The Doom Retrospective, Part 9

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.

car

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.

art

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.

egg

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?

ramatut

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…

twins

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.

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.

fairytale

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?

embassy

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?

dickreed

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.

realreed

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.

emodoom

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:

rareform

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.

idiot

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?!?!

pwned

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.

drink

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…

duel

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…

gracious

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.

final

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.

As usual, feel free to leave your thoughts and comments below. You can also send your comments to thenonicheblog@gmail.com or follow me on Twitter at John_S20. If you really want to stalk me, you can find me posting fairly regularly at Herochat.com, known for its mature and frank discussions about comicbooks.

The Doom Retrospective, Part 8

Last time, on the Doom Retrospective, our hero defeated the Fantastic Four individually with the help of his super powered minions, only to be ultimately defeated and lost in space. Again. Now I know some of you Doomites might be wondering if I will count Doom’s victories over the Fantastic Four as wins on the scorecard. I will acknowledge that Doom has won temporary victories, but I am only going to count “wins” as those where Doom is triumphant at the end of the issue. So let’s look at the scorecard.

Record vs Fantastic Four: 0-6

Record vs. Spider-man: 0-1

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

Doom next appeared in Fantastic Four Annual #2 (Sept. 1964), and to show the world how far Doom has come, Doom dominates this entire double-sized issue! Part 1 is a story befitting all great characters, heroes and villains alike, an origin tale! That is the story I’ll be covering today.

We open our tale with Doom sitting on a throne?!?! Well, this is new.

throne

Look at that monogrammed throne. This is a historic moment, people. Doom’s servant, Boris, takes his master out in the countryside for some sort of visitation. But where are we?

Latveria

Aw, yeah. Latveria. Jewel of the Alps! Highly rated tourist destination! Doctor Doom is officially king of his own damn country. It’s taken over two years since his creation, but Lee and Kirby have added the finishing touch on Doom as a character. Long live Doom! The duo stop before a tombstone and suddenly, we are thrust into a flashback. A gypsy village? What? Doom is a gypsy? Such humble beginnings! Yes, Doom began his life as the son of a gypsy doctor in the Latverian countryside, living like carnie folk, I guess. With their small hands and cheese smells. Men of the evil Baron of Latveria come to fetch Doom’s father, Werner, because the Baroness is sick. Here, little Victor learns a valuable lesson.

gypsy

Yes, Boris. Being born a gypsy means you must accept being openly shit upon. Gypsy born, gypsy taken to Baron castle for impossible task, and then gypsy murdered. Such is gypsy life. Let’s click our heels around campfire now. Eat a dick, Boris. Luckily, someone we know is going to end this shit cycle soon enough. And it might just be handsome little Victor von Doom.

Dr. Doom Sr. goes to the Baron’s castle and finds the Baroness dying from an incurable condition. He is threatened with death if he cannot save her. He does his best and hightails it back to his village. He knows she is going to die and the shit is going to hit the fan. The Dooms make a run for it.

running

Little Vic wants to stay and fight, but his father knows better. We also discover that Mrs. Doom is dead. We will later learn it was a freak demon summoning accident that did her in. An under reported type of accident, even today. But here her death remains a mystery. As the Dooms push into the mountains, their horse bolts and they are left alone as the temperature drops and snow begins to fall. Dr. Doom Sr. wraps Victor in his own clothes to keep him warm. Boris finds them the next day and while Dr. Doom Sr. is dying, little Vic still has a chance.

deaddad

Wow. Victor makes a really fast recovery and is there for the death of his father. Victor shows his chops by ranting that all mankind will pay. I wasn’t even there, Victor! Over react much? His mom also dabbled in the black arts. I’m sure Victor will never find that out, Boris. 2 panels later:

heritage

Boris, you dipshit. You hope he never finds out? Then why keep his mom’s shit right there out in the open? Ugh. So after Boris says “Gee, I hope he never finds out.” Honest-to-god, two panels later Doom is cackling like a mad man over magic potions. You’re the fucking worst, Boris.

Fast forward to Doom as a young adult. The little scamp is using his prodigious intellect to troll the Latverian upper crust.

trollin

Look at that robot! How did Doom build that in a traveling circus gypsy village? To be clear, here is where Victor grew up:

village

Suck it, Iron Man. Doom builds robots out of straw, sticks, and grass in a little gypsy village. Screw you and your little cave with actual weapons components. Doom is the greatest intellect! Doom continues to terrorize the country side, robbing from the rich and giving to the poor of Latveria. He is fighting a one man war against the evil Baron thanks to his unique genius. A genius that shall not go undiscovered any longer.

american

Yes, an American finds him. He chomps his pipe in his goofy outfit, all signs of a serious man of science, and offers Victor a scholarship in America! Prestigious State University. Go college mascot! Since everyone knows America is the best, Victor immediately accepts and he is off to the USA!

Literally the first person to speak to him at the university is some obnoxious little annoyance who won’t leave Doom alone.

richards

Richards!! For four panels he just follows Doom around bugging him. This guy. Doom should have vaporized him on the spot. After Doom rebuffs Richards arguably sexual advances, Reed ends up rooming with football star Ben Grimm. A deserving punishment. Doom throws himself into his studies. And some involve a little more than just science.

experiment

Nice, evil looking cauldron, Victor. I’m sure your RA had no questions when you lugged that into your room. Richards tries to sabotage Doom’s calculations, obviously altering some decimal points in a desperate cry for attention. Go back to spooning Grimm after the sock hop, Richards! We know what happens from here. Experiment goes boom. Doom’s face is…changed. Dean Dick expels him when he is still wrapped like a damn mummy. Doom heads to Tibet, seeking the secrets of black magic and sorcery, because everyone knows you cannot trust Tibetans.

