Fantastic Four hit theaters a few weeks ago, and to the surprise of no one, it was absolute garbage. This is pretty much universally accepted – like the theory of gravity or that North Korea is a pretty messed up place. Even worse, the movie completely ruined the character of Doctor Doom, one of the greatest villains ever created. I’m here to set the record straight.
Victor von Doom, aka Doctor Doom, was created back in 1962 and quickly became the primary enemy of the Fantastic Four. However, over the decades, he became such a popular character that he’d eventually have run-ins with just about every hero in the Marvel Universe. His presence became so prevalent that he transcended the Fantastic Four, and could arguably be considered a villain to the entire Marvel Universe.
He’s obviously the best villain Marvel has to offer, but why? He’s not the most powerful villain (except sometimes he is), but he is one of the most intelligent and determined characters ever conceived. He’s just a man, albeit an absurdly smart one, who through ego and sheer force of will, has forged himself into one of the biggest threats in Marvel. He’s what Lex Luthor over at DC wants to be when he grows up.
Sure, it’s easy to just say this kind of thing and not support it, which honestly, I’m tempted to do because I’m lazy, but I’m going to go ahead and submit some panels to show just how mind-bogglingly badass Dr. Doom is.
Let’s start out small:
Captain America throws his shield at stuff a lot. I mean, it’s practically his only move, but he’s done it countless times, and he’s gotten really, really good at it, and surprisingly, it actually works most of the time. Then one day he throws it at Dr. Doom.
Now, let me be up front, I love Captain America. I think he’s a great character who only recently started getting some love due to the popularity of the Marvel movies, but this is just embarrassing. Not only does Doom catch the shield and throw it back in one perfectly graceful motion, he does it while delivering a gloating monologue which ends with him chastising Cap and calling him a “peasant”. Ouch.
Here’s another example of Doom’s physical skills, this time without the use of his armor:
A brief bit of backstory: Doom is stranded on a planet that’s a mirror of Earth, and he has none of his resources – no armor, no magic, no clothes – not even a fig leaf. In this state, he’s attacked by a lion and things aren’t looking so hot for the good doctor, because, after all, without his resources, he’s just a man, and let’s be honest, no one can ki–Oh my god he just killed the lion with his bare hands! One punch! If that’s not badass enough, he makes a mask out of the dead lion.
This next panel highlights just how much of a boss Doom is.
Doctor Doom hates Reed Richards. Correction: Doctor Doom HAAAAATES Reed Richards. His hatred for Reed is so deep rooted that it makes the differences of Israel and Palestine look like a playground skirmish.
So when Sue Richards, aka Invisible Woman and Reed’s wife, is having complications with childbirth and Reed is nowhere around to help, who does the remaining members of the Fantastic Four turn to? Victor von Doom, of course.
Why turn to Doom, someone who hates Reed Richards so much? Well, simply put, outside of Reed, Doom is the only other person intelligent enough to successfully deal with this issue.
What does Doom do? Laugh in their faces and hang up immediately? Use this opportunity attack and destroy Reed’s family? Nah, Doom is way too cool for that. He actually delivers the baby. The only thing he asks in return is that he gets to name the child, which he names “Valeria”, in honor of the woman he loved in his youth. Also, he gets to rub Reed’s face in the fact that he owes Doctor Doom for saving his family.
The next entry is just plain awesome. That’s really all the setup you need, but I’ll give a little more anyway.
So one day the Hulk finally got tired of sharing a brain and body with puny Bruce Banner and decided he wanted to be rid of him once and for all. After being turned away by a long list of brilliant Marvel scientists, the Hulk, as a last resort, finally asks Doctor Doom for help, which, honestly he probably should have done in the first place, since he’s the best anyway.
Of course Doom is able to perform the surgery with ease, because he’s Doctor Doom. What makes this so awesome is that to get into the Hulk’s skull, he uses an ADAMANTIUM CHAINSAW! Come on, that’s about as cool as it gets.
Doctor Doom has incredible willpower, which pretty much dwarfs anyone else’s by comparison. Here are a few examples:
Back in the 80’s there was a Marvel comic event called the “Secret Wars” (revisited in 2015, but that’s a different story), and the premise is this: a super powerful being called the Beyonder uses his vast power to transport some heroes and villains to a separate planet so he can pit them against each other.
At one point in the story, the Beyonder thinks it’s a good idea to vivisect Doctor Doom, but even as Doom is being ripped apart on a molecular level, he’s able to focus enough to activate a device on his breastplate. In fact, Doom goes on steal the Beyonder’s power and hijack the Secret Wars. Of course, the Beyonder eventually gets his powers back, but for a lesser being, the story would have ended with them being scattered into atoms way before that.
Next up on the “Doctor Doom’s willpower is so ridiculous it might as well be a superpower”:
Doom wants to take over the world. That’s kind of his thing. He has other things, but the taking over the world one is a pretty big one.
One of his attempts involved capturing a guy called the Purple Man, who has mind control abilities. Doom put him in a cage, and amplified his power to a global scale in order to bend everyone to Doom’s will. The Purple Man thought that this was a little unfair, seeing as how he was the one with the power and Doom was exploiting him, so he brought this up to Doom.
He clears the room, takes off his mask and punks the Purple Man like the little chump he is. After that, there was no question as to who the baddest guy in the room was.
Also, side note: this attempt to take over the world succeeded. Doom gave it back when he got bored. Boss level stuff!
The last example of how “Doctor Doom’s willpower makes everyone else’s willpower feel inadequate and self-conscious and really not want to leave the house and probably watch Netflix all day” is probably my favorite:
Doom is a pretty bad guy, so in the character’s history it was all but inevitable that he’d get stuck in Hell at some point, and that’s exactly what happened for a while.
By most accounts, Hell is a rough place – and by that I don’t mean that it simply doesn’t have wifi, I mean it’s the kind of place you get tortured the worst imaginable ways for eternity, so I guess it actually is kinda like not having wifi.
How does someone like Doctor Doom react to being tortured in such a place?
By not making a sound. Victor von Doom is way too proud and has way too much willpower to give his tormentors any pleasure in seeing him crack, so he just takes it, and even does a little trash talking while it’s happening. Respect, Doom, respect.
The next two panels are different versions of the same thing, but both are pretty impressive.
So what we have here is Doom stealing the powers Silver Surfer, which made him even more ridiculously badass, seeing as how Silver Surfer is a cosmic being imbued with power by Galactus.
Then on another occasion, Doom steals the powers of G-Daddy himself, which is quite the feat.
This panel showcases, once again, how unabashedly gangsta Doctor Doom is.
After having created a universe, I think it’s fair to say that Doom could be considered the god of that universe. His reaction – classic Doom.