Thumbnail: The Arrogance and Endurance of Doctor Doom
It’s been said that Doctor Doom is not just one of the greatest supervillains of all time but rather that he’s the supervillain, the one that defines them all.
Whenever Doom appears, he's always a huge threat. That’s evident from his very first appearance in Fantastic Four #5 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, when he kidnaps Sue Storm and forces the rest of the FF to travel back in time to steal Blackbeard’s treasure to help him conquer the world. He later teamed up with Namor the Sub-Mariner to send the team into space --- by literally magnetizing the Baxter Building and attaching it to a rocket ship. Of course, he double crosses Namor and the FF. But Namor gets the upper hand and gets the FF back to Earth, leaving Doom on an asteroid careening out into space. But do you think that stopped him?
Doom later showed up back on Earth, having been rescued by a wise alien race called the Ovids --- and learned all their secrets. Switching bodies with Reed Richards, he nearly destroyed his greatest enemy, only to wind up back in his own body and shrunk down into the Microverse. Even conquering the Microverse doesn’t prevent the FF from sending Doom into space again.
Then there’s some stuff involving Kang the Conqueror (back when he called himself Rama-Tut) and hallucinogenic berry juice. And folks, everything I’ve talked about so far is just from the 1960s. If I was to list all the crazy stuff Doom got up to outside of Fantastic Four, or in the work of John Byrne and Walter Simonson, we’d be here all day.
The point is, Doom’s greatest quality is his sheer persistence. No matter how many times he’s defeated, he always comes back with a bigger and badder plan. It’s no accident that the 2015 Secret Wars event has Doom reigning over Battleworld as God Emperor. Really, it’s the most logical conclusion.
Doom’s other defining trait? His arrogance. It always defeats him, but he never sees the flaw. This goes all the way back to his origin, where his refusal to accept that his equations were wrong led to a machine blowing up in his face and scarring him. Well, supposedly.
See, at one point in the 1970s, Jack Kirby drew his version of what his evilest co-creation looked like under his famous mask, and he just had one small scar.
Later, John Byrne showed that this was indeed what Doom really looked like after his accident. But his vanity led to him putting his metal mask on before it had completely cooled, which actually scarred him.
Doom won’t be God Emperor forever. But if Victor Von Doom’s long history has taught us anything, it’s that he’ll always be back with an even bigger and badder scheme. And his own arrogance will once again prove his undoing.
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