Doom eventually ascends to upper management of this sorcerous little band and they make a suit for him. They try to warn him that the mask is still hot, but Doom cannot give two shits. What is pain to Doom?!?mask

There it is. The birth of a legend. Much better than the birth of some other lesser villains I know.

vader

So Doom is all Doomified now. But what will he do? Well, first he builds a jetpack and gets the hell out of Tibet. We then return to the present. Doom swears in front of the graves of his parents that he will rule the world. Because they wanted him to?!? Doom then pimp walks through the streets of Latveria back to his castle.

badass

Look at him go. Look at the prosperity of Latveria! Look at the adoring citizens! Look at the faux German stylings which reek a little of anti-German racism. It’s all so glorious. I know what I am doing after I post this.

Next: Part 2 of the annual. Doom vs The Fantastic Four. Again. This time victory will be Doom’s! You have my word!

As usual, feel free to leave your thoughts and comments below. You can also send your comments to thenonicheblog@gmail.com or follow me on Twitter at John_S20. If you really want to stalk me, you can find me posting fairly regularly at Herochat.com, known for its mature and frank discussions about comicbooks.

The Doom Retrospective, Part 7

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.

potplant

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.

fedup

“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.

criminals

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.

vote

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.

wellwell

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?

antiff

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?

doom

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?

troll

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.

car

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.

thing

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.

page

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.

cackle

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.

robot

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.

grotesque

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.

pimp

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!

flying

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.

godzilla

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!

mind

“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….

space

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.

As usual, feel free to leave your thoughts and comments below. You can also send your comments to thenonicheblog@gmail.com or follow me on Twitter at John_S20. If you really want to stalk me, you can find me posting fairly regularly at Herochat.com, known for its mature and frank discussions about comicbooks.

The Doom Retrospective, Part 6

Last time, on the Doom Retrospective, our hero came tantalizing close to victory but ended up jumping out of a plane instead. Sigh. At this point, Lee and Kirby knew they had really hit a home run with Doom. Since his first appearance in issue 5, he showed up 5 times in 13 issues. He is practically a co-star of the book at this point. But, like all great characters, it was obvious that Doom was outgrowing the podunk Fantastic Four and needed to spread his wings and fly. Let’s check the scorecard.

Record vs Fantastic Four: 0-5 (It might not be so soon, Richards.)

Times Avoided Capture: 5 (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 (A recurring theme. Might have to rename this section.)

So after his impromptu skydiving in FF #17 (Aug. 1963), Doom pops up again in Amazing Spider-Man #5 (Oct. 1963). 6 appearances in 19 months. Considering Marvel had only a handful of books every month, Doom is making more appearances than Wolverine. Doom scoffs at Snikt, bub.

Is everyone ready to watch Doom destroy a teenager and finally break into the win column? I know I am. Already, I am thrown off because the art of Steve Ditko is way different than Jack Kirby. It’s like an alternate dimension in this book.

Our tale opens with J. Jonah Jameson announcing a new program that will reward anyone who can expose Spider-man to the public as the menace he is! I can already see where this is going. Peter, in a clumsy attempt to fit in, talks shit about Spider-man.

hater

Look at Flash Thompson, number one Spidey fan. Keep that pantywaist in line, Flash. On the next page, Doom stands in all his glory. He will team up with Spider-Man to destroy the Fantastic Four. The perfect plan. It seems every other issue of Amazing back then was some villain tricked into thinking Spider-Man was a villain or a hero believing the hype and attacking him. Poor Peter Parker. The question is, how can Doom contact the Amazing Spider-man? Easy. Science!

spider

Eat your heart out, Richards. You have failed inventions like your “human being in armor” radar, which isn’t even a thing, and Doom has his spider communicator! And it works. Somehow, Spider-man hears the message through his spider-sense and follows it to Doom’s lair. Don’t question Doom’s science! Only bask in the results of success!

Doom makes Spider-man an offer he can’t refuse. And Spider-man refuses. Accursed arachnid! Your fate will be too terrible to comprehend! Not only does Spider-man refuse Doom’s more-than-generous offer, he attempts to web Doom up like some ordinary bank robber.

webbed

As if Doom would allow your goopy secretions to touch his person, fool! Oh, man. That was your first and last mistake, Spider-man. Doom is going to open up a can of whoopass. They have a very quick little tussle with Doom throwing Spider-man around and Spidey dodging a trap and a finger blast (teehee) and then going through a window to escape. Spider-man ran!

VICTORY IS DOOM’S!

 

Doom is not concerned that Spider-man escaped. He will merely deduce the accursed arachnid’s identity and then use him as bait to destroy the Fantastic Four. Simple. Elegant. Oh so easy, since Spider-Man ran for his life after only a few panels. We cut back to see Spider-man coming back into Doom’s warehouse in a foolish attempt to ambush Doom. Pathetic insect, Doom is always a step ahead.

fire

Doom walks off, pimp-like. So suave. So confident. Look at that cape flapping around. Compare this to Spider-man. Snapping pictures because he has to pay rent. Doom fears no rent! And to top it off, Spider-man will almost assuredly be blamed for this explosion. Everything is coming up Doom.

