The story line for this book seemed familiar to me when I read the synopsis, as I probably read some of it or most of it years ago when it first came out. But often times back then in the 70's, I didn't always catch every issue and it wasn't uncommon for a ten year old to miss a few issues from time to time. But now, thank goodness for graphic novels.
Being a reader of the Avengers years ago when I was a kid and as I get re-acquainted with Earth's Mightiest Heroes now as a 'big kid" more than once I wondered what kind of things went on inside Avengers headquarters when they were not out saving the world. It made perfect sense to me that they would have daily meetings, discussing strategy, making decisions on their weaponry, heck...they may have even had to gather in the conference room around that familiar table and decide who's turn it was to wash the Quinjet or what to serve at their annual barbecue for all I knew, but one thing was for certain, and that was that the roster would inevitably go through some changes and it made perfect sense to me that the members would hold meetings and decide who to take on as replacements. The opening chapters of "The Private War of Dr. Doom" takes us inside the Avengers Mansion and gives us a peak into just that - it would no doubt be big news and incorporated into the story the momentous event is presented with full media circus fashion covering it much like how the media covers the Vatican when choosing a new Pope.
"Avengers - The Private War of Dr. Doom" is a must read for fans of the the classic Avengers. Just the mere thought that Dr. Doom would enter into an alliance with the Avengers, is worth reading this book. The story is well developed with multiple characters and keeps the action exciting and the drama flowing. As you read this one, you begin to see that its actually Attuma, the warlord from Atlantis who is the real heavy in this story and Doom doesn't actually make an appearance until the last third of the book. The artwork of both George Perez and John Buscema is excellent and writers, Steve Englehart and Gerry Conway do a good job connecting the chapters and delivering them at a good non-complicated pace. (Although the one segment titled "Night Vision" seemed awkward and out of place)
This book also illustrates how in the Marvel world, not all hell breaks loose one tragedy at a time - the fact that the likes of the Living Laser along with Attuma and Doom would unleash their evil plans of conquest at the same time makes a lot of sense actually, and it wouldn't be necessarily unlikely that from time to time, they would put their plans into action without using the other for a diversion.
Our heroes are all at their usual best here (though Thor was missed) and I enjoyed the secondary characters in this book as well, Beast was especially enjoyable with his comedy relief lines and the action really heated up once the Sub Mariner entered the story.
Perhaps not on the same level as the Kree/Skrull War or Avengers/Defenders War - "The Private War of Dr. Doom" offers a good, enjoyable and enduring outing to enjoy again and again.