Who Is Doctor Doom: A Multifaceted Supervillain
Today we will learn who is Doctor Doom, one of the most legendary Marvel Comics characters. This villain was created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee in 1962, appearing in issue 5 of the Fantastic Four. He is known for being the archenemy of this group of heroes. Although he also fought with other groups, such as the X-Men.
Doctor Doom does not have superpowers like other characters in the franchise. However, his intelligence and the magic inherited from his parents make him an incredible opponent. His mind has an ability similar to Reed Richards’, which he uses to create armor to combine with his magical powers and fight his rivals.
According to Wizard’s judgment, he is in 4th place among the 101 best villains. In a similar contest, this character ranked number 3 of all villains in all existing comics. Some fans consider that he should have occupied first place.
Doctor Doom Biography
Image: Marvel Comics
The real name of the character is Victor von Doom. He was born in a fictional country called Latveria. His parents were from a gypsy tribe with special skills in sorcery and healing. His mother was secretly a witch, while his father was the leader of the tribe and their healer.
Doom’s past is sad, considering that his mother died when he was an infant. This incident happens due to a poorly executed spell, causing Mephisto to murder her and promises to murder her son. Before she dies, she asks her father to protect him, especially from the demon.
Doom would spend little time with his father because the baron and leader of the country called his father to cure his wife. However, she had advanced cancer and died without further ado. The monarch blamed Victor’s father for her demise and ordered the healer’s death.
Victor and his father would flee Latveria through some cold mountains. However, the latter would not survive due to the intense cold. Doom eventually returned to the tribe, taking the leadership of the tribe and vowing to take revenge on the monarch. He would find his mother’s spell book, which he studied carefully to gain more power.
Image: Marvel Comics
Time passed, and the boy grew into a brilliant and tenacious adult who created devices that combined magic and science to keep the baron’s men at bay. These skills caught the attention of several members of the Empire State University. They offered Doom a scholarship to study in the United States, which he accepted, leaving the gypsy tribe.
At the University, the first meeting between Victor Von Doom and Reed Richards, his nemesis, took place. They two would be selected to occupy the same room, although the future villain requested a partner change.
In this educational center comes the birth of Doctor Doom, when he creates a machine to communicate with dead people. Richards tried to tell him that the machine would fail, due to some errors in his calculations, because of some decimals. This error caused the machine to explode violently, damaging Victor’s face.
This fact causes him to be expelled from the University, which causes him to return to Latveria, although he can’t stand the weather or the fatigue and collapses. He is rescued by monks who train him in their arts, and he begins to serve them little by little. In their facilities, he would create his first armor and mask, generating the character of Doctor Doom.
We learned after that that the cause of the failure of Victor’s machine was Ben Grim, Richards’ friend and the future Mole. He sabotaged the device because of his grudge against Doom for the superiority he always showed. However, this fact marked him forever, blaming himself for the creation of this villain.
His Conversion Into Doctor Doom
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After taking on his new persona, he takes over Latveria, protecting his tribe at all times. He also plots revenge against those who caused his misfortune, especially Reed Richards and the rest of the Fantastic Four.
In his debut as a villain, he kidnaps Sue Storm, or Invisible Woman, to force Mr. Fantastic to travel to the past and get Blackbeard’s treasure to conquer the world. Richards manages to trick him, delivering the chest full of chains with no value.
In his next appearance, he uses Namor to extract the Fantastic Four buildings and send them into space. However, Doom betrays Namor and locks him up with the heroes, but he manages to reverse the situation. In the end, the building is returned to New York City, and the villain is left in space, on top of an asteroid.
During his stay in outer space, the villain is rescued by aliens and learns all his skills. He returns Earth thanks to the technology of these entities and uses it to make a mind exchange with Reed Richards. Ultimately, they switch bodies again, and Doom is hit by his shrink ray, trapped in a microscopic world.
Trapped in that world, he seeks to dominate it, and when the Fantastic Four go after him, he tries to destroy it. Doom finds himself floating in space and is saved by a version of Kang the Conqueror. Subsequently, he seeks to provoke the group of heroes to eliminate each other, using the nectar of fruit with hallucinogenic qualities. However, Reed Richards tricks him into consuming the substance, causing him to see a false end to the group.
Doctor Doom Return to Latveria
Image: Marvel Comics
After this confrontation, Doom returns to Latveria and seeks to make new allies. Among these is Spider-Man, who refused to participate with him. He also had fights with the Avengers and the Silver Slider. Specifically, he fought with Wanda and Pietro when these heroes entered their country illegally in search of their parents.
With Silver Surfer, he was able to capture him and, in fact, got his powers. However, he subsequently lost them due to a barrier that Galactus placed around the Earth to limit the powers of the Silver Surfer.
Doom also encountered Iron Man on a trip he took to the past. He sought to change the timeline by helping Morgana defeat King Arthur, but Stark intervened and saved the situation. Although the villain swore revenge for that action, he never carried it out because of a truce made by both scientists to find a way to return to his time.
He subsequently sought to steal Terrax’s cosmic powers. However, he failed and lost his body when he was affected by an explosion between Silver Surfer and this entity. The villain would take over the body of another mortal until the Beyonder helped him recover his own body.
The Beyonder had plans for the antihero, specifically wanting him to participate in the Battleworld event. The villain also had his own, and that was to keep the Beyonder’s powers, and he succeeded in doing so at the time. However, he could not control them because of their vastness, and he had to give them back in the end.
