Review by Ian Keogh
It’s not a great start when the first page features Killgrave the Purple Man, so called because he’s purple, with specific reference made to his skin pigment in a caption, yet some form of production error has him instead coloured white.
It sets the wrong tone, but there are compensations during the small moments of what’s a periodically clever script from David Michelinie, although Mark Gruenwald and Jim Shooter are also credited with plot input. Doctor Doom has long aimed to rule the world, and now believes he’s constructed a device to enable this. Would that he’d also constructed a device to contract Michelinie’s long-winded dialogue.
Doom achieves his ambition early in the book, so that’s no spoiler, and the plot takes the unpredictable turn of life’s experience actually improving for many. The Avengers also feature, only Wonder Man immune to Doom’s control device, but he’s been out of commission for a month and awakens to a completely new world in which everyone is fawning over Doom. It’s a nice idea rather exaggerated with some excruciatingly twee dialogue. Wonder Man’s poser is that for all his immense strength he’s the only man on the entire planet resisting Doom’s influence, so what can he do?
Bob Hall’s art is standard 1980s Marvel style, overly cluttered in places, but telling the story well enough if lacking much in the way of emotional investment. He also colours his art, rare for the time, but is betrayed by the printing process, which renders the tones required for the standard pulp paper Marvel comic vivid and dayglo on gloss stock. There’s also a problem throughout with flesh tones being rendered as white.
Once the resistance is underway Emperor Doom loses any originality and devolves into a standard 1980s superhero comic, albeit one with an uncharacteristically downbeat conclusion. Unless you’re a particular fan of Doom (or Wonder Man) this isn’t worth searching out, but if found in a bargain box it’ll provide some diversion. If you buy the Avengers Epic Collection Judgement Day it’s now incorporated within.