Tag Archives: Dr. Doom

The Fantastic Four #23, Feb. 1964

The Fantastic Four #23, Feb. 1964

Written by: Stan Lee
Illustrated by: Jack Kirby
Inked by: George Bell
Lettered by: S. Rosen

Hooray, it’s Dr. Doom! I feel like it’s a little present from the past to myself every time he shows up. He’s just such a talented, creative supervillain, you know? Just the kind of man I want in my organization. You’re hired!

The issue starts with a dinosaur running loose around the Baxter Building. I guess when you’re the Fantastic Four, you have a different set of problems. After they send the dino back with the time machine they took from Dr. Doom (way back in FF#5! Rip-off Reid!), they get in (yet another) argument about who should really lead the team. As you and I both obviously know, Mr. Fantastic is the only one who’s enough of an asshole to make these people function together as a team, but that’s the secret reveal at the end of the comic (tell no one these things which I say to you).

Meanwhile, Dr. Doom is up to his normal “kill the Fantastic Four” sorta thing. He recruits three criminals to work for him, and gives them each super powers: Yogi Dakor, who is completely fireproof! Handsome Harry has pinpoint hearing (allowing him to hear the Invisible Girl)! And Bull Brogin, who is very strong, but not as strong as the Thing but that’s okay! Each of them capture each member of the FF, with Doom himself going after Mr. Fantastic. He locks them all in a room treated by some science shit to transport it out into the middle of deep space, but only Dr. Doom ends up falling into the abyss. So Dr. Doom’s lost in space. Again.

Mr. Fantastic is really a huge, unrepentant dick in this issue. First he tells everyone that they’re idiots for letting a dinosaur through the time machine (nobody’s perfect, man! If I was in charge of a time machine, way worse shit than one scared dinosaur would be destroying your apartment), then he just laughs at their feeble attempts to replace him as leader. There’s literally a panel of him just leaning against a door frame, sarcastically making fun of them. I guess that’s why everybody loves Mr. Fantastic.


Amazing Spider-Man #5, Oct. 1963

Amazing Spider-Man #5, Oct. 1963

Written by: Stan Lee
Drawn by: Steve Ditko
Lettering: S. Rosen

Dr. Doom first showed up in Fantastic Four #5, and now his first fight with Spider-Man is in Amazing Spider-Man #5… COINCIDENCE?! PROBABLY!!!

Dr. Doom is looking for a new way to defeat the Fantastic Four, and he decides that if Spider-Man teamed up with him, they’d be an unbeatable team. Since the press shows Spidey in such a negative light, Doom figures he’s basically already a crook, and contacts him. Of course, Spider-Man refuses and escapes before Doom can use any of his really intricate traps. Meanwhile, to avoid suspicion, Peter Parker tells all the kids that he agrees with J. Jonah Jameson about Spider-Man being a menace, so his personal bully Flash Thompson decides to dress up like Spider-Man and scare Pete.

As Flash is set up to pounce on Pete, Dr. Doom is searching for Spider-Man with some sort of spider-tracking device. He tracks in on Pete, sees Flash dressed like Spidey, and ends up capturing Flash. He gives an ultimatum to the FF that if they don’t surrender, he’ll kill Spider-Man. Since this isn’t a Fantastic Four book, the real Spider-Man gets there first, and manages to defeat Dr. Doom after an epic battle. By the time the FF get there, all they find are some webs and a dumb high school kid who will never pull another prank again.

You pretty much can’t go wrong with Dr. Doom, and this wasn’t even all that good of a Dr. Doom plot. I think it’s mostly because all the traps he had prepared were for the Fantastic Four, and so he was actually kind of unprepared to actually have to fight Spider-Man. I really like that idea, actually. All those villains setting all those specific traps for heroes, it would suck if someone else came by and just got immediately around it.

The Fantastic Four #17, Aug. 1963

The Fantastic Four #17, Aug. 1963

Story: Stan Lee
Art: Jack Kirby
Inking: Dick Ayers
Lettering: Art Simek

You may have noticed something of a pattern in these comics. It seems that every villain is defeated by either laying a trap for them, or by going through their hideout, which is full of traps. Traps were just kinda the thing that, as a super-person, you’ll have to deal with all the time. And this issue has like, thirty traps in it. I think I’m going to reuse a couple of these the next time I play D&D…

The FF bids a fond farewell to Ant Man after the last adventure (any time Ant Man leaves is a good time) and wonder what wacky scheme Dr. Doom’s going to come up with next. As it turns out, it involves dressing like a janitor, putting tracking devices on each of the FF, then making them be followed around by robot ghosts. I’m telling you, man, Dr. Doom is fucking awesome.

The ghosts were just a ploy, of course, to get genetic information on each member of the Fantastic Four so he could program his blimp base to destroy them instantly if they got near. Doom kidnaps Alicia, the Thing’s girlfriend, so the FF have to come up with a plan. Richards comes up with yet another potion to turn the Thing back into normal, human Ben Grimm for a limited amount of time, so he can fool the blimp sensors. He gets on board, smashes the defenses, and then all four of them have to deal with a shitload of traps. In the end it seems that Doom is defeated, and he prefers to jump out of the blimp rather be captured alive. No doubt, this is the last we will ever see of him.