The next day, Parker is groveling for a paycheck and the magnanimous J. Jonah buys his pictures, ensuring Aunt May can get her hemorrhoid cream or whatever. Peter protests that Jameson may pick on Spider-man a little too much.

betty

Oh, Peter you teenaged dick. Jumping on the first girl who says anything nice about you at all. “Gee, Betty, I thought you looked like a dog’s ass before, but you just said something nice about me. Will you marry me, you obvious 10?” Plus, Ditko’s art makes Betty look like she’s 55. Up your game, Parker.

Next we go to Flash Thompson, who has hatched a foolproof scheme.

flash_spidey

Oh, Flash, you prankster. Parker will surely poop himself. There must be a price to pay for badmouthing Spider-man, after all. Besides, parading around as a superhero/public menace can’t possibly have any bad consequences for you, Flash. Keep doing you.

So, now, as you could probably guess, hijinx are about to ensue in the Mighty Marvel Manner. Let’s break it down.

First: Doom creates a device that will react to the presence of Spider-man. Don’t ask. Doom created it, so it will work.

Second: Peter is innocently walking along and Flash, in full Spidey getup, is waiting to ambush him.

Third: Doom’s device registers the presence of Spider-Man.

And then….

flash_captured

Doom’s gas takes Flash down silently. Fart Joke. I’m a little miffed that Doom is now finding himself in an episode of Three’s Company. Doom, supremely confident and surprised by how easily Spider-man was captured, takes poor Flash to his lair. Peter returns home to find Aunt May watching her shows. The broadcast is then interrupted by Dr. Doom!

prisoner

Doom is really banking on the Fantastic Four giving two shits about Spider-man. I guess they are worthless heroes and rescuing randos is what they do. Doom might as well have captured a puppy. The results would probably be the same. At that moment, Peter receives a phone call from Liz telling him that Flash was dressed up as Spider-man to play a prank on…someone and is now missing. I guess she didn’t see the broadcast. The real question is: Why call Peter? Hey, let’s call the weakest nerdiest kid in school and see what he thinks about it? I can only imagine that they think Peter snapped and killed Flash. One prank too far, Flash. One prank too far.

Well, Peter can’t just let Flash die, can he? No! He sets off to stage a dramatic rescue. There is just one problem.

auntmay

Foiled by Aunt May! Peter is not allowed to leave the house. This is amazing. Aunt May is almost as effective a villain as Doom himself. And certainly more effective than say, the Trapster. But Peter will not be denied. He risks Aunt May breaking her hip in the dark to save Flash! He legit leaves her alone in the dark house for the rest of the issue.

Spider-man searches the city for Doom, and his spider-sense buzzes when he gets to the building Doom is hiding out in. Doom’s menace is so great, he could just be sitting on a couch inside, and the spider-sense would go off. Hail Doom! Meanwhile, Flash is not doing Spider-man’s reputation any favors.

coward

Man up and face death with dignity, Flash. Die a hero of Midtown High! Spider-man sneaks into the building through a vent, because Doom would obviously never suspect that and confronts a shocked Doom. Two Spider-men??

They fight and 1960’s Spider-man is basically a Green Lantern. He makes columns, shields, bolas, and balls out of his webbing. Somehow. Finally, Doom gets the upper hand.

upperhand

Come on, Victor! Namor got you with electricity back in FF#6. Improve your suit, for pete’s sake. Cripes. I am getting that sinking feeling again. But wait! A Doombot grabs Spidey from behind. It’s 2-on-1. Now, I’m getting that familiar tingly feeling. Fuck you, sinking feeling! While the Doombot holds Parker helpless, Doom turns on a disintegrator ray. How long did it take Doom to pimp out this warehouse? I’ve counted five separate traps now – fire from the floor, ice from the ceiling, electrified floor, some sort of weird spinning iron ball contraption, and now this disintegrator ray. Spidey decides that his only chance is to make a dash for the panel controls. Doom decides to take matters into his own luxuriously gauntleted hands.

close

Doom’s strength of limb is equaled only by his strength of mind, cretin! Never mind that Doom built in an immunity to his death ray but not electricity. Look at that last panel. One little nudge and that accursed arachnid will be gone forever! My whole body is tense with anticipation.

Spider-man, in a desperate effort, rolls the pair into the wall containing the control panel, stopping the ray, but Doom still has the upper hand. Using a flashbang, he blinds Spidey and tries to pummel him. Curse that uncanny spider-sense! Doom cannot lay a finger on the cretin. But Doom still has tricks. The iron balls make a re-appearance and Spider-man loses his balance. Doom stands over him. Ready for the killing blow. This is it, Doomites. The moment we’ve all been waiting for.

escape

God damn it. Of course, the accursed Fantastic Four show up at the most inopportune time. Curse you, Richards! Victory was Doom’s!  The stupid Fantastic Four arrive and Spider-men takes off, leaving Flash in their capable hands. Peter scurries home to make sure Aunt May didn’t kill herself in the dark. And of course, she’s fine. That old bat has nine lives. The next day, the hits keep coming for Peter. He forgot to take pictures of the fight and Jameson is upset! And then at school….

hero_flash

You will rue the day you slandered Doom, Flash Thompson. Doom’s wrath will be swift and severe. Do not think your “BMOC” status at Midtown High intimidates Doom. Doom dares all! Doom will confront you in that nest of vipers that is high school. Soon, Flash Thompson.

