As the readers coming to the site grow incrementally, I think it would be best if I gave a warning that there be adult language and adult humor in the Doom Retrospective. Ye have been warned.
When last we left out hero, brave Doctor Doom had finally defeated the accursed Richards, overpowering him with pure brain power and banishing him from existence forever!! I will not go into the meaningless details of how that ended up not being true. Just know that chicanery and the accursed Stan Lee and Jack Kirby played important roles in this unjust and tyrannical reversal of fortune. Let’s go to the scorecard.
Record vs Fantastic Four: 1-6 (It counts. Fuck you, Richards, Lee, Kirby. Eventually, Doom will win for real! So swears Doom! Check out Major Spoilers, by the way, great site.)
Record vs. Spider-man: 0-1 (Doom’s scheme was thwarted)
Times Avoided Capture: 8 (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: 4
With Doom believing himself triumphant, he was given a rest, going on hiatus for a full 10 months, the longest he had ever gone without an appearance. With the Marvel Universe really hitting its stride and new heroes and villains coming into their own, the days of Doom heroically carrying the banner of super-villainy were at an end. But you can’t keep Marvel’s number one stunner out of the funny pages for long, and so in Fantastic Four #39 (June 1965), Doom makes his triumphant return.
Our story opens with the Fantastic Four fucked up from an encounter with the Frightful Four! This is a story I don’t care about (except for Sandman. Go Sandman!) and won’t read, so let’s continue. It appears the team took a nuclear explosion, shielded only by a Sue Storm force field. After drifting out in the ocean for 24 hours, they are rescued. Caught up? Good. Shit, Reed wants to have a dream and recap the last issue for you. Fine, Reed, you selfish asshole.
Now are you caught up? Reed’s analytical mind causes even his unconscious mutterings to come out as splendid tales of derring-do. What a damned showoff. By the way, Thing was turned back into Ben Grimm by the explosion and nobody cares. Shame he survived.
At breakfast the next morning, the Four are greeted with an inconvenient truth.
They’ve lost their powers! And look at Reed sulk. He doesn’t care that he still retains his intellect, he’s more upset that he lost the ability to grow his penis to Doom-like proportions. Sue seems to be handling it pretty well. When they return home, Reed is trying to give them their powers back and “cure” Thing by returning him to his rightful status as a boil on the ass of humanity. We are also treated to an experimental page by Kirby.
Look at those special effects. Fuck Avatar. This is the real deal. And look at Thing, the poor bastard actually wants to be a monstrosity again. Better to be a walking gargoyle who will die alone than to be an anonymous loser who will die alone, eh, Benji?
Reed is stumped, so he decides to mimic the Four’s powers through science. He makes Johnny a suit that can allow him to “flame on,” but he can’t fly as well as he used to.
Useless, as usual. I could read a comic filled with nothing but Thing screwing up and Reed berating him for it. It must be hard to be surrounded by fellows that are barely legally competent. Trust me, Doom understands. I kind of like dick Reed. What about Sue?
Whoa, there, Reed. Settle down. I think there is some pent-up sexual frustration going on there. You’re not thinking clearly. I’m disappointed he didn’t berate Sue for claiming an invisible woman was a “power of nature.” How dare you question me, woman? First, invisible airheads aren’t a part of nature. They are abominations. You’re an abomination, Susan. And second, I’m Reed Richards and I can do anything (except beat Doom in a fair fight.) We leave the Four in shambles and turn to a familiar scene in Latveria. Doom is berating his servants and yelling at the magician that is trying to entertain him. Bah! Your cheap parlor tricks do not impress Doom, a man who has dabbled in dark arts far beyond what your mortal ass is capable of understanding. The magician, rightly fearing for his life, tries to impress Doom with hypnotism.
Uh oh. A spell dissolving? Let’s watch realization hit Doom like a careening bus.
Doom is so angry, the very metal of his mask quivers and changes with his expression. I fucking hate that. Iron masks can’t move like that. That’s amateur hour, Kirby. Doom rightly blows a gasket, slaps around the hired help, and immediately jets off to New York. That was strangely satisfying, even with the stupid mask moving. Some two-bit magician just signed Reed Richards’ death warrant.
