Super-Villain Team-Up #1-4
Issue(s): Super-Villain Team-Up #1 Super-Villain Team-Up #2, Super-Villain Team-Up #3, Super-Villain Team-Up #4
This isn't to say that there aren't some good character moments for Doom. Doom contemplates his pride and the fact that it tends to hold him back.
He also thinks back on his super-villain career and realizes not only have his fights against the FF generally ended in either defeat or stalemate, but he's been thwarted by a lot of "lesser beings" (i.e., Daredevil, Spider-Man) as well. it's very true that Doom's threat level was seriously downgraded due to all of his defeats and badly written appearances at this point, and this series could have been the means to bring him back up to top tier status. Unfortunately, Marvel didn't really know what it was doing with this book and had no plan.
But the main story is a group of Sub-Mariner villains taking over Hydro-base.
Namor is defeated by them as well. Doom has been observing events from afar and he takes the opportunity to come to Namor's aid in order to convince Namor that an alliance is in their mutual interest. He runs into Policewoman Betty Dean, Namor's only friend, except now she's a scaly amphibian. In the rescue attempt, Betty is killed.
This makes Namor... angry. But he's still weak so Tiger Shark and company beat him up again. Doom, seemingly barely aware of the other villains, continues his appeal for an alliance to the Sub-Mariner (a little violently)...
...and then teleports him away so that Namor can recover.
Namor wakes up in a nutrient bath in Latveria. He has a discussion with one of Doom's subjects and finds that she actually respects Doom. We're left not sure if it is a ruse. The two try to work together, with Doom helping Namor extract vengeance for the death of Betty Dean before getting involved in any world conquering schemes, but the arrogance of each of them gets in the way. This is nicely handled by Jim Shooter in issue #3, which may be his earliest Marvel writing job.
The alliance of villains attack with Octo-Meks.
Doom and the Sub-Mariner return to Hydrobase and this time they defeat their enemies. Dorcas is crushed and killed by an Octo-Mek.
However, the alliance is strained when Doom murders Attuma's jester Saru-San in cold blood after the fighting is over. In the past, Saru-San had been used as a King Lear style jester that spoke truth to power, but in his later appearances he was just annoying, and apparently Doom agreed.
Namor didn't though, so they fight.
During their fight, a completely unrelated plot regarding a character from Deathlok creeps in. A passing Navy ship bearing Captain Simon Ryker nears the location of the Namor/Doom battle. Ryker tries to siphon some of the energy from Doom's army to power his first experimental super-soldier.
In Deathlok's alternate future (as depicted in his Astonishing Tales series), Ryker becomes a cyborg opponent of Deathlok. In our reality, Ryker's super-soldier will be the Symbionic Man, a character that appears in a Namor solo story in Marvel Spotlight #27.
Dr. Doom doesn't have much time for this Ryker guy.
Namor, not being able to defeat Doom, allows Doom to think he is defeated and swims away.
This arc gets some points for acknowledging some of the problems with Marvel's treatment of Doom and for Shooter's decent handling of the two characters' egos, but overall it isn't very good.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: This arc begins with the Sub-Mariner still in Latveria, following the events of Giant-Size Super-Villain Team-Up #2 (indeed "minutes after" that issue). Namor and Ryker next appear in Marvel Spotlight #27.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (3): showAttuma, Betty Dean, Dr. Doom, Dr. Dorcas, Henry Croft, Joseph Jennings, Saru-San, Simon Ryker, Sub-Mariner, Symbionic Man, Tamara Rahn, Tiger Shark
Bill Everett's presence here confuses me, as he'd been dead for two years at this point. I have no idea if his artwork was a reprint or unused inventory pages.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | July 10, 2011 7:54 PM
Tony Isabella's blog confirms that Everett's contribution was pages from an unused solo Dr. Doom story(intended for Astonishing Tales #9?)
Posted by: Mark Drummond | January 24, 2015 4:26 PM
On the 1975 page, should there be a "D: Betty Dean" (or similar) notation?
Posted by: Thanos6 | May 3, 2015 5:47 AM
Sure. Added it.
Posted by: fnord12 | May 3, 2015 11:57 AM
According to an interview with longtime comics fan Harry Broertjes in Comics Interview #108, Jim Shooter actually first appeared at Marvel in 1970 after writing his last stories for Mort Weisinger at DC, but he only stayed about 2 weeks and then left comics for 5 years. He didn't provide any details about what Shooter did there.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 20, 2015 11:21 AM
Jim Shooter writes about his earliest work for Marvel here:
Posted by: Cucumber Khan | September 20, 2015 12:37 PM
Not sure if it ups the significance too much, but Dr. Dorcas is killed in issue 3.
Posted by: mikrolik | January 29, 2016 3:35 PM
And comes back to life without any explanation decades later to do nothing (that's Brevoort's Marvel for you).
Posted by: AF | January 30, 2016 4:39 AM
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