Doctor Doom’s Final Act
Image: Marvel Comics
In his final act, Doom sought to obtain supernatural powers, making a pact with demonic entities. These gave him the powers and knowledge from years of training and technological advances. He uses these abilities to trap Doctor Strange in hell. He also nullified the abilities of the Fantastic Four. Reed Richards was trapped in a magical library to be tortured psychologically, while the other three members of the group were physically tortured.
Reed Richards looked for a way to stop him but concluded that he could not do it alone, so he used the knowledge he had acquired and freed Strange’s astral form. This taught him how to use magic properly, which he used to trick him into betraying the demons.
To prevent this villain from further threatening the entire universe, the Fantastic Four seeks to lock him away, destroying his laboratory in Latveria. However, he inserts his soul into Ben, causing Richards to kill his best friend and greatest enemy simultaneously.
Doom went to hell until Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, struck the Earth in the events of Ragnarok.
Doctor Doom’s Goals and Objectives
Doom’s main goal is to acquire power and increase his domain. We can cite the cases in which he tried to get hold of the powers of the Silver Slider and Beyonder.
Another goal of this villain is to free his mother from the tormenting fate that befell her due to the failed spell. He fought with Mephisto’s servants on several occasions to free her, but the fight always ended in a draw. Doom turned to Strange for help, but it was not necessary, as Doom was able to free her, although he hated his son for the rest of his life.
A notable goal of this being is the destruction of Reed Richards, for blaming him for the incident on his face. Also, he wants to prove that he is brighter than the leader of the Fantastic Four.
Healing his face was a goal at the beginning of his career as a villain, but he stopped caring. He stated at the time that the metal mask was his true face.
Powers and Abilities
Image: Marvel Comics
Doctor Doom’s primary ability and skill is his brilliant mind, which rivals that of Reed Richards. He can use it to create various energy-emitting devices, travel through time, absorb powers and make all kinds of robots.
He has magical powers that began with his mother’s books and were enhanced by monks’ intervention. Then they were further enhanced by Morgana’s teachings in the past, allowing him to create energy fields.
Doom can also transfer his consciousness to other bodies, thanks to apprenticeships with aliens when he was stranded in space. He can also absorb the powers of others, such as Silver Surfer, Galactus, and the Beyonder.
As for his physical abilities, his armor gives him superhuman strength, allowing him to fight on par with the Hulk, the Mole, and Spider-Man. This armor emits energy beams, which he can use to create force fields or stun his opponents.
Other Versions of the Character
Image: Marvel Comics
There are two alternate versions of the character, the first being Ultimate Doctor Doom. In this edition of the villain, his name is Victor Van Damme, and he works alongside Richards Reed in the Baxter Building. They seek to teleport matter through the negative zone, creating a machine for this experiment.
Before one of the tests of Reed’s invention, Van Damme changes the parameters of the device. This alteration causes everyone to be transported uncontrollably to the negative zone and subsequently placed in different parts of the world. Doom would transform, having goat legs and being able to emit metal through his skin.
The Thing eliminated this version of the villain, who had warned him that he would kill him without hesitation if he did anything to his family.
We saw another edition of the character in Amalgam Comics, in which he showed a fusion of Doomsday with this villain, being called, in the end, Doctor Doomsday.
Doctor Doom Media Appearances
Image: Marvel Studios
In television, he first appeared in animated series, starting with the saga developed by Hanna Barbera of the Fantastic Four. In a new edition of this group of heroes, developed by DePatie-Freleng Enterprises, he appears as the main villain in two episodes.
Another animated series in which he appears is Spider-Man, both in the 84 and 91 versions. In the first one, Ralph James put a voice to the character, and in the second one, Tom Kane.
In ’94, he had an appearance with The New Fantastic Four, played in the first season by Neil Ross and in the second by Simon Templeman.
Doctor Doom also participated in the saga Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes. In this one, Paul Dobson was in charge of his voice.
In 2009 he appeared in two productions, first in The Super Hero Squad Show with the voice of Charlie Adler. Later he was in Iron Man: Armored Adventures, with the participation of Christopher Britton.
In 2010, Doctor Doom was the villain of an episode of The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Lex Lang played the voice of this character. Then in 2012, he appeared in Ultimate Spider-Man, being the villain of the episode Doomed.
Image: 20th Century Fox
In the cinema, he appeared in the productions of the Fantastic Four developed by 20th Century Fox, showing an alternative origin of the character. In this film, he has qualities like The Thing. Only instead of stone, his body turns into metal. In the sequel, he steals Silver Surfer’s powers, although he is recovered with the help of the human torch. The actor who played this villain in both films was Julian McMahon.
In a 2015 reboot, we saw an alternate version of Doom, similar to Ultimate Doctor Doom. In this filming, this one joins a team consisting of Sue Storm, Johnny Storm, Reed Richards, and his friend Ben. They go to a world that gives rise to his powers. Toby Kebbell played this character.
Doctor Doom: A Multifaceted Supervillain
Doctor Doom is a villain who poses a real threat to the heroes of Marvel. He is intelligent and resourceful, and his tormented past makes him ruthless and evil. His image has transcended the comic book, and we wait anxiously to see what the future holds for him in the movies.
Featured Image Via Marvel Comics
I am a circus aerialist influenced by Dick Grayson and Spider-Man. Fortunate to write about the characters that inspired me. I also have a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and a Master's degree in International Trade.