Doctor Doom put his dark stamp on a classic sci-fi trope first pioneered by legendary writer Isaac Asimov. In Venom #24, Eddie Brock is visited by the King of Latvia, but before he can get to Doom, he must complete a challenge from the deadly Doombots. During the battle, readers learn that Doctor Doom has programmed the Doombots with a twisted version of a science fiction staple.
Venom #24 was written by Al Ewing, drawn by Sergio Davila, signed by Sean Parson, colored by Frank D’Armata and written by Clayton Cowles. Eddie Brock is at Latverian International Airport, where Doombots are standing in for customs officers. Doombot asks Eddie, who is traveling under an assumed name, if he has anything to announce. Eddie says no, and then Doumbot asks him to put his luggage on the x-ray machine, but Eddie refuses, which angers Doombot. He orders Eddie to check his luggage, but suddenly Bedlam emerges from the bag and attacks Doombot. Eddie’s ruse is discovered. He tells the Doombots that he has unfinished business with Doctor Doom. The robots recognize him as Venom, and call him the “Neme of Death”. Then one of the robots quotes the first law of Doombotics: Let no enemy of fate live.
Doctor Doom’s Doombotics is based on a classic science fiction movie
Longtime sci-fi fans may be familiar with the First Law of Doombotics – or at least some version of it. In the 1940s, pioneering science fiction writer Isaac Asimov created the Three Laws of Robotics, a system of rules by which all robots in his fictional universe were programmed. The first law states that robots cannot harm humans, or allow anyone to be harmed. The second law states that robots must obey humans, provided this does not contradict the first law. Finally, the third law commands robots to protect their own existence, provided it does not contradict the first two laws. These laws provided a useful framework for Asimov’s world and have been widely adopted by the genre as a whole. Now Doctor Doom has put his own spin on it.
How consistent are Doctor Doom’s laws?
Since his debut, Doctor Doom has relied on his army of Doombots to carry out his bidding. Sometimes the Doombots act as Doom and other times they act as his soldiers, as we saw in Venom #24. There have been cases where the Doombot seems to develop a mind of its own, which could lead to Doom adopting a darker version of Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics. Asimov’s stories, as well as those based on his work, have shown that there are flaws and ambiguities in these laws, which leads to the question: How completely categorical are the laws of death? Could anyone exploit the obscurity of Doombotics?
Doctor Doom’s appropriation of Asimov’s Laws of Robotics is also a testament to his arrogance and ego. Asimov’s Laws became a staple of the science fiction genre, and Doom appropriated them, twisting them for its own purposes. In a gesture of pure pride, he renamed them the “Dumbotik Laws”. Although the issue doesn’t reveal what the other laws are, it’s safe to assume they all revolve around Doctor Doom. It stole and corrupted one of the best innovations in the sci-fi genre, wielding horror and ego.
Venom #24 is now on sale at Marvel Comics!