Thanks to Marvel's rejection of the Comics Code Authority a handful of years back, "Doctor Doom and the Masters of Evil" can enter the homes of thousands of innocent young children and corrupt them with lessons like (a) evil wins, and (b) evil can be fun, and (c) Iron Man is kind of a sucker.
Back in the old days, a comic starring a villain (like "Super-Villain Team-Up") had to feature the villain's defeat at the end, showing that the good guys always win, even when the bad guys got top billing. But now, here's an all-ages comic in which the villains not only win at the end, but they make the heroes look downright ridiculous in the process.
And assuming you can get past the corrupting influence of super-villain victory on the minds of today's youngsters (and, let's be honest, if this generation of children can handle "The Misadventures of Flapjack" and "Hannah Montana," then Doctor Doom's malevolent deeds must seem sweetly quaint), "Doctor Doom and the Masters of Evil" makes for some entertaining reading.
Paul Tobin presents a slapstick gang of villains here, a gang that has absolutely nothing to do with the "Masters of Evil" mentioned in the very title of the comic. No, this debut issue features Doctor Doom and the freelance operatives he's hired to retrieve a piece of Stark tech. Those freelance operatives: The Sinister Six.
Spider-Man's most dangerous villains (well, excluding Venom, and Carnage, and all the other ones with big, pointy teeth) are buffoonish clods throughout most of this issue, with only Mysterio using his powers to any great effect. The heroes they face, namely Iron Man and Dr. Strange, may play it a little more straight, yet they don't come across as all that competent either. It's only Doctor Doom who maintains his dignity here, and Tobin's version of the Marvel Adventures Universe is one filled with lighthearted violence and witty dialogue.
Even though it features nearly as many artists as any recent issue of "Final Crisis," "Doctor Doom and the Masters of Evil" is a comic full of goofy fun, perfectly suited to be another worthy addition to the Marvel Adventures line.
And next issue? The Masters of Evil might actually appear!
Issue #1 hits the stands this Wednesday. Until then, check out http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=preview&id=1872>CBR's preview of what lies inside.