In this feature we examine comic book stories and ideas that were not only abandoned, but also had the stories/plots specifically "overturned" by a later writer (as if they were a legal precedent). Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of The Abandoned An' Forsaked. Feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.
Today, based on a suggestion by reader Richard C., we take a quick look at Doctor Doom and his ever-pervasive "Doom-bots."
In my very first installment of Meta-Messages (which is when comic book creators comment on each other's work in their work), I spotlighted something that would also work for Abandoned an' Forsaked had I thought to use it there, as well (I'm pretty sure Meta-Messages predated Abandoned an' Forsaked, so that would explain why I used it one place and not the other).
In Uncanny X-Men #146 by Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum and Joe Rubinstein, Doctor Doom and Arcade are having some sort of super-villain team-up and during their time hanging out, Arcade lights a match on Doom's armor...
John Byrne did not like this, so in a later issue of Fantastic Four, he addressed that moment and retconned it away as being a Doom-bot and not actually Doctor Doom...
While not INVENTING the idea of explaining away Doom appearances vis a vis Doom-bots, Byrne certainly popularized it with that notable moment.
In any event, as reader Richard C. pointed out in the comments to the Meta-Messages installment, in the pages of Loki: Agent of Asgard #6, Al Ewing (with artists Jorge Coelho and Lee Loughbridge) just retconned the retcon the other month.
Loki is in Latveria in the middle of the country suffering from Red Skull's "Hate-wave" (the Skull is using his telepathic powers, amplified by becoming Red Onslaught, to turn everyone in the world against each other) and he and Doom confront each other (Doom has visited the future and sees that an older Loki has destroyed the world - what Doom doesn't know is that there are TWO Lokis running around right now - an older, more evil Loki and a younger, less evil Loki - since Doom doesn't know this, he thinks he has to capture the younger Loki)...
Ewing, of course, provides an out for whatever later writer wants to retcon this by saying that, hey, maybe THIS Doom is a Doom-bot, too, and is therefore lying about the Arcade thing. While I really liked Ewing's take on Doom in general (the whole idea of the Doombots elevating Doom's story is really smart), the specific retcon is a bit of a stretch (so Doom marked up a second Doom-bot, pretended to be irritated at it and blew it up, with barely anyone around to see it?). Still, go check out Loki: Agent of Asgard #6-7. They're really fun issues.
Thanks to Richard C. for the suggestion. If YOU have a suggestion for this column, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!