Dr. Doom (Origins)
Victor was the child of Gypsy travelers in Latveria, a small European country. Victor’s mother, Cynthia, was killed soon after she called upon the demon Mephisto for power. She left Victor with his father, asking him to protect him from Mephisto. Victor’s father, Werner, was a doctor who was called upon by King Vladimir of Latveria to treat his wife. Unable to do so, Werner fled with Victor and died soon afterward trying to protect his son. Victor was left with his father’s best friend Boris. Victor later discovered his mother’s mystical books and artifacts. With them, he was able to teach himself sorcery. He made several unsuccessful attempts to free his mother’s soul from Mephisto.
Victor excelled in science, developed several inventions and was eventually given a scholarship to Empire State University. While attending this school, Victor met Reed Richards, who would later become his enemy, Mr. Fantastic. In school, they were considered scholarly rivals. One day, Victor designed an invention to rescue his mother which would become his greatest downfall. Richards attempted to warn Victor of an error in his calculations. However, Von Doom’s arrogance refused to let him listen. The machine then exploded, scarring his face and led to his expulsion from the university.
Von Doom later went to Tibet and found an old order of monks. He practiced their ways enough for him to become their leader. Von Doom then asked them to make his first suit of armor. Eager to wear the suit, Doom placed the still-hot steel faceplate to his face, making him even more scarred than before. As Dr. Doom, he then killed Baron Vladimir and imprisoned his son Rudolfo, and gained control over Latveria. Rudolfo would escape and lead a rebellion and become a thorn in Doom’s side for years till his death. Later, Rudolfo’s younger brother Zorba would take over where his brother left off. Doom using his intellect and inventions, turned Latveria into a thriving nation.
While on a quest to conquer the world, Doom had several run-ins with his former rival, Reed Richards and his super-team, the Fantastic Four. He first tried to get the Fantastic Four to steal some gems which were originally Merlin’s from the past and would bring him great power, but this plan ended in failure.
He teamed up with another superhero, Namor, to try to defeat the Fantastic Four and almost succeeded. He was defeated and stranded in space where he was rescued by the Ovoids. He was able to learn much of their technology and used it upon his return to Earth to try to defeat the Fantastic Four again. He switched bodies with Reed Richards and impersonated him. He planned to shrink the rest of the team into nothingness, but the plan backfired and it was Doom who was shrunken.
After being shrunken, Doom had entered the Microverse, a land of peace ripe for the taking. After befriending the King and Princess Pearla, he became the court magician (because of his advanced science that was unknown to them). He had their people build his weapons for him and soon turned on his royal friends and shrunk them further, taking control of their planet. He then built another machine to tamper with the lives of the Fantastic Four, which eventually brought them to his doorstep. Once captured, he planned to trade the Four to the Lizard Men of Tok, brutal conquerors of the Microverse, in exchange for allegiance. Of course the Fantastic Four were able to escape. Once Doom noticed they had, he returned to the normal world, not giving up on his plans of revenge. He began his plans immediately, kidnapping Alicia Masters to his Flying Fortress and warning the Fantastic Four to not interfere if they wish to see her again. He then sent a note to the President of the United States demanding a spot in the cabinet or else he would wage war against the country. After he received no response, Doom attacked the US mainframe, taking control of its electricity and weapons. The Fantastic Four were helpless, Doom having used his ‘followers’ to map their atomic structures, making it impossible for them to attack him without being disintegrated.
But Reed outsmarted Doom again, transforming the Thing back into Ben Grimm temporarily, enabling him to breach Doom’s defenses and allow the rest of the team entrance. Doom still had booby traps for the team but they still were able to reach him. Doom went to grab Alicia, knowing they would never risk her safety, only to find the Invisible Woman had switched places with her. Doom was defeated again and rather than be captured and humiliated he jumped from the Fortress to escape.
The most unusual Fantastic Four-Doctor Doom tale occurred in Fantastic Four #116. The Earth was in grave danger from the foe called Overmind. He was so powerful that he even took control of Mr. Fantastic’s will and made him his lackey. However, Agatha Harkness appeared to the Invisible Girl and urged her to contact Doctor Doom, the one person who could help. Susan went to Doom and, at first, he refused her request for aid but she was eventually able to convince him to change his mind. Doom led the Human Torch, the Thing and the Invisible Girl in battle against the Overmind.
One of his enemies was the Silver Surfer. He was able to steal the Silver Surfer’s Power Cosmic and become one of the most powerful beings on Earth, but again, his plan was stopped by the Fantastic Four. They managed to trick him into flying outside of Earth’s boundaries, therefore meaning that since Galactus had placed boundaries to stop the Silver Surfer leaving, Doom’s power was lost.
Dr. Doom became the runner-up at the Aged Genghis’s contest. As stated in the rules of the match, he was given one request from the winner, Doctor Strange. Dr. Doom’s request was to free his mother’s soul from Mephisto. Together, they were able to free the soul of his mother, but at the price of her undying hatred against her son.
