Friday, April 24, 2015

Choose Your Doom

In Part One of the Avengers tale where the team saw their gala at Avengers Headquarters crashed by none other than Doctor Doom, the master of menace had not only revealed his presence in several areas of the complex at the same time, but also defeated and taken over the new building's security measures. It's a "grand opening" the Avengers nor their guests will soon forget--but what is Doom after?

Before anyone has the chance to find out, the young, nascent Avenger called Rage has made the mistake of assuming the role of "bouncer":

From that point, Doom allows the dignitaries to depart, and reseals the building. And the outraged Avengers learn that Doom is willing to trade his knowledge of the vulnerabilities of Avengers HQ for--a favor.

There are now three "Dooms" in the building: one fighting Captain America, another battling with the Vision and the Sandman, and the third addressing the others in the main assembly. Which one is the real Doom, if any? The answer will include a separate threat which the Avengers will soon learn of. But for now, as the fighting continues in the building's sub-levels, Doom begins his explanation:

And just in case the Avengers aren't in a mood to bargain and instead choose to subdue Doom, their foe makes sure that they are stymied in that respect, as well:

As to what started Doom on this road, let's go back a couple of issues to when the Avengers defeated the Tetrarchs of Entropy--in part by using an old tactic of theirs known as "Plan D," which Thor makes mention of in an interview:

Of course, a certain armored fiend was also tuning in at the time:

Thor may not have gone into details with intrepid reporter Fanny about "Plan D," but we only need return to Avengers #16 to see the first and only instance where this plan was put into action, during a desperate showdown with the Masters of Evil:

The Black Knight and the Melter now find themselves outnumbered in whatever dimension Thor has transported them to, but they're just as eager to continue the battle. Which the Avengers were counting on:

Unfortunately, Doom is proceeding on the assumption that it's the Avengers, rather than Thor, who possess the knowledge and ability to travel interdimensionally--refusing to believe otherwise, even when Cap makes it clear to him.

Yet the Avengers aren't the types to simply sit back and let an enemy hold the high ground for long, so they've been busy. In the sub-levels, both teams battling Doom not only are able to determine that the Dooms they're up against are robots and go on to defeat them, but the Vision also learns how Doom was able to penetrate their headquarters. That leaves the third Doom--presumably the real one, with a real neutron bomb wired to explode if he's attacked. And Rage inexplicably proceeds to do just that--to reveal that this Doom, as well, was a robot, and with no bomb.

And before you know it, it's all over.

You would think a man who researches and plans as thoroughly as Doom would have simply spotted Dr. Strange among the guests and taken the shorter route to success: "You! Sorcerer! Put down that canapĂ©! You have the ability travel interdimensionally--YOU shall assist me!" Confronting Strange would seem to make more sense than taking on a virtual legion of Avengers in an elaborate scheme involving their headquarters security and Doombots.  And the Avengers might have even invited him to stay for a cupcake or two.

So whatever happened to "Avengers Headquarters," anyway?

Avengers #333

Script: Larry Hama
Breakdowns: Herb Trimpe
Inks: Tom Morgan, Reggie Jones
Letterer: Bill Oakley

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