Comics
Published September 13, 2019

Exclusive: The First Look Inside 'Doctor Doom' #1

Pre-order the first issue of Christopher Cantwell and Salvador Larocca's new ongoing series today!

On October 9, Victor Von Doom—scientist, sorcerer, despot, leader—wrestles with visions of an entirely different life and a better future, and finds himself at a crossroads. But when a catastrophic act of terrorism kills thousands, the Latverian ruler becomes the prime suspect...and he's forced to push his personal thoughts aside and focus on remaining alive as the title of “Most Wanted Man” is thrust upon him.

Left with no homeland, no armies, no allies, indeed, nothing at all, will the reign of Doctor Doom come to an abrupt halt? Find out as a new journey begins in Christopher Cantwell and Salvador Larroca's DOCTOR DOOM #1!

Doctor Doom (2019-) #1
DOCTOR DOOM #1 cover by ACO

We spoke with Cantwell—the creator of television show Halt and Catch Fire—about digging into Doom, getting him on the streets, and working with Larroca!

Doctor Doom's one of the most beloved Super Villains around. How has it been peaking behind that mask?

Getting a real in-depth human look at Doom has been fascinating. The first thing I did was to go back and read all of the best Doom stories I could find, stretching all the way back to the Kirby days. I was kind of blown away by the entire "Zorba" arc, too…to see Doom overthrown by a "rightful" heir, then to see that heir completely screw up the country, and turn into a worse despot than Doom. It was amazing to read a story where the Fantastic Four help reinstall Doom as the Latverian ruler. It was this strange argument for totalitarianism that was much more complex than you’d think at first glance. Not that I support totalitarianism, it just gave tremendous insight into the guy behind the mask. It’s this storyline that shows Doom receiving flowers from a young Latverian girl, one of the earliest glimpses of his love for his people. I did a similar thing in [WAR OF THE REALMS] WAR SCROLLS #3 as an homage to that moment, but mine emphasized some other harsher aspects of the dictator. 

It’s funny, you have this metal-clad dude who calls himself Doctor Doom—which on the surface can seem very broad—but then you have over 50 years of storytelling that proves otherwise. Whether he’s rescuing his mother’s soul from Hell or banishing his first love to the same place, the guy has a LOT going on inside.

DOCTOR DOOM #1 interiors by Salvador Larroca and Guru-eFX
DOCTOR DOOM #1 interiors by Salvador Larroca and Guru-eFX

Over the past few years, Doom's gone from holding all of reality together to taking over for Iron Man and eventually returning to Latveria. What's Victor up to when the series kicks off?

This may sound silly, but I’m endeavoring for a "street-level" Doom story with this first arc. There are massive geopolitical implications set up at the beginning of the story, but from there, I’m stripping Doom down to his basics in order to see how he’d survive outside the bubble of his Latverian castle. I love challenging characters to their core and this chapter for Doom is no different. Rather than tell the tale of an oligarch, I want to tell the story of the human underneath all that artifice. What does he truly want deep down? What does he truly believe? How much of a badass can he still be without all his usual tools at his disposal?

DOCTOR DOOM #1 interiors by Salvador Larroca and Guru-eFX
DOCTOR DOOM #1 interiors by Salvador Larroca and Guru-eFX

Doom's not usually known for caring about or even acknowledging the experiments of others. What can you tell us about why he opposes the black hole project introduced in issue #1?

I keep it ambiguous as to why Doom opposes the Antlion Project. His critics may be right—he may hate it simply because he wasn’t in control of it. Doom hates and distrusts many of the things he’s not in direct control of. I think this stems from a pretty rough childhood, in which he wasn’t in control of anything. But this arc also plays around with metaphysical clairvoyance and precognition…people who are so intelligent or so tapped into something undefinable that they have a sense of where certain things are headed. I’m trying to play with ideas of destiny and fate, and how we end up defining them for ourselves by thinking we know what they are. Whether it’s a self-fulfilling prophesy, or a blindsiding reversal that surprises us, we always play a hand in our futures. The same is true for Doom.

DOCTOR DOOM #1 interiors by Salvador Larroca and Guru-eFX
DOCTOR DOOM #1 interiors by Salvador Larroca and Guru-eFX

It sounds like Doom winds up on the run in this series. What kind of challenges will he face while trying to stay free?

For one, Doom might not have his armor for certain parts of the story. We’ll see him rely on his sorcerer’s abilities, which are fairly phenomenal (just go back and read Roger Stern and Mike Mignola’s TRIUMPH AND TORMENT run to see what I’m talking about). He’ll also have to rely on his intellect, which is equally powerful. But he’ll be going up against some other extremely strong minds as well. He’s also up against a pretty nasty cabal lurking in the shadows, so he’s got to act as a detective in a way.

How has it been working with Salvador Larroca so far?

I mean… I see pages and am blown away. I read his Darth Vader run that he did with Kieron Gillen, and devoured it in a week with my 6-year-old son while we were on vacation. And his work in this is gallery-level. It’s almost like he’s drawing this story in gothic Latverian stained glass. I am happy to go in and revise my scripts to fit Salva’s art even better, and let his work lead the way.

DOCTOR DOOM #1 interiors by Salvador Larroca and Guru-eFX
DOCTOR DOOM #1 interiors by Salvador Larroca and Guru-eFX

Doom's rarely on the back foot. What elements of his character will that status allow you to explore?

I think we’re going to explore his fearlessness and conviction. Doom is a guy who believes he knows the right answer all the time. Often he’s correct, but we’re also going to challenge the heck out of that. What’s Doom like when he experiences private doubt? It’s also great fun to see Doom as an underdog, and have to prove again why he’s an intense force to be reckoned with… Which he absolutely is, mentally, physically, and magically.

Pre-order DOCTOR DOOM #1 at your local comic shop today, then pick it up on October 9!

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