We return to the Fantastic Four and find their lawyer walking into their warehouse. Their lawyer, of course, is Matt Murdock, Daredevil, the Invalid without Fear! It warms my heart to see someone who probably should have been euthanized years ago after being deformed with radioactive gunk lead a more productive life than Ben Grimm. Suck it, Thing. So why has Reed called the team attorney? To prepare for the worst.
Daredevil is so taken aback, he develops split personality and starts talking to himself. This is some serious shit, Reed. With two sentences, you have completely destroyed Matt Murdock’s psyche! Before Reed can investigate just how badly Matt’s brain is damaged, someone attacks the base!
While the FF’s new Reed-invented powers fail, because Reed is not Doom, Daredevil springs into action, assisting the team. “Mister Fantastic” is simply stumped by this turn of events.
My blind lawyer was here and now you’re here, Daredevil. And you can see in the dark and you’re using Matt Murdock’s cane. I don’t know who you could possibly be, Mister, but I’m glad you just randomly popped by. Eat a dick, Reed. I can’t believe Doom keeps losing to you. Speaking of which, where is Doom? And who is piloting that mysterious ship?
Yes, Richards, while you are flummoxed by the man behind the Daredevil mask (which doesn’t even have eyeholes!), Doom is building ships beyond anything you have ever seen! Doom, the consummate showman, takes this whole thing up a notch.
Look at that. That is the sweetest damn floating sign. Doom must have worked hours on that. Eat it, Richards. You are outpowered, outperformed, and straight up outclassed by Doom. Reed poops himself because the team is powerless, but the Cripple without Fright swears he will fight against Doom with Matt Murdock’s cane. I’m actually feeling pretty good about a Doom victory at this point.
Not only has Doom built a space-age ship, he has remotely taken control of all of Richards’ accursed vehicles housed in the Baxter Building. First, it’s the Fantasti-car. The four stand around helpless and Daredevil busts his ass to make sure they don’t die. I am amazed at what the handicapped are truly capable of doing. Daredevil leads them back into the warehouse where they are hiding from Doom, who is stymied?
Yes, Victor, when something is hidden from you, you cannot see it. Are we sure this isn’t a Doombot? My fears are assuaged when he calls Reed’s greatest inventions children’s toys. That’s the real Doom all right. Doom unleashes the vortex machine and launches a tornado at the hapless heroes.
Nice work, Daredevil. I can feel the building falling apart, but I can’t figure out how! If only this tornado level wind and intense air pressure crushing my super sensitive eardrums would die down so I could figure it out! Despite his brain still being addled from Reed’s bombshell earlier, DD leads them through the warehouse, escaping certain death. The five decide to split up. Good plan, powerless people and blind guy.
Reed and DD head to a construction site while the others fan out. Reed techno-babbles his way to defeating the vortex.
Who knew that a spinning column of air had such a unique chemical makeup that only the right combination of chemicals stored in a construction site could…you know what, I’m done defending this shit. Fuck you, Reed.
We cut back to Doom, who is mighty confused as to why the FF keep running instead of using their superpowers to fight back. Curiouser and curiouser. Watch, Richards. Watch a first rate mind at work.
BOOM! You can’t figure out how in the world Daredevil is using Matt Murdoch’s cane and Doom is dropping knowledge bombs on your ass. Whose is the superior intellect, Richards?!?! What will Doom do with this knowledge? He decides to toy with them. He wants it to last “as long as possible.” I think when Doom masturbates he chokes himself while looking at a picture of Reed. And maybe Sue. And maybe Thing. Not Johnny, though.
Doom fires Reed’s overly simplistic missiles at the FF and Daredevil saves Reed. “Mister Fantastic” cannot for the life of him figure out if Daredevil has any super powers. Daredevil decides to distract Doom while Reed figures something out. I have not seen any other members of the FF in about three pages and I don’t miss them. Let Reed just have the book at this point.
The issue ends with all five heroes desperately trying to reach the Baxter Building and defeat Doom. Here’s a spoiler: No way they win this time. They are powerless. Daredevil can’t even see! Doom has the entire arsenal of the Baxter Building! Victory will be Doom’s! No way the FF escape from this. What a humiliation if Doom blows this.
Next: The humiliation of Doom.
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