When last we left the Doom Retrospective, victory was Doom’s! Until, like the accursed cavalry in a trite Western, the Fantasic Four arrived and saved the cretinous Spider-man from certain….doom. Always seeing the value of tactical retreat, Doom beat feet to plot and scheme another day.
It should be apparent now that you never really have to wait long to get another Doom appearance. Doom would return in Fantastic Four #23 (Feb. 1964). Doom is still not as yet two years old and is already the most important villain at Marvel! Let’s go to the scorecard.
Record vs Fantastic Four: 0-5 (It might not be so soon, Richards.)
Record vs. Spider-man: 0-1 (Doom’s scheme was thwarted)
Record vs Flash Thompson: 1-0 (Your BMOC status cannot protect you from Doom, miscreant!)
Times Avoided Capture: 6 (Still perfect. No bars can hold Doom.)
Times Screaming about Richards!: Surprisingly, 0
Treacherous Underlings foolishly turning on Doom: 1 (Fuck you, Namor.)
Times Left Adrift in Space/Shrunk into Nothingness/Jumped out of airplane sans parachute: 3
The issue opens with the team mucking around with Doom’s time machine. I guess they captured it in a non-Doom issue I did not/will not read? The time machine is turned on and a dinosaur pops out of it. The dino promptly WTFpwns Torch with a houseplant.
Nice drug reference. You are telling me that a couple glasses of water is all it takes to take Torch out of a fight? Oh, Doom. If only you had known how shitty the Human Torch truly is. Eventually Sue and Reed play the grownups and subdue the dinosaur. They send the animal back and Reed gushes about how Doom’s time platform still works perfectly after they transferred it to their lab. Of course the device works, fool! Doom’s craftsmanship and attention to detail is unequaled! With the dino crisis averted, Reed chastises the team for their general incompetence.
“Alleged” minds. Somebody get the burn unit in here, Reed is flamethrowing. Of course, the team doesn’t like their superior speaking down to them and decide it’s time for a new leader. These ingrates don’t realize that Reed, while mentally deficient, is a genius compared to the rest of this crew. Doom’s new strategy should revolve around framing Johnny for putting his fingers in the peanut butter or Thing leaving a deuce in the toilet without flushing. The team would practically combust before our very eyes.
We leave the FF slapfight and find a creepy bald guy is chilling in the courthouse checking out criminals. Eventually, he bails one out and takes him to a secret lair. Who is this creepy guy? A Doombot! Doom has gathered three criminals together for some nefarious purpose. Doom is so evil, he already has these poor saps violating their parole.
Nice introductions, Doom. He reveals himself and the criminals rightly shit themselves. Fear Doom! These nobodies will allow Doom to defeat the Fantastic Four. Do not ask how! Trust in Doom!
We return to the Fantastic Four and they are voting for a new leader. The three do it without Reed because fuck that stuffed shirt. When the three of them have maybe 12 brain cells to rub together, the vote leads to predictable results.
You can almost hear the sad trombone in the background as Thing’s grotesque black heart breaks in his misbegotten chest from disappointment. As if anyone would vote for you, gargoyle. Thing and Torch throw tantrums and fight, tearing up the room. Torch uses impressive weapons like a “cold flame fly swatter” and “lukewarm” fireballs. Jesus, Johnny. You’re the worst. It’s obvious everyone wants to get rid of Thing, but Reed can’t poison him correctly and Johnny is too stupid to make his fire, you know, actually hot. Reed hears the ruckus and saunters in.
Reed tapping his inner Doom. Look at that dickish body language. This trio would be drooling all over themselves if Reed weren’t around. Look at how selfish they are! While they roll around in excrement like toddlers, Reed is trying and failing to track his superior. But where is Doom?
He’s creating an anti-Fantastic Four, that’s what he’s doing. Doom just rolls up and creates new supervillains for himself. I’m sure this is going to work out great with super-hearing guy, fireproof guy, and not as-strong-as-Thing guy. There is no way this plan can fail! Need I remind you of one of our good Doctor’s fatal flaws?
Time will tell if Doom can lead these three stooges to success. The next day, there is an announcement in the newspaper that a “Maharajah” wants to present Johnny with a new car. The Torch is a selfish dolt, so he decides to go by himself and not tell the rest of the team. And why not? Reed is busy with his experiments. Sue is practicing improving her superpowers. And what of Thing?