During the events of Secret Wars, Doom was one of the villains kidnapped by the Beyonder and sent to Battleworld. He quickly began manipulating the events of the series to his own ends, and ended up briefly sporting a new look after his armor was damaged and hastily rebuilt. Doom soon encountered Klaw, and used the villain as part of a plot to steal the powers of both the Beyonder and Galactus. Doom was thwarted when the Beyonder stole Klaw’s body and tricked Doom into giving up his newfound Godhood.
When the threat of Onslaught arrived on Earth, Doom saw this as an opportunity to steal the being’s powers. When Earth’s heroes learned they must sacrifice themselves to defeat Onslaught, Iron Man decided Doom should help with that sacrifice. Iron Man grabbed Doom and pulled him into Onslaught’s essence, killing him.
Franklin Richards created a pocket universe for the heroes to live in. Doom remained much as he had before. Unlike most of the heroes, Doom seemed to remember the past events of Onslaught. When Galactus came to Earth to consume it, Doom was met by a future version of himself and given information and technology to help him. Doom first tried to steal the cosmic powers of Galactus’ heralds. Soon realizing he was no match for Galactus and realizing the planet was doomed, he traveled back in time to try to prevent this. After two more attempts to stop Galactus and turn it towards his favor, Doom finally worked with the heroes and the Silver Surfer to defeat Galactus. Eventually, after the heroes returned back to their normal Earth, Doom remained behind. He took over the world and moved it from the pocket universe to his original universe with magic and technology, putting it in the same orbit as Earth, only on the opposite side, creating a Counter Earth. Eventually, he was overthrown and returned to his rightful planet.
During his youth, he fell in love with a woman named Valeria, but she declined his advances. He made a pact with the Hazareth Three, which involved sacrificing her in order to gain more power. This act is generally considered to be the precursor to a new Dr. Doom who regretted the crime against Valeria. It is stated to be the reason for Doom naming Reed’s daughter Valeria, after the woman he truly loved but killed. He considers himself to be the self-appointed guardian of young Valeria as he feels this is the way he can atone for the death of his love. However, Marvel has not mentioned exactly what triggered this emotional sentiment in Doom to bring back the memory of Valeria. He became trapped in Hell when he was tricked by the Fantastic Four and Dr. Strange.
When Mjolnir was floating and passing through all realities, it made a hole in hell for Doom to escape. When Mjolnir landed on Earth, Doom tried to claim it, but he was unworthy. He later returned to Latveria and rediscovered his magical heritage to defeat his enemies. He later welcomed Atlanteans to Latveria when their kingdom was destroyed and later aligned himself with Loki to plot against Thor and the release of Asgard’s enemies.
Doom then faced the Mighty Avengers after he released Symbiote from one of his satellites. When Iron Man, Sentry, and Doom were fighting, they were suddenly brought back to the past. The three had to work together to get back to the present by using Mr. Fantastic’s time machine from that timeline. But when they got back, Doom sent Iron Man to a time when his castle was only moments away from exploding. With Iron Man out of the way, he easily defeated the Avengers. Iron Man however, managed to escape in the nick of time. That, combined with Spider-Woman’s breakout from Doom’s prison, proved to be the start of his downfall and Doom was finally apprehended.
During the Marvel Civil War, Dr. Doom had been abandoned in hell (Mobius Dimension) by the Fantastic Four. There, he conducted a valiant battle against innumerable demons. He escaped when Thor’s hammer passed through that plane of existence, on its journey to Earth. When back on Earth, he found that his Prime Minister had taken over his country, after two years of Doom being absent. The Minister was about to make serious changes in the government, when Doom intervened. He then set about the task of retrieving Mjolnir. After fighting SHIELD and the Fantastic Four, he arrived at the hammer only to find he could not lift it. He returned to Latveria, frustrated.
In Latveria he was approached by Black Panther and his wife, Storm to form a united front against the registration act of the US. At the time, Black Panther was seeking aide from countries such as the UK and Atlantis. Although Doom agreed with Black Panther, he did not involve himself in combat on US soil during the war.
In the fallout of Secret Invasion, we first see Dr. Doom attending the meeting of the Dark Illuminati. Victor is unimpressed with Norman Osborn’s brave new world but plays ball anyways. Following the departure of the other Illuminati, Namor and Doom talk about their real plans. Doom says that if things do not go the way he thinks, there will be a battle the likes the universe has never seen.
Upon his return to Latveria, Doom is attacked by Morgana Ley Fay after she had attempted to murder him in the past. The powerful witch blasts Doom and knocks him down for the count. As Morgana moves in for the kill, Doom is saved by Norman Osborn and his Dark Avengers. Dr. Doom has also been working with groups of B-Ranked super-villains since the Secret Invasion. He smashed up the Sinister Six, (Kraven, Doc Ock., Sandman, Chameleon, Vulture, and Mysterio) before telling them he just had plans for them. Doom gives them instructions and helps them enhance their powers while he uses them to further his agenda.