Doom had Spider-man on the ropes. Parker was clearly out of his weight class. It’s only going to get bigger and better from here. I can feel it. I can tell you right now, no way Doom gets lost in the void of space again.

Next: Doom ends up lost in the void of space.

As usual, feel free to leave your thoughts and comments below. You can also send your comments to thenonicheblog@gmail.com or follow me on Twitter at John_S20. If you really want to stalk me, you can find me posting fairly regularly at Herochat.com, known for its mature and frank discussions about comicbooks.

The Doom Retrospective, Part 5

Last time, on the Doom Retrospective, Victor captured the FF in his micro-world but good fortune did not smile on him and they escaped. Doom is still stuck in his schlocky 60’s days, but it gets better Doomites, I promise. At the end of the issue, Doom escapes, as usual, into the real world with the Fantastic Four hot in pursuit! We pick up our story in Fantastic Four #17 (Aug. 1963). But, first, the scorecard:

Record vs Fantastic Four: 0-4 (Soon, Richards. Soon.)

Times Avoided Capture: 4 (YES!)

Times Screaming about Richards!: Surprisingly, 0

Treacherous Underlings foolishly turning on Doom: 1 (Fuck you, Namor.)

Times Left Adrift in Space/Shrunk into Nothingness: 2

Our tale begins with the team saying good-bye to Ant-Man, with Sue once again gushing about how cute someone other than Reed is. Keep it in your pants, Sue. Although I do agree that you can do better than Richards. We next get a recap of last issue and their daring escape attempt.

ugh

Johnny basically throws up in his mouth just thinking about Thing’s face, which is a reasonable reaction. The team is stumped because they don’t know where Doom could have run off to. The city is so big! Leave it to Reed, though, to science his way past this little problem.

radar

A radar that detects human flesh wrapped in steel? How does that radar work? He might as well have said “I have developed a radar to detect gypsy men named Victor with superiority complexes.” Boop. Boop. Boop. “Got ’em!” Give me a fucking break, 1960’s pseudo-science. It’s not even pseudo-science. The rest of the team, knowing that Reed’s pimped out stationary bike couldn’t possibly work, wisely fan out and start their own searches.

Torch babbles something about heat waves and quickly gives up, probably to chase a ball of string down a hallway or something. Thing sees Doom standing on the street in broad daylight! What luck!

thing

He springs into action, even getting compliments from mentally handicapped people who think he has gone so far into the ugliness spectrum that he has come back around to the beauty spectrum. Fat chance, mentally challenged citizens. Of course, since Thing is only marginally smarter than Torch, it turns out to be a knight advertising an eatery. You’re such an idiot, Thing. Doom would never idly chit chat with the riff-raff in the middle of your fetid city! Invisible Girl similarly strikes out.

The team meets back up and wallows in their collective failure. Reed claims Doom is too smart to leave clues that can be tracked. But what about your human flesh in steel radar, Reed? Doom must have removed his armor and then his flesh to avoid your fiendish device. He truly is the smartest man alive. Faced with their own shortcomings, the team decides to just forget about Doom for a while and go on with their busy social lives. Seems like the responsible thing to do.

Unfortunately, the lobby of their building is filled with adulating fans and they can’t get out without attracting attention. Luckily, a janitor takes them aside and allows them to leave the building via the service elevator.

disguise

Oh ho! Suck it, Batman. Matches Malone is like a little kid’s Halloween outfit next to this masterpiece! Who is the real master of disguise? The only question I have is whether Doom removed his helmet and somehow covered up his hideous face or did he slap a latex mask on top of his armor? Either way, it worked. Haha. What diabolical trap have these witless morons fallen into?

Doom returns to his hidden lab and releases his newest invention, lighter-than-air robots, to track down each member of the team via the device implanted on their hands. Of course, Sue’s has polka dots because it’s the 1960’s and she’s a woman. Come on, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Get your shit together. The four return to base with their robot stalkers in tow and Reed figures out that they have discs planted on them and the followers fade away. Obviously, this is what Doom planned.

embarass

Wait, what? You can monitor their every movement and went to the trouble of disguising yourself to plant something on them and this is the payoff? Doom watched them like a creep on his little TV, chuckling about how he embarrassed them. Come on, Victor. You could have had those discs explode. Or maybe the robots explode or shoot acid all over their smug faces. What a missed opportunity. But now that his creepy little game is over, Doom is really going to get serious.

emodoom

Ah, so Doom is going to attack their loved ones. Serves you right for not having a secret identity, Fantastic Four. We are then treated to a little emo Doom (first canonical appearance of Emo-Doom!), where he wonders how a grotesque mockery of life like Thing can have a girlfriend and he is stuck in his lab creeping on people through TV monitors. It’s your towering intellect, Victor. It’s not you, it’s us. We are all intimidated. Though, you might want to not have mirrors around you all the time.