He’s getting trolled by the Yancy Street Gang. I love those guys. Who needs the internet when you can just fill up Thing’s mailbox with insulting harassing letters? Anyone who can hurt that malformed mockery of humanity is ok in my book. Fuck you, Thing. Johnny is given the car and takes it for a spin. Fireproof guy suggests they go visit the maharajah in person and Johnny agrees. What a car, by the way. Amazingly advanced. Johnny is suitably impressed.
Torch, you sniveling sycophant! Even when Doom is not present, you insult him with your shallow idol worship of Richards. I am looking forward to Torch being humiliated and destroyed. The charade is dropped and Torch is told he is now a prisoner. Johnny tries to burn his way out of the locked car, but it is lined with asbestos! The bane of Silver Age fiery superheroes. He then tries to fill the car with fire to force Fireproof guy to open the doors. Long story short, Johnny is knocked out and captured. Excellent.
Next we see Thing stalking the streets, looking for the Yancy Street Gang. In a twist, it was actually Not-as-Strong-as-Thing guy who wrote it! They tussle, and then NASAT Guy pulls out a gun.
Ha Ha! Richards can never properly cure Thing and here Doom does it with a Cosmic Ray gun of his own devising.* Truly, your genius knows no bounds, Doom. Thing is promptly KO’d. Two down!
We see Reed and Sue back home. And I’m just going to put the whole page here. I can’t accurately describe it.
There has never been a more 60’s page written. It is the most 60’s page that ever sixtied. Look at Sue moping, though, the little vixen. I’d let her polish my test tube. Super-hearing guy shows up at the door with flowers. Sue, thinking with her vagina, decides this is the perfect time to make Reed jealous. Of course, it is a trap. Of course, Sue is also knocked out. Three down! Only one left. The accursed Richards.
Look at that cackle. All Doom wanted was a fair fight. How is 4-on-1 fair? Your reckoning is at hand, Richards. This is great. The actual confrontation, however, is anti-climactic. Reed sees the Thing shoot the emergency flare and rushes off to help. Then Thing turns on Reed and “Mr. Fantastic” is trapped. Oh ho! So simple.
Yes, Richards. You forgot that Doom is a master “robot designer.” All four down. Doom has done it. Doom has defeated the entire Fantastic Four! The first thing Doom does is destroy the Thing robot. I think maybe you could have used that later, Victor, not that I am questioning you.
But you make a good point, Doom. As always. Somebody get an icepack in here for Thing’s burns. With the team defeated, nothing left to do but pay off the hired help.
Have you ever seen a more pimp super-villain before? Look at Doom lounging. He’s got this shit completely under control. He inverted our expectations. They didn’t even get the chance to incompetently betray him. He shunted their asses to some unnamed dimension. Meanwhile, the Fantastic Four escape. But Doom has prepared for that, of course. I think Doom just likes to up the difficulty for himself. He captures them but instead of just killing them, he allows them to escape just so he can beat them again. He’s addicted to the thrill.
He hits Thing with some sort of hammering machine. Freezes Mr. Fantastic. Reed-cicle anyone? That’s my joke, not Doom’s. Though I wish Doom had said it. After bossing them around earlier, Reed is getting a lesson in humility. He feels like he’d be dead if not for his team. So true. Doom wants you to be a better hero, Reed. Even with the four of them now free, Doom is still holding his own, flying around the room, bringing the fight to the Fantastic Four!
He is smarter and more powerful than Reed, dullard! Look at Doom go. He looks like he is just having a ball. Doom reminds me of some other awesome villain I know.
That’s the stuff.
All of this is just prelude to Doom’s real trap. He is going to use a “solar wave” to throw the Fantastic Four into space. Don’t ask. It doesn’t make sense. I am beginning to think Doom has some sort of space death fetish. Sue uses her power in a new way and projects a field through a wall, trapping Doom himself! If the FF die, Doom dies with them. We cannot let that happen!
“Space is closing in on us!” I’m not sure that’s how space works, Johnny. “I’m surrounded by air, Reed. Halp!” Idiot. Of course, Doom must save himself since his mind is worth more than the entirety of the Fantastic Four. Thing pulls Doom into the room and….
Are you fucking kidding me? Lost in spaaaaaccccceeee again?!?! Fuck you, Thing, you hideous misshapen excrescence. Doom will have his revenge! Of course, the Fantastic Four just narrowly escape death. Doom will return. Somehow, some way.
Next: Fantastic Four annual #2, a double sized issue. The first story is the origin of Victor von Doom! If that is not an erection causing story, I don’t know comics. I’ll be covering each story in a different entry.
*Doom’s Cosmic Ray gun only “cured” Thing for a few moments. But what does Doom care? Doom would never cure Thing permanently. Let the creature suffer.
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