handsome Victor Von helping Tony Stark out in this new universe, this book is the natural progression: Tony is gone (his "demise" purposefully avoided in an obnoxious way much like the "Hey Supergirl, how's your cousin?" acknowledgements from the first season of Supergirl), and Vic has taken it upon himself to don the iron armor and right wrongs and "atone" and other stuff that was said when 'the Indestructible Hulk' came out.
What's really frustrating is how GOOD the opening of this book is - it harkens back to a meeting of the Cabal, the group of supervillains created by Normal Osborne as a bizarro version of the Illuminati. In this scene the Hood (Parker Robbins) begins to ask questions of Doom, referencing the time he descended into hell with Dr Strange to free the soul of his mother (one of my favorite graphic novels OF ALL TIME). It's a very, very tense scene, and Alex Maleev's moody, dark art is perfect for this tone. Hood keeps questioning, Doom grows irritated. Eventually Hood asks why Doom does anything that he does.
Which seems like a good question....if you have never met this character "Dr Doom" before and are unaware of every event he's been involved in for the last 30 years. He does things BECAUSE HE'S DR DOOM AND HE ****ING WANTS TO.
This book doesn't feel right as soon as Robbins asks the question. The dialogue is supposed to appear snappy but comes off as a super-powered version of Gilmore Girls. Maleev's art doesn't feel right in the light, addressing these particular characters (he goes with the classic version of Diablo which REALLY needed an update), his Doom combat seems weak, and Victor's face just seems....really off. Alex Maleev is SUCH a great artist, but he has to be on a book that highlights his strengths.
And then there's Bendis' dialogue. The man gets an undue amount of crap for his writing style and his storytelling techniques, which are both highly recognizable. In some circumstances he really shines - solo character stories, frenetic stories with high-energy characters. A book featuring Doom trying to figure out his motives doesn't really seem like a good fit. Again, the dialogue is just not good, where Diablo sounds hokey, a bit cliched really. His Doom seems like Bendis has a list of Doom-y buzz words that need to be listed to sound credible (eg "Prattle"). It comes off a stilted, where there's no flow. And then there's his Ben Grimm speech, where the Thing comes off as a pretentious douchebag, which he's never been.
And then there's the end of the story, following the debut of the Iron Doom. On one hand, hey that's a cool suit! I like the cut of its jib, especially when he's got that cloak on. Although really, it needs to look more Doomesque because every piece of armor or clothing Doom has ever worn has been a variation of his original armor. On the other hand, the "twist" is absolutely asinine and elicited an audible groan from me.
This could be a good book. This could have been a really good book, but it falls flat in almost everything it's trying to do. Doom doesn't show remorse. Doom has never felt the need to justify himself to anyone. Doom does what is in Doom's best interest, and him showing concern for others in this book is very...unsettling. I'd steer clear of this until it (hopefully) turns things around.