Well, I covered the future Ghost Rider and Punisher. Who’s next? Spider-Man 2099 is probably too well known. Other characters didn’t get much in the way of their own series. I covered Ravage ages ago.
Looks like it’s Doom 2099’s turn.
Yes, in the future of 2099, Doom was a hero. That’s how bad that world was. Dr. Doom found himself transported into the future, and the biggest bad guy Marvel had in the present became a legit savior in the future. Sure, he was still kinda evil, making him more antihero than hero, but he was still decidedly one of the good guys…at first.
Then again, it might not have been the real Doom. Allow me to explain.
See, the initial mystery to the series, going over about half of the total issues, was whether or not this Doom was the original Doom. First appearing in Doom 2099 #1 in December of 1992, this Doom materialized in the future Latervia in a story from writer John Francis Moore (a guy who I always felt was underrated) and artist Pat Broderick. Latervia was under the control of a nasty cyborg named Tyger Wylde, and into that popped Dr. Doom in his original armor. A little disoriented at first, Doom headed off to his castle to reclaim his country. It didn’t go well. His armor was way out of date, and more mysteriously, the man under the mask was too young to be Doom, and his face was unscarred. Could he actually be Doom? Wylde burned a handprint onto the young man’s face and sent him on his way. Or he tried to kill him and failed. Either works.
Doom then fell in with members of his old Romani tribe and formed a cabal, starting with the Romani, and working outwards.with a new set of state-of-the-art adamantium armor, he worked to reclaim his powerbase.
But was he Doom? He thought so, but he also had multiple gaps in his memory, barely remembering the age of heroes or his many battled with the Fantastic Four (among others). Factor in as well another Doom was hanging around, and the question arose: was this guy Doom?
Turns out he was. Dr. Doom, in his old age, transferred his mind into a younger, cloned body, but the process wasn’t quite complete. There was a second Doom in the form of a brainwashed sap (Doom 2099 had been told at one point he might have himself been a brainwashed sap), but the mind transfer left him with the gaps in his memory. Now restored and with complete knowledge of who he was (and having disposed of Tyger Wylde), Doom was ready move on with his life.
That would be about when Warren Ellis took over the title, and he decided to make the series a bit more political by having Doom conquer the United States. That didn’t quite last, mostly because the 2099 line was going down the tubes and someone came up with the bright idea to move the entire line to a single title where the ice caps melted, the world flooded, and survivors just moved to whatever spots of dry land were left.
Doom 2099 apparently gave his life to stop the Phalanx, but that didn’t stop him from popping up anytime someone wanted a Doom from a different timeline who might have been if not heroic at least not completely evil. Personally, I lost interest during Ellis’s run when Doom became more outright evil, but I will say, the first 25 issues dealing with the question of Doom’s identity, with cyberspace travel, trips to the future Wakanda, and a host of other issues made for a good techno-political sci-fi thriller. I’d even go so far as to say Doom’s book might have been the best of the 2099 line.
It certainly wasn’t the Hulk 2099’s book.
Maybe I’ll cover him next time.