In the Marvel Comics multiverse, there are multitudes of timelines and worlds. Yet nothing comes close to the post-apocalyptic Old Man Logan timeline of Earth - 807128, where the supervillains have ousted their eternal nemeses -- The X-Men and Avengers -- using Wolverine as a pawn. The United States, now dubbed the Wastelands, has been divided up into factions, each led by an evil overlord. One of them is Doctor Victor Von Doom, who wants to unify the Wastelands under his rule after a world-weary Logan kills President Red Skull. But before he can make his mark, Doctor Doom must unearth the secrets of a town where not even the Doombots dare trespass.
Written by Torunn Gronbekk and with artwork from Julius Ohta, Wastelanders Doom #1 takes the Supreme Leader of Latveria on a ride through the barren terrains of the Wastelands to a seemingly sleepy town where crops grow tall. Doom suspects something sinister is happening behind the scenes, and magic may be the main culprit. The villagers toil under a spell that forces them to be subservient to every whim of their mysterious master. As Doom approaches the temple, he's asked to pay a toll -- but it's not with a coin. He must part with a beloved memory.
The Wastelands are inhospitable lands infested with psychopathic gangs and deadly creatures, a perfect playground for a man whose life's mission is to bring order. Wastelanders Doom #1 captures the ruthless essence of the titular character to a tee. Torunn Grønbekk, writer of Warhammer 40,000: Sisters of Battle and The Mighty Valkyries for Marvel Comics, follows a structured narrative. Wastelanders: Doom has an explosive opening, an introspective middle, and a revealing ending. As Doom's past and present collide, the story provides a suspenseful deconstruction of the man in the hood; however, the story never tries to make audiences sympathize with the Marvel character or his actions. The story challenges Doctor Doom, throwing both physical and psychological assaults at him.
The artwork in Wastelanders: Doom #1 is as tumultuous as the skirmishes Doctor Doom battles. Artist Julius Ohta crafts detailed facial expressions -- from angry visages of tribal gang members to vacant gazes of mind-controlled villagers. The book has clean, detailed line work and elaborately ornate panels that give a dynamic feel to the character's movements. Colorist Bryan Valenza uses a wide palette of colors, giving the book a grounded and gritty texture. Overall, the book's artwork -- even if distracting, at times -- fully immerses the reader in the cutthroat and cinematic world of the Wastelands.
Wastelanders Doom #1 places the spotlight on Doctor Doom in this tale of sorcery and might. Despite how far away he is from his domain, Doom relies on his cunning and unnatural willpower. The issue sheds light on some of the other Wastelands survivors and resurrects characters long lost to comics. Wastelanders Doom #1, in short, is a crowd-pleaser with great panels and epic interlocking moments that form a delicious one-shot. Surprisingly, this tale is more than a footnote in the Wastelanders saga and reveals Doctor Doom's weaknesses and his strengths.
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