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The Vulcan Academy Murders
Jean Lorrah
Six Minutes in May: How Churchill Unexpectedly Became Prime Minister
Nicholas Shakespeare
Progress: 103/528 pages
The Industrialisation of Soviet Russia, Volume 1: The Socialist Offensive: The Collectivisation of Soviet Agriculture, 1929-1930
Robert William Davies
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The Pursuit of Power: Europe 1815-1914
Richard J. Evans
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Young Wilhelm: The Kaiser's Early Life, 1859-1888
John C. G. Röhl
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Wanting can be more fun than getting

Emperor Doom - David Michelinie, Bob Hall

This graphic novel seems inspired by the old idiom about dogs who chase cars and what would they do once they caught them. In it, Doctor Doom uses the powers of an unwilling Purple Man to achieve his long-sought goal of conquering the world. Yet with the world literally bowing before him, Doom soon finds that conquering the world is a lot more stimulating than running it. And when a group of Avengers challenge his dominance, Doom finds himself facing a most unusual dilemma . . .


One of the limitations of most comic book plots is that the bad guy usually has to lose -- and the more audacious the goal, the more likely it is that the bad guy will fail. For this reason David Micheline's graphic novel stands out for its relatively novel exploration of what it would be like if a world-conquering super-villain actually conquered the world. Perhaps because of this it's a little more fun than might be expected, with a few "kid in the candy store" moments that no world conquest story should be without. I'm less a fan of Bob Hall's art, but it's a matter of taste; more disappointing is the absence, in person or even by way of explanation, of Reed Richards, which is disappointing but perhaps understandable given that it's ultimately an Avengers story and not a FF one. Still, it's an entertaining story, one that stands as one of the more interesting one-shots Marvel has done over the years.