With a push of a button, Doom uses a “grappler” ray (suck it, Magneto) and kidnaps Alicia by bringing her aboard his airship. It’s amazing that Doom can easily capture her with a push of a button and yet still cannot defeat Richards and his band of cretins. Maybe you should have used the floating robot on Alicia and used the grappler to fling Reed into space. Just a thought.

Doom sends a message to the team stating he can cause havoc in the city and if they try to stop him, Alicia gets it. He warns the FF to steer clear of him or else. Reed is ready to go off and pound Doom but Thing punches him. No way is he going to do anything to get Alicia hurt! The team is fighting amongst themselves. Doom’s hour of triumph is at hand! I’m tingly. With the team ineffective and out of the way, what will Doom do? Demand world leaders submit to him? Ask for unmatched wealth?

cabinet

Come on, Victor. Think bigger. UGH. Doom gets the FF out of the way so he can be Secretary of the Interior or some shit? Are we sure this isn’t a Doombot run amok thinking he is the real Victor von Doom? We go to President Kennedy in the oval office. We never see his face, which is weird, but ok. Kennedy and his advisors talk and Kennedy makes the decision to tell Doom to get bent. Oh, you will rue this day, Mr. President. Doom’s anger will be incandescent. His revenge will be swift.

doom!!!!

Oh, yes. That’s the stuff. Doom acts quickly. The entire country is brought to its knees. Do you regret what you have done, Mr. President? Have you not seen the full fury of Doom? Has it not left you trembling? Even the Soviets are petrified of Doom’s power. The government, with nowhere left to turn, approach the Fantastic Four, who seemingly have been sitting morosely on a couch this entire time. Reed says he has a secret plan. Sure, he does. Victory will be Doom’s! Finally, Doom’s!

Reed has located Doom’s airship, but the defenses are impossible to bypass. Why you ask?

defenses

Oh, Doomsy, you diabolical genius! I knew those robots you made were more than just a creepy way to amuse yourself. Why didn’t you tell us? I should have never doubted you. Never again.

Reed gets to work on temporarily curing Thing, as if this plan has any chance of succeeding. Reed does manage to turn Thing back into Ben Grimm and strangely, his looks don’t improve. I mean, look at that mug.

change

Reed puts Ben Grimm into a little bubble and shoots him off to Doom’s airship. Ben is about to change back into the Thing but wills himself to stay human for a second longer and he breaches the airship! There is a sinking feeling in my stomach. Thing disables the disintegrator ray and the rest of the team boards the ship. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Doom does call his airship his “Sanctum Sanctorum,” though. Dr. Strange is a month old at this point. Suck it, Dr. Strange. There is only room for one Doctor with a highly improbable and descriptive last name in this feature. Hit the bricks.

The Four fan out to search the ship for Doom’s lair. But Doom expects all! Doom prepares all! Torch, Reed, and Thing all fall into traps and fight for their very lives to escape them! But they somehow manage it. But Doom will not be deterred. He has traps upon traps waiting for this hapless band.

balls

And then….

victory

Yes! Finally. Three of the Fantastic Four shunted off into another dimension! Victory is Doom’s! Suck it, Fantastic Four! Suck it, heroes of the world! There is a new sheriff in town. It took 5 appearances, but it finally happened. It feels good. I hope they change the title to “Doctor Doom” next issue, so I can start reviewing Doom’s solo title. But, wait. What’s this? Do you hear that rumbling?

There is an explosion and Thing comes bursting through the wall. How? Why?

fake

Oh, screw you, Torch. That’s impossible. Damn it. Well, no matter, because Doom still has beautiful deranged Alicia Masters as his prisoner. You have no leverage, cretins! The day still belongs to Doom! Hey, where is Invisible Girl while all this is going on?

rescue

Of fucking course. So Sue hides Alicia and fights Doom when he enters. Bah! Doom only needs one hostage and one helpless 1960’s female is as good as any other. They fight for a full page. But Doom’s victory is inevitable. He is in full armor, after all. And she is a waif of a woman. Doom finally gets his hands on her.

Judo

I’ll be the first to admit this is not going well. Doom decides to stop fucking around and takes out an “ultra-heat beam” and is just going to sweep the room with it, killing Sue whether he can see her or not. As he is about to pull the trigger, the other three goons bust into the room. So, what is left for Doom to do?

geronimo

He jumps out of his airship (sans parachute) to avoid capture, of course! Still uncaptured, baby! I honestly thought this was Doom’s time. So close. I think he’s making progress, though. The Fantastic Four’s days are numbered, although I admit I haven’t felt this bummed since Namor prevented Doom from pushing a button. But at least our boy remains free to plot and scheme another day.

Next: Doom decides to go down a weight class and fights Spider-Man! Doom’s first crossover! I’m sure a swift victory over a teenager will buoy his confidence.

As usual, feel free to leave your thoughts and comments below. You can also send your comments to thenonicheblog@gmail.com or follow me on Twitter at John_S20. If you really want to stalk me, you can find me posting fairly regularly at Herochat.com, known for its mature and frank discussions about comicbooks.

The Doom Retrospective, Part 4

Last time, on the Doom Retrospective, in his most brilliant plan to date, Doom switched bodies with Reed Richards in an attempt to destroy the Fantastic Four! Then unfortunate things happened that will not be discussed and Doom was shrunk down into nothingness. Let’s update the scorecard.

Record vs Fantastic Four: 0-3 (Soon, Richards. Soon.)

