By Jim Beard

In February’s SECRET AVENGERS #22, new series writer Rick Remender begins to reveal the sinister secret that lies at the center of the world: the Descendants. Hyper-evolved from the Marvel Universe’s most famous robots and androids by the enigmatic Father, these new “races” will challenge the Avengers like no foe before them. This series of week-long “sneak-peeks” will reveal for the first time each species of Descendants through extensive notes and Remender’s commentary. 

Though Victor Von Doom’s talents in robotics extend to many and varied synthetic forms, it’s perhaps his so-called “Doombots” wherein he’s achieved his greatest level of technological sophistication. In short, each Doombot exists as a near-perfect stand-in for their master, able to fool even the most keen eye or electronic surveillance.

As early as his first encounter with the self-styled Fantastic Four, Doom utilized robot duplicates to operate as himself in more dangerous situations. Braggart and egotistic as he stands, Doom seems loathe to risk his one safety when confronting powerful adversaries, instead commanding a Doombot to act on his behalf. Remarkably, the robots’ programming allows for almost complete autonomy to do so, including judgment calls, attack/defense sequences and the full range of Doom’s own personality traits. 

Since that first field run, numerous super heroes, super villains and other such operatives have encountered Doctor Doom’s penchant for Doombots, many of them unaware of the doppelganger until Doom’s endgame forced a revelation. To this end, two basic forms of observed duplicates exist: diplomatic and combat. Both encompass the same standard artificial intelligence matrix—the height of robotic achievement—but differ in armaments and specific programming. While diplomat Doombots operate with a higher overall degree of cognitive function, they lack the ability to more formidably engage opponents in battle as do the combat Doombots. Such Doombots may effectively fool even the assembled United Nations Security Council or Reed Richards himself.

If weaknesses exist in Victor Von Doom’s robots, they perhaps lie in their master’s own ego. Doombots normally may not act independently in the presence of Doom himself, leading to possible counter-programming issues and incalculable failsafe cognitive loops. In addition, Doombots remain limited to the actual strength and durability of Doom’s own armor and weaponry. 

SECRET AVENGERS #22 preview art by Gabriel Hardman

Doomborgs, the Descendant species of Doombots, operate with some part of Victor Von Doom’s original personality within them.

“But with different motives and different emotions,” adds SECRET AVENGERS writer Rick Remender. “The Doomborgs haven’t lived Victor’s life. They have the very basic map of his mind, with the way he operates and his intelligence. They do not have experience with the supernatural, and they do not have mommy issues. None of the things that make him who he is are reflected in this species. Instead, if you can imagine someone taking a Doombot and taking them into [the] Weapon Plus program The World, where time can be rewound or fast forwarded, then, with the aid of a secret relic, these things are hyper-evolved by many millions of years and are then given the spark of life by supernatural means. It’s putting these two things together that created this species of Descendants. 

“The Descendants that are derived from previous species, such as the Doomborgs being descendants of the Doombots, are all failed in someway. They’re all incomplete in some fashion. All of the Descendants that are built off of previously existing robots in the Marvel Universe are somewhat flawed. We will reveal what those flaws are as they progress. There are perfect Descendants but they were introduced to the general population and haven’t been heard from or seen since. They’re among us procreating. Whereas I guess these would be the red-headed stepchildren of those more perfect descendants.”

Stay tuned to all week for more of the Father Files to learn the secrets of the Descendants!

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