1st Appearance: Dr. Doom

Dr. Doom

Real Name/Alias: Victor Von Doom, King, Boss, Doombot, Infamous Iron Man

1st Appearance: The Fantastic Four #5, July 1962

Place of Origin: Latveria

Profession: Monarch of Latveria

Affiliations: Sorcerers Supreme, The Cabal, Intelligence, Future Foundation, Avengers, Lethal Legion

Partnerships: Prince Namor: The Submariner, Rama-Tut, Puppet Master

Created by: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

Abilities:

  • Genius level intellect
  • Technopathy
  • Energy absorption and projection, mind transference, and demonic summoning via dark mysticism and sorcery
  • Armor grants:

o   Superhuman strength and durability
o   Gauntlet lasers and force blasts
o   Flight via rocket boots
o   Force field generation
o   Various high-tech weapons and gadgets

  • Diplomatic Immunity

Synopsis of First Appearance: “Prisoners of Doctor Doom!”

The story begins with Dr. Doom in a spooky room that features a vulture, and books with the titles Demons and Science and Sorcery.  Doom proclaims to himself that the Fantastic Four are nothing but pawns in his hands, and that of all the humans on earth only he can defeat them!

Meanwhile, at the Baxter Building, headquarters of the Fantastic Four, Johnny Storm, the Human Torch, is reading a new comic magazine, The Incredible Hulk #1.  Johnny tells Ben Grimm, The Thing, that he sure looks a lot like the Hulk.  Ben grabs the comic and tells Johnny, “I’ll teach ya to compare me to a comic book monster!” In retaliation, Johnny flames on burns the comic in Ben’s hands. This begins a little tussle between the two.  Reed Richards, Mister Fantastic, and Sue Storm, The Invisible Girl, end the horseplay with Sue using a fire hose on Johnny and Reed tying Ben up with his elastic powers.

Suddenly the lights go out at the Baxter Building.  Above Dr. Doom’s helicopter has dropped a net on the sky scrapper creating the lack of electricity.  Doom declares himself to the World’s Greatest Superhero Team.  Sue asks, “Doctor Doom!? Who–? What is he?”  Reed somewhat responds, “That voice!  I recognize it!  But—I thought he was dead!”

Reed explains that during in his college days as a student at State College, he met a student named Victor Von Doom who was fascinated with black magic and sorcery. A flash back depicts Von Doom declaring he had mastered the mystic rights. Von Doom was brilliant but only interested in forbidden and extreme experiments.  In another flashback, we see Von Doom sitting in a machine with a cylindrical device over his head and an assistant warning him that the experiment he was about to undertake, the ability to interact with the netherworld, was madness!  (Next month’s blog will explain Doom’s motivation.) Von Doom could not control the power of his experiment, and his face was badly burned and his entire head had to be wrapped in bandages. Von Doom was expelled and headed to the wastelands of Tibet to acquire more knowledge on black magic sorcery.

Dr. Doom then declares that the Fantastic Four are his prisoners and the he wants Sue as a hostage to make sure the other members of the team do as he orders and asks for their answer.  Ben gets angry, but Doom hits him with an electrical charge. Sue agrees to Doom’s request and Reed knows no harm will come to her as long as he and the other team members are alive. Sue climbs Doom’s net and declares herself his hostage, but under her breath, she says he will regret crossing the Fantastic Four.

With Sue as his prisoner, Dr. Doom orders the other members of the team to board his helicopter and that they promise not to attack him.  Johnny and Ben hesitate, but Reed reassures them whatever plan Doom has in mind it involves more than their deaths.  Doom flies the plane to his home, which appears to be a medieval fortress. Inside the fortress, Doom explains that he has created a time machine and he wants Reed, Johnny, and Ben to acquire Blackbeard’s treasure.  After discussing whether we will just leave them in that previous epoch, Doom responds that he wants that treasure and he will bring them back.  Reed admits that Doom will keep his word, no matter how devious he is.  Reed asks that if they fail in their mission that Sue should be let free.  Doom agrees and tells them they have 48 hours to complete the mission.  Suddenly, Reed and the team realize that they are standing on the time machine.  Seconds later, they find themselves in the 18th century.