Dr. Doom does not mess around. These are not Ant Man-grade traps here, there’s one where he just fills a room with cement, and the only way Mr. Fantastic gets out is by stretching himself impossibly thin and navigating through the air bubbles to the door. I’m obviously no superhero, but that would scare the shit out of me. I think that’s why Doom goes after the Fantastic Four all the time; if he tried to take out other superheroes on their own, it wouldn’t even be a challenge, and he’d just be wasting his time.

The Fantastic Four #16, July 1963

The Fantastic Four #16, July 1963

Script: Stan Lee
Art: Jack Kirby
Inking: Dick Ayers
Lettering: Art Simek

Oh man, I love this issue. If there was a school that taught you how to be a super-villain, this issue would be the example they used as what you should aspire for. Dr. Doom is so awesome in this issue that even the presence of Ant Man and a bunch of stupid stuff about shrinking doesn’t bring it down AT ALL.

As the issue starts, the Fantastic Four admit to each other that they’ve all had incidents where they shrunk down to a very small size, but they didn’t mention it because they thought they were dreaming. Very unprofessional. They decide the best option is to ask Ant Man about it, which, as I’m sure we all know, is just a bad idea. Ant Man is worthless, and therefore can’t help with anything. In fact, his “help” in this situation is to just give the FF one drop of each of the shrinking and enlarging gasses (which start out as liquids), and they somehow have to use both of them to shrink down to the appropriate size. A size which is smaller than Ant Man, I should mention.

They shrink down and find themselves in a kingdom ruled by Dr. Doom, which he calls his “Micro-World”. He shrinks the FF down even further, then locks them up in the greatest prison ever. It’s this huge metal tomb at the bottom of a reservoir. The water outside isn’t water, however, it’s DEADLY ACID, and those aren’t fish, those are ROBOT FISH THAT EXPLODE. Doom’s just keeping them there until the alien lizard people slavers he sold them to get there. That is fantastic super-villainry. Anyway, the FF escape by crafting a pod out of the walls of the prison, then having the Thing blow out the bottom to propel it upwards. They get to Doom (oh, also Ant Man followed them down and got immediately captured at some point in there) and he grows himself back to normal size to escape. The issue ends as the four heroes and Ant Man return to normal size to chase after him.

I’m trying really, really hard not to think too much about the four different levels of shrinklitude, but I don’t think this is a battle I can win. Okay, so there’s normal size, that’s us. Then there’s really diddling small, the size of an ant, like Ant Man. Then, below that somewhere, is Dr. Doom’s Micro-world, where there’s a whole kingdom. And even smaller than THAT is the size Doom shrank the FF to put them in the cool prison. Given that level 4 is to level 3 as level 2 is to level 1, we can postulate that if you’re Ant Man’s size, then the size of the Micro-world would be the size of an ant to you. Right? So how has Ant Man never noticed this stuff before? For that matter, why has he never gotten that small before? And furthermore… oh wait, that’s right. Ant Man sucks.

The Fantastic Four #10, Jan. 1963

The Fantastic Four #10, Jan. 1963

Script: Stan Lee
Penciling: Jack Kirby
Inking: Dick Ayers

This is a great Dr. Doom issue, a classic. I think this is actually one of the first stories about the Fantastic Four I heard of… somehow. Also, there’s a cameo appearance by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby themselves!

Last time we left him, Dr. Doom was sailing out into space, considered dead forever. However! Some aliens named Ovoids picked him up and taught him how to become psychic and how to switch his body with someone else’s. So, Doom gets back to Earth and hatches a devious plan. He holds Stan Lee and Jack Kirby hostage until they call Mr. Fantastic over so he can kidnap him.

Doom trades bodies with Mr. Fantastic just as the rest of the team busts through the door. They attack who they think is Dr. Doom, and lock him in a cage the real Doom had prepared already, with just enough air for 1 hour (the good guys didn’t know that part). Reed, in Doom’s body, has to break out of the prison and stop Doom in Reed’s body from getting rid of the rest of the team with a reducing ray that will shrink them out of existence. He does this, and once the rest of the team realizes what’s happened, the “shock” of being found out makes Doom and Richards change back to their original bodies. During the scuffle, Doom gets caught in his own shrink ray and shrinks out of existence, never to be seen again.

They solve the whole “good guy switched bodies with a bad guy” trope in the oldest possible way to do it. The Human Torch creates a heat mirage reflection of a stick of dynamite in the room, and Reed in Doom’s body jumps to extinguish it before it goes off, while Doom in Reed’s body runs away to save himself. Classic stuf– wait, the Human Torch makes a HEAT MIRAGE REFLECTION? Of a real stick of dynamite that some construction workers are using down below you? What the fuck kind of science is that, Stan? Still, you get a pass because the rest of the issue was really good. You win this time, Stan Lee…