Written by Jonathan Hickman, Matt Fraction & Peter Milligan
Art by Adi Granov & Kyle Hotz
Dark Reign: The Cabal is an interesting story. While it's probably expected to compare this to the Illuminati specials, as this is basically the villains version of that 'team', it actually differs in execution compared to those 'retcon stories' that placed the Illuminati firmly in Marvel history.
Instead, the Dark Cabal issue is more of a character study for each member of the Cabal and spotlights reasons for members joining, showcases what they expect to gain from the association and, in Doom's case, shows off what they imagine the final outcome of their 'dark reign' will be.
With this in mind, the question then becomes, "is it any good?", to which I give a resounding, "Yes.", to. However, whether or not the entire issue is to your liking or not is debatable. To be honest, the only 'must read' story from the bunch is the Dr Doom one, which is an imaginary tale that shows us how Doom imagines things will end for this Dark Cabal - ie. with him and Namor killing or enslaving the rest of the members. In fact, Doom even has thoughts of killing Namor at the end of the sequence, much to my delight. My favourite part of this sequence was a tie between Dr Doom wearing the Hood's red cloak after killing him and Adi Granov's artwork, which was downright spectacular. Shame it was only an ~8 page story.
The remaining stories could, arguably, be described as forgettable. I enjoyed them, on a fundamental level, but none are going to be remembered or gushed over like the Dr Doom short.
Verdict - Check It. Great Doom short story, some interesting character studies for the rest of the Cabal, but nothing that reaches out and grabs you or that people will be talking about months later like the various Illuminati stories.