Times Avoided Capture: 3 (YES!)

Times Screaming about Richards!: Surprisingly, 0

Treacherous Underlings foolishly turning on Doom: 1 (Fuck you, Namor.)

Times Left Adrift in Space/Shrunk into Nothingness: 2

By this point, Lee and Kirby knew they had struck gold with Doctor Doom and were having him show up every six months or so. They were riding the gravy train for all it was worth. So, to the surprise of nobody, after being shrunk out of existence, Doom returns a mere six months later in Fantastic Four #16 (July 1963).

The cover states that the issue will guest star Ant-Man and that we will all be visiting the Micro-world of Doctor Doom. So everyone who has been jonesing for a Mini-Doom fix, this is the issue for you.

Our issue opens with the Human Torch blazing across the sky.

Torch

In the space of three panels, he ruins an astonomer’s career, assists obviously quack doctors, who continued to operate in the dark!, to finish butchering their patient, and negligently flies by an armed burglary, only to be bailed out by the fortuitous arrival of New York’s finest. Why is he in a hurry and causing more mayhem than usual? Because nobody is picking up the headset at FF HQ! They must all be dead.

When Johnny arrives, he finds the team shrunk to the size of toys and being sucked into the most aggressive air vent I have ever seen.

vent

I mean, Jesus. Who mounts a high powered vacuum cleaner on the wall? It must have been deemed a necessity when Reed realized there needed to be a quick way to vent Thing’s wretched stench out of the building. Torch melts the air vent instead of, you know, turning it off, and the team is randomly restored to their proper size.

Of course, Reed, super-genius, has no idea how this happened. And then everyone admits it’s happened before, and they thought it was too nutty to talk about. So, wait. By this point in their careers, the team has fought Mole Man, fucking aliens (the Skrull), fought the king of Atlantis (Namor), been launched into space, visited Planet X, and watched Doom get shrunk to nothingness. But shrinking out of nowhere, nah, that’s too fucking crazy. The four then tell the tale of how they were shrunk, inconceivable as it might be. Starting with Johnny.

flaming

Poor, poor, Johnny. He’s wrestling with issues more fundamental than he realizes. It gets better, Johnny. Maybe not for you, because you are really dumb, but for others. Thing then tells his story and nobody cares. Sue then tells her story.

storypose

That is quite the storytelling pose, Sue. Let me just pull up this divan and lounge on it while I tell you about it. What a fox, though. Forget Namor, Sue. Maybe Doom will have you. I need to remember this for my evening fan fiction sessions.

After Reed finishes his story, he has an actual competent thought and suggests they talk to Hank Pym, the Astonishing Ant-Man, since he shrinks all the time! We then cut to Ant-Man who found out about the FF’s need for help through a daisy chain of talking ants (don’t ask).

grasshopper

Could you be any more expository, Hank? Christ. I’m going to open the door and walk out of here Jan and then casually stroll home to make dinner. And if he is human sized now, what the fuck is that giant grasshopper doing in the background? Do you just have giant insects in your house? I would not be shocked to find out later that Hank has some sort of personality disorder.

So Ant-Man rides his ants over and the Fantastic Four are shocked to see him. They didn’t even call him! So how does Reed treat his guest?

jar

Honestly, I laughed when I saw this panel. Reed is treating Ant-Man like he is legit this disgusting pest in his home.

Reed (trying not to look revolted): We can’t hear you, Ant-Man. Uh, let me put this “Magnifying Amplifier” over you so we can hear you.

Hank: Magnifying Amplifier? I’m a scientist too, Reed, and I know those words mean the same thing. Is that even a machine? You know what, forget it, I can just return to normal human size so we can talk.

Reed: Oh, it’s no bother. Really.

Hank: It will only take a second.

Reed (failing to hide his revulsion): Please, just get in the jar.

So Ant-Man is put inside the “Magnifying Amplifier” and gives Reed a sample of his Pym Particles so that they can return to normal size at any time if it happens again. Ok. Then he flies off.

flyoff

Reed wonders if that disgusting vermin man could be responsible for their shrinking fits. Sue fantasizes about making love to a man that can literally use his whole body to fill her up, bringing her to levels of ecstasy heretofore undreamt of. You know what, let’s move on.

The next day, Reed tells Thing that he is working on a cure for his condition. He force feeds Ben the formula, and…

cured

Oh, Thing. It’s supposed to feel like you drank poison. That means it’s working. Yes, drink it up. Oh, and don’t get crushed by that piano you were holding. That would be…unfortunate. Fuck you, Reed. You probably could have easily put chocolate in it. Dick. Alicia shows that she has issues far beyond what I had suspected as she admits to being sexually attracted to a walking pile of hardened cow patties. It’s what you deserve, Thing.

So with Thing cured (nobody cares), though still hideous, we see Johnny burning things for the amusement of teenagers and Sue playing with perfume and frolicking with puppies. I wish I had made that up. Their days are interrupted by a disembodied voice stating “Flee for your life! Beware of Doctor Doom!” Also, Thing is back to being a grotesque monstrosity again. Nice cure, Reed. You can’t even poison him right.

