With work picking up, my rapid fire additions to the Doom Retrospective are likely over, but fear not! I should still be good for 2-3 updates/week.
Last time, we looked at the origin of Doom! Today we cover the second half of Fantastic Four Annual #2, which drops us back into continuity. But first, the scorecard.
Record vs Fantastic Four: 0-6 (Sooner than you think, Richards!)
Record vs. Spider-man: 0-1 (Doom’s scheme was thwarted)
Times Avoided Capture: 7 (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: 4
Issues Flash Thompson has awaited swift and unspeakable retribution: 3
When last we left our hero, Doom was lost in sppppaaaaccceeeee after the treacherous Thing pushed him out a hole in the floor. Go back and read it and you’ll understand.
Our story opens with the Fantastic Four in the Fantasti-car experiencing engine trouble. I hope they make it. I do not want the cruel hand of fate robbing Doom of the pleasure of ending their miserable lives. It’s Johnny’s fault, of course, and with Thing doing the piloting, there is the real chance his suicidal tendencies get the best of him and that this will be the end of the team.
Fortunately, they are able to make an emergency landing in the street, but not without causing a bit of property damage as Thing rear ends an old man’s car. This innocent citizen is rightly upset. His whole fender has fallen off! Thing decides that he can repair the car in a snap.
Er, make that fix it with a kerplunk! Stick to being the team litter box, Thing. You’re worthless. In a strange twist, though, an art dealer happens by and buys the car from the irate old man on the spot and then asks Thing to smash it up. Since smashing things mindlessly is pretty much the highest function his malformed brain allows, Thing happily obliges.
That guy was a little too in to watching Thing smash that car. Yeah, that’s it. Another hundred if you smash it up real good. Yeah. Oh yeah. Now lick it. By the time this bizarre fetish scene is over, “Mr. Fantastic,” a name that will always have quotes because who the hell does Reed think he is, anyway? fixes the malfunctioning Fantasti-car.
With this tomfoolery over, we switch to the star of the show. Doom is in space and about to run out of air! He is on a collision course with Jupiter to boot, but luckily, some weird space egg comes around and uses a tractor beam to pull Doom to safety.
This scene cracks me up. Doom is unmoving, casually plotting, instead of freaking out. I’ll make whoever is in this crazy egg serve me! The three panels of him just getting slowly lowered while he rants to himself is high comedy.
And we are now in an episode of Star Trek because who is piloting this highly advanced space egg?
It’s an ancient Egyptian. Holy shit, Egyptians really were hella advanced back in the day. A space egg. Tractor beams. Ray guns. Papyrus. Doom scoffs at your ray gun, cretin! But he respects the papyrus. This guy is nameless right now, but this is Rama-tut aka Kang the Conquerer aka Immortus aka Scarlet Centurion aka Iron Lad. Look, he’s got a convoluted history, alright? Let’s just stick with Rama-tut – Space Pharaoh- for now.
Doom says his name is not important and then demands to be called Doctor Doom, which is his name sans the Victor von. Alright. Doom bellyaches about the FF…I mean promises retribution for their incessant meddling! Rama-tut reveals that he, too, was defeated by the FF (in FF#19). You can also see right away that he is going to be a pain in the ass because he is from the 25th century and used a time machine invented by his ancestor Dr. Doom to travel back in time and commit crimes. Ambitious guy, using 25th century tech to rule a culture that had not invented iron. When Doom hears this heap of convoluted shit, the logic of his steel-trap mind kicks in…
What the fuck? Doom makes an amazing leap of logic and decides that there is a good chance they are the same person. There is no chance, Victor, especially not on the flimsy evidence of your “ancestor” using your time machine. At my next family reunion, I am going to tell my cousin who drove my car once that it’s possible we are the same person. I also like how they go all Parent Trap at the end and speak at the exact same time. This is terrible, Stan Lee.
By the way, the question of how they can exist together is never answered. Here’s a hint: you’re not the same fucking person. Space Pharaoh suggests a team up to destroy the Fantastic Four, but Doom declines. Too dangerous. If the FF kill one of them, they would both die if it turns out they are the same person. Stop it, Victor. Just fucking stop it. Geez. Rama-tut states that he has heard Reed Richards is smarter than both he and Doom. As if we needed any more evidence they are not the same person. Doom swears he will put an end to that dirty lie once and for all. Doom grabs a little rocket, waves good-bye to Space Pharaoh and his magnificent space egg, and zooms back to Earth.
We end this pointless scene (they are not the same person. Fuck you, Stan Lee, for trying to make us think they are with that absurd shit) and swing back towards the FF. Sue sees a beautiful shooting star.
What a great scene. That’s a man-made object coming back to Earth, woman, not a meteor. And speaking of objects coming back to Earth, I have a feeling Doom might come back. But that’s a mystery I’ll never solve, I guess. Back to looking at my microfiche of the Earth.
The capsule lands right in the middle of New York City and Doom heads to the Latverian embassy, where Ambassador Gorzenko is giving an interview.
Talk about awkward. I meant some other mysterious, masked, unknown tyrant, Herr Doktor! Jokes. He is rightly shitting his pants, but Doom has orders for him. We don’t know what they are, but I bet it is a foolproof plan to finally rid the world of the accursed Reed Richards and his band of sycophants.
Back with the team, Reed is testing a new superglue he invented for NASA. He makes Thing test it by pulling bricks apart. Finally, Thing is useful! Sue saves us all by entering with big news. They’ve been invited to a party! Where is this gala going to be held?
