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Friday, March 28, 2008

Doom 2099 2nd arc (issues 5 – 10)

Written by: John Francis Moore
Pencils by: Pat Broderick
Inks by: Various

The load of doing an introductory story already done in the first arc and with most things established already, this particular story arc is admittedly better, more exciting and kudos to series writer John Francis Moore, even more interesting and quite gripping in my humble opinion. In here we are introduced to a few more future recurring and somewhat can be described as supporting characters, all the while even developing more the previous ones. It was handled in a way though with such an organic manner, further establishing and fleshing out more the world of Doom 2099. This time showing more of its cyberspace world and a somewhat formidable villain destined to fall to showcase Doom’s skills, character and cunningness. A slight twist of fate and serendipity added to provoke a sense of adventure and make our protagonist not too seemingly invincible. Doom may be honorable and driven (or at least he is convinced of himself) of good intention, but he is not a good guy and pretty much selfish and full of himself. Those said descriptions is really what makes this series interesting, whenever I had been lulled into being comfortably reading this as just another superhero comic, he makes such annoyingly selfish actions/decisions that grounds you from totally admiring him. This is no sci-fi version of The Godfather as there are no full blown romanticizing of his exploits. Admittedly, stories of men in power are really quite alluring or at least men radical enough to force their own way into society and show how far it could work (a thought that brings to light how thin a line can be between being a hero and a villain is sometimes).

Personally I found this story quite sexy, with a big thanks to a certain computer program gone sentient turning into a somewhat demigoddess of this reality’s cyberspace. I’d tell you more but I honestly don’t want to spoil anything as one of the big assets of this arc is being captivated while stuff are introduced and seeing them unfold and run. All I can say is that by the end of this story, Doom has grown more powerful through smart and devious dealings giving him even more awesome amount of resources, in the “real world” that is. He has tasted godhood in cyberspace and obviously he will go back there sometime in the near future to even at least try and reclaim what he has once tasted and had. You know he has too as it is typical of him and is his very nature.

This story is near perfect (though not groundbreaking nor profound) in its execution. It is a great genre entertainment that only had trouble in the flow of continuity thanks to the fill in issue by legendary cartoonist Ernie Colon in issue 9. I don’t know if they were having scheduling problems at the time or that they just really wanted to have him work on an issue, but it was obvious that even though Ernie had knowledge of where the plot is going and did competently set a bridge to fill the gap between the issues he has slipped in, the issue after him has not been done and so he has no idea how to perfectly fit it. Same with regular writer J. F. Moore, he probably had an idea on where Ernie Colon was ending his story and what took place in it but he has not seen how it was executed and the details that were presented, it really made for a clunky transition to the audience. I honestly don’t think it is that aggravating unless one is totally anal retentive of course. It’s just that I found it a pity to have such a blemish in such a decent story that was flowing so smoothly for quite a while since its beginning. I can only hazard that it probably wasn’t that big of a deal at the time as this was done in the early ‘90s, way before trades of story arcs were even a consideration, at least for most regular series. I would assume then that the transition would have not been so jarring with a month wait in-between each issue.

With all that said I will have to give credit to the writer for being able to produce a very entertaining story despite its limitations and a great flowing story blemished only by circumstances and the standard practice of its time. The work still holds up pretty well, again in my opinion and found it honestly inspired, especially in comparison to most of the stuff put out by its publisher at the time noting more importantly all the flagship properties. Again I say, this series needs to be released in trades in today’s market so that new set of audience can enjoy for what is in my eye a delightful and intriguing work unpretentious of what it really is.


Kevin Huxford said...

I wasn't around when the 2099 books started and they were canceled not long after I came back to comics. I always wanted to check this out. Did they ever TPB this?

tj said...

very nice work there GF

Ferrus said...