Reed surmises that somehow, someway, Doom must still be alive. Genius at work. So Reed gives out the Pym Particles and they shrink to go looking for Doctor Doom. Makes sense. So they shrink and shrink and shrink. And land right smack in the middle of Doctor Doom’s throne room. What are the chances? 100%, you fools. Do not question the machinations of Doom!

minithrone

Doom lives large even in the micro-world, no pun intended. He’s lounging on his throne, confident as always. Even when you try to kill him, it’s just another opportunity to show how badass he is. Thing, unthinking pile of bricks, leaps at Doom, who pushes a button on his throne that shrinks the FF even further. Now they are mini even to mini-Doom. Genius! Victor then decides to tell the story of how he came to rule.

grinch

Doom channels his inner Grinch. Peace? Harmony? Screw all of you. Not on my watch! I love you, Doctor Doom. Doom basically invents gadgets and insults his way to the throne. He recreates his shrinking ray, shrinks down the king and princess and takes over. Then he builds a device that allows his to project his voice and his ray to the larger world to manipulate the Fantastic Four. Who is the real genius here, Reed? You can’t even poison your friends right!

Doom then sets his guards on the team, and shockingly, these nameless mooks get worked by the mini-Fantastic Four. This is the first time we see a tried and true Doom trope.

doom

Even though that is not taken from this comic, it sums up Doom’s problems perfectly. You’ll be seeing that scan again, I promise. So Doom has to take matters into his own hands, putting Invisible Girl in a jar, how do you like that fucking turnaround, Reed? And then gasses the others.

gas

Doom getting real up in here. You’re inferior, Reed. Dumbass. Hail Doom! I’m getting that sweet tingling feeling of imminent Doom victory. Once the team is subdued, one of Doom’s underlings, surely not Doom himself, makes the questionable decision of throwing the team into the same dungeon that holds the deposed king and princess. That tingly feeling is rapidly subsiding, damnit.

Their cell is submerged in a sea of acid. Surely escape is impossible. Even the oversight of putting your enemies in the same room together cannot save you. Johnny, still wrestling with his internal urges, awkwardly hits on the princess, who really wants none of it. The princess tells the team about his plans. He doesn’t want to kill the Fantastic Four, he wants to sell them into slavery on an alien world. No humiliation is too great for Richards and his band of miscreants.

slaves

Oh, how delicious. Such humiliation. They will even be forced to wear their costumes. And look at Sue, all wet and submissive for her lizard overlords. Desperate. Willing to do whatever it takes to ameliorate her pitiful condition. What would you do for better treatment, Sue? Let’s move on.

That meddling Ant-man pieces together that the four must have shrunk and so he follows. Luckily, Doom’s lackeys subdue him. Whew. Meanwhile in the cell, Sue(!) gives the team an idea about escaping. Reed must have soiled his pants at a woman having ideas. The escape plan is actually not bad for a 1960’s comic. Ugh. I see where this is going.

escape

So the four are loose. Doom doesn’t know. They find Doom’s ray and enlarge themselves and the deposed monarch back into regular mini-sizes. Thing uses a tower as a bat and hits the incoming alien slave trading ship like a baseball, sending it back from whence it came.

bat

Eat a dick, Thing. It’s all unraveling. As usual. God damn it. Doom sees that the jig is up and bolts for it, enlarging himself back into the real world. HAHA! Another escape. Screw you, Reed. The issue ends with Thing swearing to get Doom. The team says good-bye to the mini-world and enlarges back to the real world.

BOO. Another escape at least. And I am sure Doom will give them a righteous thrashing next issue.

As usual, feel free to leave your thoughts and comments below. You can also send your comments to thenonicheblog@gmail.com or follow me on Twitter at John_S20. If you really want to stalk me, you can find me posting fairly regularly at Herochat.com, known for its mature and frank discussions about comicbooks.

The Doom Retrospective, Part 3

Welcome to Part 3 of the Doom Retrospective. When we last left our now caped hero, he was hurtling through space clinging to an asteroid for dear life after the treacherous worm, Namor, had the audacity to seek revenge after Doom tricked him into almost dying. But Doom did not stay gone long. His triumphant return was a mere 4 issues later in Fantastic Four #10 (Jan. 1963).

Two issues into his existence, we have seen some Doom hallmarks, but he has not fully developed into the man I we love. Let’s take a look at our scorecard:

Record vs Fantastic Four: 0-2

Times Avoided Capture: 2 (YES!)

Times Screaming about Richards!: Surprisingly, 0

Treacherous Underlings foolishly turning on Doom: 1 (Fuck you, Namor.)

Times Left Adrift in Space with no hope of returning: 1

We open with Reed taking an x-ray picture of Sue with radioactive film to try and crack the secret of her invisibility powers. First, Stan Lee obviously knew nothing of x-rays and radiation. Second, is it any wonder Doom will eventually have to save one of Sue’s children at childbirth with this nonsense going on? Sit still, honey, I need to shower your uterus with radiation and x-rays to figure out why I can’t see you sometimes. It’s because you’re emotionally unavailable, Reed. God! Those are 40 years in the future spoilers, by the way. We’ll get there. Eventually.

Also, Thing is nowhere to be seen. Probably sitting morosely in the corner wondering why Reed won’t shoot his testicles with uranium in an attempt to cure his miserable condition. No one cares, Thing.

Suddenly, high in the sky is the Fantastic Four emergency flare. They try to leave the building but a door is jammed and won’t open?!? Some genius you are, Reed. I watch a whole page of them trying to open this fucking door. Excelsior!