That’s right, bitches. The Latverian Embassy. Look at the decor. Look at the fine spread. The Latverian Embassy is for people who want to be seen. Strange, though, where is the Prime Minister. Geography fail, Richards! So smart. Can’t even name the real ruler of Latveria. I’m cackling, right now. This is your doom, Richards! They are all given special Latverian berry drinks and all of them drink except Reed. Of course. It turns out this juice allows Doom to basically plant suggestions in their mind and they each see exactly what Doom wants them to see. Torch sees Thing cockblock him with a Latverian countess. It’s not funny enough to show. Torch gets mad because he knows he’ll die a virgin, and they fight.
We then turn to Sue and what does she see?
Oh, that’s rich. The best part is that as we move further along into FF history, this characterization isn’t far off. You’re a dick, Reed. Although I admit “Go haunt a house or something!” made me chuckle. Point for you, Richards. The team, manipulated by Doom, then begins to fight amongst themselves. So this is a typical issue of the Fantastic Four is what you’re telling me.
Remember when I said Ghost Dickhead Reed was hard to distinguish from real Reed and later on you’d see it? Well, I didn’t mean years or issues, I mean a page later.
Maybe you should go to Namor, Sue. Or maybe you need to steer clear of all men for a while. You’re really lowering your standards. While they fight, Doom watches. This all going according to plan. Unfortunately, Emo-Doom rears his ugly head again.
God damn it, Emo-Doom. Stay buried where you belong! And what did I tell you about surrounding yourself with mirrors, Victor! The FF hear the shot and come into the room. Doom is not prepared! No matter! Victory is assured! There is a quick skirmish and Sue pushes Victor out the window with a force field. Doom uses it as an opportunity to escape. Sue doesn’t understand any of this. Here, let Reed explain:
Reed is in rare form today. Not a fool, Sue! Merely a female who acts on emotions without thinking things through! Now that I am saying this out loud, yes, you are a fool. All women are fools. You’re such an asshole, Reed. Reed and Sue go and break up the fight between the toddlers and the team is all on the same page again. They must stop Doom! Reed tells Sue that she can’t come, it’s too dangerous. Geez, Reed, can it with the patriarchal attitude. It’s 1964! Johnny and Ben say Sue can handle themselves and I agree. Certainly better than those 2 dipshits. With that settled, the team heads back to HQ. And Doom is there waiting to strike! Aw, man, this is it!
Thing, being an ignoramus, charges Doom.
Surprise, surprise, you grotesque gargoyle. You’re even more worthless than usual. Doom’s force field is unbeatable. Fuck you, Unus! Unfortunately, Reed has a device that can break any force field, but it requires Johnny’s Nova Flame. Johnny takes the device and flies high into the sky. But silly Reed forgot to tell Johnny to let go of the device immediately or else! Torch doesn’t let go in time and after triggering the machine, he plummets to Earth. Reed saves him, but he burns his widdle hands. The forcefield is down, though, so Thing steps up to the plate again. Is it Clobberin’ Time?!?!
Of course not. Doom crushes the walking outhouse with no effort. Fuck you, Thing. Next up is Sue. She displays yet another new power and turns Doom invisible. Jesus, she has a new power every week. They scrap, but Doom gets the upper hand. Finally, Reed steps in. This is between Reed and Doom. All you others, step aside. Yes, Richards. Yes. This is your last mistake.
Reed’s a good sport, though. Facing his imminent demise with dignity. I’ll drink to your death as well, Richards!
Now that the formalities are out of the way, what will be the weapon of choice? Swords? Pistols? Halberds? Nope. It’s the dreaded “Encephalo-gun.” Two people put their foreheads on it and try to outthink the other person. I shit you not. This is the most literal way Doom and Reed could ever face off. Strap yourselves in for this wild ride of two people staring at each other. They lock eyes and the duel begins…
YEEEEEESSSSSSS!! Eat a dick, Richards! Ultimate victory is Doom’s! HAHA. It feels so good. Honestly, I knew it was coming. I never gave up hope. This is so satisfying. A true Lee and Kirby masterpiece. I need to see how much an original copy of this issue is going for on eBay. It’s priceless, I bet. With trembling hand, I turn the page. I am giddy thinking about how Doom will kill Johnny and Ben and take Sue as his own. Long nights in the castle, in front of the fire, writhing bodies. Let’s move on. Let’s watch Doom…
Such a gracious winner, although screeching “You saw it! You all saw it!” is a little much. Act like you’ve been here before, Victor. Doom walks off triumphant, with the Fantastic Four shattered. Only 5 panels to go in the most perfect comicbook ever written. Let’s end this in style and put all of them here for us to enjoy.
No. That’s impossible. That can’t be true. What the fuck?!?!? NOOOOOOO. Accursed Richards! Look at how smug he is. Look at how he believes he has somehow defeated Doom. Well, fuck you, Reed. Doom walked off victorious. You will rue the day Doom learns of this treachery, Richards! His incandescent rage will burn like a star and consume you in its fiery intensity!
Fuck it. Doom wins. 1-6. Fuck you, Stan Lee. Fuck you, Jack Kirby. Fuck you, Fantastic Four. Doom wins.
Next: Doom takes a bit of a break, not returning for a full 10 months. I am sure he is living it up, celebrating his first victory over the Fantastic Four.
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