Warning: Contains spoilers for Venom #24!Doctor Doom has put his own dark spin on a classic science fiction trope first created by legendary writer Isaac Asimov. In Venom #24, Eddie Brock pays a call on the Latverian monarch, but before he can get to Doom, he must run a gauntlet of killer Doombots. During the battle, readers learn that Doctor Doom has programmed the Doombots with a twisted variation of a pillar of the science fiction genre.

Venom #24 is written by Al Ewing, drawn by Sergio Davila, inked by Sean Parson, colored by Frank D’Armata and lettered by Clayton Cowles. Eddie Brock is at Latveria’s international airport, where Doombots stand in for customs agents. A Doombot asks Eddie, who is traveling under an assumed name, if he has anything to declare. Eddie replies he does not, and the Doombot then asks him to put his baggage on the x-ray machine. Eddie refuses, leading to the Doombot becoming agitated. It orders Eddie to concede his baggage to be scanned, but suddenly Bedlam bursts out of the suitcase, attacking the Doombots. Eddie’s ruse is discovered; he tells the Doombots he has unfinished business with Doctor Doom. The robots identify him as Venom, calling him an “enemy of Doom.” One of the robots then quotes the First Law of Doombotics: suffer no enemy of Doom to live.

Related: Doctor Doom’s Symbiote Form Proves He’s Marvel’s Deadliest Venom Host

Doctor Doom’s Doombotics Are Based on a Sci-Fi Classic

Doctor Doom Doombots Doombotics

Long-time fans of science fiction may recognize the first law of Doombotics–or at least a version of it. In the 1940s, pioneering science fiction writer Isaac Asimov created the Three Laws of Robotics, a system of rules that all robots in his fictional universe were programmed with. The First Law reads that robots may not injure a human, or let one be injured. The Second Law says robots must obey humans, as long as it does not conflict with the First Law. Finally, the Third Law commands robots to protect their own existence, as long as it does not conflict with the first two laws. These laws provided a useful framework for Asimov’s universe, and they have been adopted at large by the genre as a whole. Now, Doctor Doom has put his own spin on it.

How Air-Tight Are Doctor Doom’s Laws?

Doombots stand ready to fight the Doom War in Marvel Comics.

Since his earliest days, Doctor Doom has relied on his army of Doombots to carry out his will. Sometimes, the Doombots actually stand in for Doom and other times they serve as his soldiers, as seen in Venom #24. There have been instances where a Doombot seems to develop a mind of their own, which may have led to Doom adopting a dark version of Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics. Asimov’s stories, as well as those who have built on his work, have shown there are loopholes and ambiguities in these Laws, which leads to the question: how full-proof are Doom’s laws? Could someone exploit the ambiguities of Doombotics?

Doctor Doom’s appropriation of Asimov’s Laws of Robotics is also a testament to his arrogance and ego. Asimov’s Laws have become staple of the science fiction genre, and Doom took them, perverting them to his own ends. In a move of pure hubris, he rechristened them “The Laws of Doombotics.” While the issue did not reveal what the other Laws were, they can all be assumed to revolve around Doctor Doom. He has stolen one of the science fiction genre’s best innovations and corrupted it, making it an exercise in terror and ego.

Venom #24 is on sale now from Marvel Comics!

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