After this, we see Dr. Doom teamed up with the Circus of Crime searching for the secret of eternal life. They come into a clash with Baron Zemo and the Masters of Evil. It is revealed that the battle between the two groups was a test set-up by Doom to see who he would recruit. Even though the Circus won (with a very great deal of help from Doom). Doom recruits the Masters of Evil but also extends his hand to Python Princess. Doom had one last meeting with Norman and his Cabal, but still refused to side with Norman. To show off his power, Norman unleashed his ‘secret weapon’ on Doom and defeated him. But Doom was obviously prepared for this sort of attack, sending a Doombot in his place. The Doombot unleashed advanced technology to attack the Cabal and Norman’s Dark Avengers. Doom had made it clear that no one controls Doctor Doom.
After his initial capture and release for war crimes, Doom revealed that he had been taught everything by a master who would soon be returning. His master, he said, was far more powerful and evil than even himself. But when his master returned, known as the Marquis of Death, he was displeased with what Doom had been doing in the two decades since they parted. He expected Doom to be the vicious ruler of the Earth, not the ruler of a small country constantly defeated by heroes such as the Fantastic Four.
After mentally toying with him, he beat Doom and banished him to prehistoric times to die. With his new apprentice, the Marquis of Death began to torment the Fantastic Four as punishment. The Fantastic Four were able to defeat Doom’s master, only to find that the new apprentice was Doom himself. After being banished to the past, he spent millions of years growing in power and sorcery, planning his deceptive move against his former master. Now weakened by his defeat at the hands of the Fantastic Four, Doom killed his master, who was finally pleased with his former student.
Long ago, Doom was approached by the Leader and his super villain group the Intelligencia. They planned to steal the lost information of the Library of Alexandria and needs a safe place to store it, which Doom could provide in Latveria. Doom did not participate on any of the missions to obtain the information. When the last piece of info was retrieved, Doom betrayed them. He took the information for himself and had his guards attack the other members. Recently, the group reformed and with their technology and expertise created the Red Hulk and the Red She-Hulk. They planned to ‘lobotomize’ the competition and capture eight of Earth’s greatest minds, including Doom.
Doom was attacked by the Hulk, who turned out to be the Cosmic Hulk , controlled by MODOK and the Leader. Doom was able to absorb the robot’s energy but at the same time took the bait and absorbed a ‘neural anesthetizer’ that diminished his mental abilities. Lacking the needed intelligence to operate his devices or remember his magical incantations, Doom was captured by the Cosmic Hulk and transported to the location of the Intelligencia. In his captivity, Doom’s now diminished mind can only think of revenge against Bruce Banner, whom he mistakenly blames for his abduction.
Doom and the other geniuses were all attached to a device on the Intelligencia’s Hellcarrier. Inside the device was a fantasy world to control them, but Doom was not convinced by the illusion. But the device slowly drained their intelligence. Doom knew the world was fake but did not have the intelligence left to make an escape plan. He convinced Bruce that he was the only one with the mental capacity to release them, since he had not been in the machine as long. Bruce finally did what was needed and allowed their escape. In classic Doom fashion, he attempted to use the machine to transfer all the other geniuses knowledge into his own mind. Doom had not realized that his mental abilities were still diminished from the earlier attack and hooked himself to the machine incorrectly, further frying his own brain. He once again swore revenge on Bruce Banner, this time the real one, before the Red She-Hulk punched Doom through the wall and sent him plummeting to Earth.
When Doom learned of a xenophobic group of Wakandansknown as the Desturi, he began his plans for gaining access to the Vibranium supplies of Wakanda. Vibranium has the ability to be magically charged and has infinite power potential, something Doom has figured how to do and could be virtually unstoppable with the vast amounts of Vibranium located in Wakanda. Doom funded the Desturi to begin their revolt and takeover. Doom developed nanite cameras which were dispersed into all Wakandans which made them unknowing spies for Doom. With all the security information of Wakanda available to him, he was able to gain access to the vault that contains the country’s Vibranium. Doom has no interest in ruling Wakanda. If all goes according to his plans, he will take the Vibranium and turn the country into a wasteland. Having captured Storm, Doom demands she open the last locks. But she cannot open it. Doom discovers that to enter the vault ‘Only Through Purity Unencumbered by Pretense May You Pass,’ something Doom could never enter.
After the destruction of the Multiverse, Doom manages to kill the Beyonders and harness their power. With his newfound godhood, Doom merges the remaining bits of the surviving worlds into a new version of Battleworld, with himself as ruler. As God Doom, he rules the planet with an iron fist and brainwashes everyone into forgetting their prior worlds. He also marries Susan Storm, who does not remember her prior life. He is eventually opposed by the heroes after they remember the truth. During the final battle, Molecule Man gives God Doom’s power to Reed, who heals Victor’s face.
In the aftermath of the Multiverse’s restoration, the newly-healed Victor sets out to try and change his ways. He befriends Tony Stark and assists on a few occasions, even giving him one of the Wands of Watoomb and helping him defeat Madame Masque . After Tony is rendered comatose during a battle with Captain Marvel, Victor takes on the mantle of Iron Man. During this time, he clashes with foes such as the Maker, and even becomes a member of the Avengers after forming a friendship with Nadia Pym.