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Bring on the Bad Guys 2011

Bring on the Bad Guys: Doctor Doom

The history of one of the most complex figures in the entire Marvel Universe

By Jim Beard & Ben Morse

A hero can be best measured by the opposition they face, and in the Marvel Universe, the tyrants, thugs and cosmic menaces thrown against our champions clearly mark them as the greatest of all.

Yet “villain” often proves too shallow a term when it comes to the antagonists stacked against the Avengers, X-Men, and others. Their motivations frequently run deeper than mere lust for power or desire for destruction. In many ways, they’re the heroes of their stories.

And in other ways, they’re just pan bad guys.

Join us for a week of examining some of Marvel’s greatest villains and the threats that will define our heroes in the days to come, reliving their histories and peering into their futures.

VICTOR VON DOOM #1 cover by Becky Cloonan

Victor Von Doom doesn’t see himself as a villain. He sees himself as a natural ruler; the one man who can bring the entire world together under a single, central authority: Doom. He desires nothing less than a perfect, harmonious world, as long as he’s the one in charge. Others have disagreed with his quest, and so, inevitably, Doctor Doom has become the world’s foremost villain.

Born into a small gypsy family in the wilds of far-off Latveria, young Victor’s childhood careened from bad to worse in a very short span of time. His beloved mother found herself on the wrong end of a soldier’s wrath and his father failed to save the life of the Latverian king’s wife. Orphaned and alone, Von Doom swiftly found hate in his heart for the cruel world around him. He waged war on his own country as a teenager after taking on the mantle of sorcery left behind by his mother, and then flew off to America to attend university there.

At Empire State University, Victor’s life intersected with that of the man who’d soon become his most hated foe, Reed Richards. The studious young man only wanted to help his peer, but Von Doom’s pride and simmering impatience led to a horrible accident; the university looked down their collective noses at explosions on campus and expelled the Latverian student. Face scarred and pride wounded, the twisted genius made his way to Tibet, where he forged himself into a new being: Doctor Doom.

From that moment on, Victor Von Doom’s path became clear, at least in his own skewed mind. He’d have revenge on everything and everyone who’d ever stood in his way: Latveria, America, Richards—the world. He’d conquer all and then re-form it into his own image, leaving an idealized planet for him to rule. Doctor Doom became a figure to be feared across the globe, an armored avatar cloaked in mystery and deadly to the touch. Behind it all, though, still lurked the desire to save his mother from the perils of the netherworld.

VICTOR VON DOOM #2 cover by Becky Cloonan

Doctor Doom fought everyone. Every hero, every champion, every army that walked the earth he challenged and battled. Time and time again he waged war, both physical and intellectual, on the wide world, all from his seat of power in Latveria. Richards and his family of heroes, the Fantastic Four, opposed the tyrant at every turn, and Doom’s loathing for the so-called “Mr. Fantastic” only grew. The two men pitted their intellects against each other through numerous skirmishes and a few outright wars. Together they fell through space and time, through life and death, to halt each other’s progress.

Doom craves power; nothing less will suit him or soothe him. If technology doesn’t sate his lust for control, then he’ll seek out other sources of supremacy, such as the cosmic energies of god-like beings, or the devilish properties of magic. To this day, Doom’s never found exactly what he seeks, but that never, ever stops him from trying.

Doom never rests. Doom never sleeps. Doom hangs over all, eternally.

In recent day, Doom has found himself reduced to seeking the aid of his longtime fantastic foes, now the Future Foundation, after having his intellect greatly reduced in a scheme concocted by M.O.D.O.K. and The Leader. He now finds himself allied with Richards and his accursed brood, but surely only for so long as necessity demands.

While Doom’s alliance with the heroes he has ever opposed can be tracked in FF, writer Nick Spencer and artist Becky Cloonan will explore another facet of his world beginning this November in the VICTOR VON DOOM limited series.

Join the conversation with your thoughts about Marvel’s bad guys on Twitter with the hash tag #TheBestVillains

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I like Dr Doom whether he is good,bad or ugly.