Warning: This article contains spoilers for Avengers of the Wastelands #4 by Ed Brisson, Jonas Scharf, Neeraj Menon, and VC’s Cory Petit, available now.
Even though this world’s Wolverine is dead, Avengers of the Wastelands takes place in the future Marvel timeline first introduced in Mark Millar and Steve McNiven’s “Old Man Logan” epic. In this future, the villains of the world worked together to destroy the majority of Marvel’s heroes before taking the world for themselves.
Since the time of their union, many villains have sought to gain more power for themselves in this brave new world. Chief among them is Doctor Doom, who rules the Wastelands with an iron fist prepared to crush any who would attempt to usurp his power. And in Avengers of the Wastelands #4, Hydra and Baron von Strucker learned just how hard Doom’s iron fist could be.
While Strucker is usually a sparring partner to Captain America or S.H.I.E.L.D., Strucker speaks out against Doom in an effort to rally his troops and remind them that Hydra is the force destined to take over the world. He declares that Doom needs to be reminded of who helped him achieve his position of power, and the troops appear convinced of the validity of their leader’s words…until an army of Doombots shows up to crash the party.
Doom’s robots quickly lay siege to the base, leaving a trail of fiery destruction in their wake. Doom confronts Strucker face to face, intending to lay all doubts of his supremacy to rest.
Having faced the likes of Captain America in battle, the Baron has no intention of relenting his assumed territory without a fight. He powers up his main weapon, the Satan Claw, and puts Doom on the ground with one punch.
Strucker taunts Doom as he prepares to deliver another blow and expresses disappointment that Doom hasn’t put up more of a fight. But the Baron finds out to his eternal dismay that just because Doom is down doesn’t mean he is out.
As Strucker launches his glowing glove into the air to renew his attack, Doom reveals that he was not giving up but merely “waiting for an opening”. Doom unleashes a blast from his own gauntlet that quickly burns a hole through Stucker’s chest.
Shocked at his sudden defeat, the Baron assures Doom that Hydra will avenge him. As he utters Hydra’s mantra about two heads replacing every head that is lost, Doom unleashes the power of his gauntlet again, liquifying the Baron with an energy blast to the head. In typical fashion, Doom walks away from the carnage with blood-soaked footprints before declaring that Hydra will die today.
While Doctor Doom has often been depicted as a power-hungry despot, the villain has rarely been portrayed with the sheer amount of ruthlessness seen in this future. This Doom does not act like he is above physical combat but seems to relish in the act instead of relying on others to do his dirty work. While he has never been above killing in the name of conquest, this iteration of the character distributes carnage in a systematic manner, bringing destruction to any and all who dare to oppose him.
This future version of Doom is a madman in every sense of the word, and he’s more frightening than he has ever been before.
KEEP READING: Old Man Logan: The Avengers of the Wastelands Explained
In Avengers of the Wastelands, Doctor Doom just reminded Old Man Logan's world why he's Marvel's most dangerous villain.