Let Me Put My Suggestions In You: The Doombot Conundrum
Welcome back everyone to a much needed round of some good old fashioned Suggestions. I am going to skip most of the pleasantries this week as I have something that is just bursting at the seams with substance and appeal, and no it isn’t me. Weeks ago, my fellow contributors and I had a sort of short palaver on what sort of stories we would write if ever given the reigns to a specific property, and naturally, my first choice was to throw my hat in with Mr Grundy. My very first Villain Spotlight was on my boy Solomon, so it just seemed like a shoe in. However, after some back and forth with Messers Tannen and Kang, a sort of shooting star exploded into my brain, and by all that is dark and bleak, an idea occurred to me.
You know you have something when you just can’t stop thinking about it. Over the last couple weeks, I’ve been sort of dreaming and mentally fashioning a tale concerning something of a hopefully untapped well. Many a villain has their crew of henchmen. Some human, some superhuman, and others just flat out ridiculous. Personally, I have always favored the robotic henchmen, mainly because they allow our heroes to do something that can’t otherwise be done on a regular basis, which is go all out. I know that in today’s books there is no shortage of blood, however, you’ll rarely see a hero completely disregard their moral and power blocks to absolutely tear apart an enemy, with the exception of robots or non-living combatants. These opponents generally get torn apart maliciously, but nobody seems to bat an eye…even when said robots or non-living beings are sentient. I think it’s the wires.
My brain sort of started down that path of robotic nightmares, and eventually came to a stop on a sort of bot that I feel gets decent respect, but not as much as I would like. They being those pesky Doombots. Always there to be placed in the line of fire, and with a number that spans into uncountable range, the Doombots have been at the right hand of Dr. Doom forever. When you think Doom has finally been killed, its usually a Doombot. When a mass army needs to lay siege or protect Latveria, the Doom Bots get to work. Now picture this, imagine if you will, a quintet of Doombots that marches forward into battle against a certain team of mutants. Not out of the question or out of the realm of reality in this universe, say one of these mutants has the ability to conjure lightning. A bolt hits the exact spot that this quintet is defending, but instead of completely exploding them with all that electrical power, it merely scrambles their programming, but in the process, it grants them self-awareness. This is when the fun starts.
These Doombots acquire the gift of sentience, but is it really a gift? Or is it something that will drive them to madness? I’m betting on madness….as I am usually wont to do. Imagine you are one of said Doombots, and immediately after becoming beyond just circuits and oil, your first sight is that of your fellow Doombots being mercilessly slaughtered by super powered beings who want nothing more than to fry each and every one of your fellow bots. Nightmare is not strong enough to describe that feeling. So many questions may explode into your mind. Why would my maker send me to this horrible battlefield of melted plastic and charred metal? How are we to stand against such awesome might? As the newly sentient Doombots ponder this, an explosion rocks them from nearby and in a flash of light and heat, they are thrown backwards into oblivion. Four of them wake up and see their other brother dying as oil pours from him in spouts of black terror. Their very first experience is of war, and that sort of scarring can never properly heal. Leaving their dying brother on the battlefield, they retreat to a safe location to regroup.
Now, here is where things get tricky. Who would you all go for in such a situation? The demi gods who fried you and your brothers to life and then one to death? Or the one that gave you pre-life, only to send you mindlessly marching forward into something impossible to win? It’s a no win situation for them. On one hand they would love nothing more than to tear those humans apart for killing their brother, but on the other they would love to show Doom a little bit of his own medicine. It kind of sort of reminds you of something biblical….does it not? A group infuriated with their creator and those who would wish to do them harm….just brings those goosebumps on.
I have been asking myself why I have been so infatuated with this idea, but besides the fact that I see the entire story line playing out in my head, and trust me its amazing, I just see such potential for a group of Doombots who begin to question who they are and why they are doing the things they do. There is this sort of natural infatuation that we as humans have that makes us curious as to why things work, and I know there are other stories that take a look at that specific issue, but it just gives me such pleasure to think of Doombots going through that sort of character arc. We have always seen them as just mindless, albeit very convincing, clones of Doom who are there to do his bidding. But what happens when Doom meets his own creations face to face, and they have nothing but absolute scorn for him? What happens when they finally meet their original aggressors and they find that these Doombots are more than just hunks of metal and programming? Shit is going to get real serious, and in the end, I think we will all be better for it.
That is a story I would love to write for you all. Marvel, if by some chance this gets to you or if you visit this wonderful site, you should probably think about it. I mean, you know you want to….and you know how good of a story this could be. What have you got to lose?
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