Victor Von Doom is a despot of many talents. He's a king, a scientist, a sorcerer and he's also Doctor Doom, one of the most formidable super villains in the Marvel Universe. Soon he's going to need to call on all of those skills because during the course of his villainous career Doom has made some very powerful enemies. And in February, 2010, Doom's enemies come calling in the five issue "DoomWar" mini-series by the creative team currently behind Marvel's "Black Panther" series, writer Jonathan Maberry and artists Will Conrad and Ken Lashley. CBR News spoke with Maberry about the series, which features an all star army of heroes out to take down the malevolent monarch of Latveria.
What can you tell us about the plot of "DoomWar?" Is this a superhero story? A war story between Doom's Latveria and Wakanda? A combination of both? Or, maybe, something different?
Wakanda is not going to war with Latveria. Plain and simple. This war is between Doom and the growing number of people from the super hero community who have been injured by him. It's personal, but there are larger issues at stake. This is a battle between good and evil, but the whole story takes place in an increasingly murky gray area, - legally, morally, politically and ethically.
One of the current plot threads you, Will, and Ken are developing in "Black Panther" is T'Challa's revenge-driven scheme against Doom for almost killing him in earlier issues. Is this plot thread sort of the fuse that ignites "DoomWar?" And will "DoomWar" and "Black Panther" publish simultaneously?
"DoomWar" is something Marvel's been building toward since the relaunch of "Black Panther." Reggie Hudlin did a bang-up job of laying the groundwork for it in the first two issues, and when I took over for issue #7, I shifted right back into it. Doom and the Panther have had a running fight for a long time now, and a major collision just could not be avoided.
During the run of "DoomWar," the regular "BP" comic will be on hiatus, no question. The events in this story are a watershed moment, and after it's over, nothing will ever be quite the same in Wakanda.
However, "DoomWar" is much bigger than the regular Panther comic. There are roots of this that go back to "Civil War" and "Dark Reign." It's a major event in the lives of a number of Marvel characters. It's not just a story about the Wakandan Royals, even though they're the centerpiece. Every character in the story has his own agenda.
The cast of "DoomWar" makes it sound like an event that could affect a large segment of the Marvel Universe. From the information Marvel sent me, it sounds like your cast for this story includes The Black Panther and the Royal Family of Wakanda, members of the X-Men and Fantastic Four, and even Deadpool. Whose perspective will you be telling the story from? Or will "DoomWar" feature multiple P.O.V.s?
The story follows several characters who are fighting on different fronts, and that will mean a shifting POV. The needs of the scene will dictate which character drives the action, so you can expect, say, a few classic Deadpool moments, and Wolverine and the others will absolutely have their moments to shine
Understand, as much as this is a Marvel event, this is also a dream project for a writer like me who treasures character development. I'm going to have five meaty issues to be able to spin this yarn, and I'll be able to use many of my favorite characters in ways that will demonstrate the qualities I've always admired about them.
What's it like writing Deadpool? What made you want to include him in this series. and how would describe the dynamic between him and the other heroes?
Deadpool is uncomfortably close to me at times. He's a smartass, he has an inner life that's weirdly interactive, and he loves a good fight. Back in my younger days, when I was a tournament competitor in full-contact martial arts and later as a bodyguard, I was known for a deeply inappropriate sense of humor during the most stressful times. People told me that I'd be cracking jokes on the way to the hospital with an icepick sticking out of my stomach - joking with the guy who did it, who was strapped to a gurney in the same ambulance with all the broken bones I'd given him. So - Deadpool - yeah, I get him.
As far as his role in the series - T'Challa is going to need a team to do some wetwork, and he needs the best of the best. Wolverine signs on because the job is rescuing Storm, and she's family to him; but Deadpool is in it for the money...and he's being offered a lot of it. Deadpool has also fallen in love with the new Panther, with Storm, and with the entire group of women warriors who are working with him - so he thinks he's doing it for love. And money. He's always about the money - after all, who knows what absurdly extravagant toy is waiting for the right sucker to come along and buy it.
Deadpool is not a good team player. He thinks he is, but he's badly misinformed. T'Challa finds him a useful annoyance; Shuri loathes him; Colossus and Nightcrawler don't understand why anyone likes him; and the Thing would be happy to punch him into orbit. But the boy can rack up a body count, and that will matter in "DoomWar."
What's it like writing Doctor Doom? And with an army assembled from the ranks of two of the Marvel U's premier superteams out to take him down it seems like the good Doctor might be outgunned. But is he?
You know that old saying about how you should never ‘assume'? Sure, Doom's been defeated, but not only does he come back each time, he learns from his mistakes and comes back stronger. Doom is the most dangerous villain on the planet. He is a super genius, a sorcerer, and a head of state. He has his own style of technology, and he's also working with a network.
That's something we'll see in "DoomWar" - his network. Haven't you ever wondered what kind of support system he would have to maintain? He needs vast income, access to raw materials, factories, design teams, you name it. I'm revealing a part of that here. His right hand man for the story is The Broker. We find out who he is at the end of the "Black Panther" 'Power' arc, and we learn that he has ties to the disaster that kicked off the "Civil War." The Broker is smart and very well organized. Doom hired him because of the Broker's main talent: he obtains technologies from super-human, mutant, and alien battles and retro-engineers it, then sells it to super powered terrorists. He's hired and upgraded a bunch of Marvel villains, and also created new ones. He's a monster maker, but he's also a bureaucrat who can manage the flow of resources that Doom needs.
The Broker, working with his own technologies and some bizarre advanced stuff from Doom, is also helping to create some new weapons that will pose a monumental threat to our heroes.
Doom outgunned? Don't believe it for a second.
Anything else you can tell me about the supporting cast of "DoomWar?"
The X-Men make their impact immediately, and you can bet Wolverine's gonna be slashing his way to Doom from beginning to end! Each X-person has been chosen because of their connection to Storm and because of a very specific skill set.
The Fantastic Four will be there throughout as well. Reed and T'Challa have some things cooking in the lab that are crucial to any chance they have of rescuing Storm or opposing Doom.
And Deadpool is along for the ride. He serves two roles: comic relief ('cause he's a total loon) and muscle ('cause he can rack up a body count). Plus - I dig the character, but remember, Deadpool's always got an angle. So just what does he gain from a war with Doom?
What can you tell me about the scope of "DoomWar?" How big of an impact will the fallout from this series have on the Marvel U?
The scope is huge. It's a war fought on several fronts and in different countries. The stakes are major. Saving one country, saving Storm's life, and very likely preventing Doom from becoming truly invincible which, we can all agree, would suck for the rest of the world.
Plus, there's an element of revenge, but that will take a different form than some fans may expect. These are intelligent heroes (okay, not Deadpool, but the rest of them are) and they are very subtle. This war is going to have all the Summer Blockbuster special effects, but at the same time it will have a few unexpected twists. Our intention is to have it come off more as "District 9" than "Independence Day" in the way it rolls out.
And - fallout? Oh yeah - but we'll all have to wait and see how that plays out.