Realizing they do not fit in with their Fantastic Four uniforms, Ben starts acting more like Thing and scares some locals in order take the clothes the scallywags had illegally obtained. Now dressed in pirate attire, the three go about finding Blackbeard.  At the local watering hole, Reed openly discussed their objective, catching the ears of some pirates.  They provide the three with spiked rum and Shanghai them.

Reed, Johnny, and Ben find themselves shackled in bowels of a pirate ship.  However, due his great strength, Ben breaks free and starts fighting the pirates.  Reed and Johnny break free as well and using their powers knock out some of the other pirates.  The pirates now fearing the heroes back away when they notice that Blackbeard’s ship is attacking theirs.  Johnny flames on and heads for Blackbeard’s ship. Johnny flies near the seawater to create a fog that will cover the team’s movement.  Reed stretches himself to Blackbeard’s ship, creating a bridge between ships for Ben and the pirates to cross.

At the end of fight, the pirates hail Ben as Blackbeard, it turns out Ben Grimm, the ever-loving blue eyed Thing, had always been Blackbeard!  Realizing the treasure had always been theirs, Reed decides to give each pirate a portion of it and put some chains its place to confuse Dr. Doom.  However, Ben tired of hiding in the shadows and being thought of as a monster in his own time decides he will stay in this time period and turns on his friends.  However, a strong twister appears which results in the three washing up on a desert island along with the treasure chest.  Reed is about to scold Ben when he says, “Don’t say it, rubber man!  I know!  I was a fool!  I musta got carried away by being accepted — as a normal man—even if it was only by a band of cut-throat pirates!  I—I just lost my dumb head for a while!”  In that moment, Johnny realizes they have what Doom asked for, and they should be transported back to the present soon.  Meanwhile, Doom activates an atomic power circuit, cursing that Reed and company have had enough time.  If they have failed him, they will pay with their lives.

Suddenly, a light shines above the heroes and Reed explains that Doom must be sending them back to the present.  Reed tells Doom they have done as asked.  Doom explains that the gems in treasure chest actually belonged to Merlin, the wizard of Arthurian legend, and will make him invincible and able to conquer the world.  Johnny reminds Reed that the gems fell to the bottom of the ocean following the twister, adding that the last issue’s villain Namor the Submariner, would be just as much of a threat as Dr. Doom if he found them.  When Doom opens the chest he finds only chains, Ben attacks him only to discover they had been dealing with one of Dr. Doom’s Doombots.  Doombots are lookalike robots built by the good doctor himself.  The actual Dr. Doom responds by looking the three in the room they arrived in and cutting off the oxygen to the chamber.  A distracted Doom busy gloating, gives Sue a chance to turn invisible and short circuit Doom’s mechanisms creating a fire.  Next, Sue turns the oxygen back on in the room with a hidden door release.  Joining her teammates, Reed unties her hands.

With the team reunited the question of how to escape becomes paramount.  Reed, fearing booby traps, stretches across the moat through a barred window.  Ben breaks the wall down, but the team still needs a way to cross the moat.  Johnny flames on, boils a portion of the moat water away, and fuses the ground with his flame to create a glass like path Ben and Sue can cross.  Johnny then circles Doom’s fortress attempting to destroy it.  Doom escapes with a jet pack and Johnny attempts to capture him but the thrust of Doom’s jet pack weakens the Torch’s flame.  Ben scoffs at Johnny’s landing in a tree, while Reed declares that the team must dedicate their lives to tracking down both Dr. Doom and the Submariner.  Ben walks off and says “Next time I’ll handle things my way.”

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_Doom

https://marvel.fandom.com/wiki/Fantastic_Four_Vol_1_5

Lee, S., & Kirby, J. (2003). Marvel Masterworks: The Fantastic Four. Volume 1 (Barnes and Noble ed.). New York: Marvel Comics.

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