They reach the street and rush off. And here is where the tale really strains credulity as Thing apparently has a girlfriend. Of course, it is Alicia Masters, and luckily for Thing, she is blind. Although even a blind person should be able to tell that having sex with a grotesque gargoyle that probably smells and feels like slimy moss-infested stone is not a good idea. Give me more realism in my comics, Marvel.

By the way, when they rush off, they cause a general panic. I know Spider-Man is given a hard time by the Daily Bugle, but these people cause more mayhem in one page than Spidey does in an entire issue.

menace

I mean, look at that. Mobs running around, anger, car accidents. Even the cop is like “Yeah, more property damage. What can you do when beings with godlike powers want to fuck up your beautiful city?”

So they barge in on Thing and poor Alicia. It’s no emergency. Thing wants to show his friends Alicia’s beautiful sculptures. Could you be more like a toddler, Thing? We get it. You have a girlfriend and you want to prove she’s real. Nobody cares. Although this scene does give Reed a great opportunity to be a dick.

statues

Yes, Reed. You are surrounded by a man who can burst into flames, a woman who can turn invisible, and the unholy monstrosity that is the Thing, but you’re right, the most amazing thing is that a blind woman can do something. Dick. Props to Alicia, though, Doom looks great. And, of course, Sue wonders why Namor is there with the villains. Namor is no good, Sue! Reed decides it’s time for a heart to heart because now seems like an appropriate time, in front of your friend’s girlfriend, to hash out your relationship problems.

Reedtalks

Poor Johnny. He doesn’t know that it is his stupidity, not his age, that allows him to live such a care-free existence. I turn the page and…

Stan Lee and Jack Kirby are in their offices working. Ok, I can dig it. Breaking the fourth wall. Very meta. But their creative session is interrupted by DOOM! GASP! He has returned. Lee and Kirby ask the question that is on everyone’s mind. How did you do it, Victor? How did you return from space? Regale us with your epic tale of survival. The advanced technology you created, Professor style, from space coconuts. The new spells you learned. Tell us all of it!

thereturn

Ah, I see. Well played, Doom. Obviously the details would be too much for our petty minds to process. Only Doom can handle what Doom has seen and done. Our hero then forces Lee and Kirby to call Reed(!) via an ominous threat.

threat

Now, I don’t mean to criticize Doom here. In fact, I wouldn’t dream of it. But this threat left a little to be desired. He might as well have broken a pencil and said “This is you!” Regardless, the call is made and the trap is set. I feel myself getting giddy again. But before we go, there is more nonsense with the boys teasing each other. Thing complains about how ugly he is. Nobody cares.

Reed goes to the offices alone and the trap is sprung! Doom knocks Reed out!

knockedout

Doom leaves them his card and teleports(!) out of there. Truly, Doom’s genius is unparalleled. On a side note, I wonder what that card would look like. Just a fax number and his face on it? Someone with photoshop skills send me Doom’s business card.

Back in his lair, Doom finally tells us how he managed to get home.

stealshit

I like how Doom’s first thought is to destroy them. And then his second is to steal all their shit. Truly, Doom is the greatest villain. The Ovoids teach Doom their secret to immortality, mentally switching bodies, and send him back to Earth, because no strange Earthman who is dressed like the fucking grim reaper could ever use that power for nefarious purposes, right? So Doom makes the switch…

switch

Are we sure Reed is the smartest man on Earth? “I’m still thinking Reed thoughts but I am in the body of Doctor Doom! Even though I look evil, I am still having Reed thoughts. WTF?!?!” He then tells Doom that even though he has no idea how this happened, he can’t win. Doom already told you how it happened, Richards! Christ, Reed. Pick up a book.

So, Doom, in his greatest plan to date, is now posing as Mr. Fantastic. I am getting tingly. At last, the final triumph is at hand. They fight a little and Reed, not used to being in the superior body, is roughed up by Doom with stretchy powers. This is sort of confusing. The other three members show up and see Doom and Reed fighting. Reed tries to convince the team of the switch, but Doom outfoxes him, as usual. I’m really enjoying this.

tricked

I think Reed is getting a little too into his role as Doom. “I’m not beaten yet! My turn will come! And when it does…” Geez, Reed, a little adversity and your true colors start shining through. And then the special needs twins talk about all the things they will do to Doom. As if those childish machinations would be any hindrance to the true Victor von Doom! Doom orders Reed to be thrown into a special prison. He assures the team there is enough air in there for him, but there isn’t! Oh, Doom. The moment is here.

jazzhands

Look at Doom. So confident. So happy. He is dancing and jazz-handing his way up the tunnel while Richards writhes in impotent anger! How delightful.

We flash to some point in the not-too-distant future and Doom has settled in leading the Fantastic Four. He even has started doing experiments. The team sees little animals running around and ask Doom what gives. Doom explains that it is his new invention, a reducing ray.

reduce

First, look at that face. What a baller face, Victor. Second, why is Doom not bolded there?  “Doom will seal your own DOOM!” The sun joke from last time set the bar really high, so maybe he knows he can’t top it. The reducing ray is meant to boost the powers of the team. How you may ask? How indeed.

dinos

Nobody questions Doom because when someone offers to turn you into a dinosaur astronaut, you fucking say yes. Doom bullshits his way through some explanation admitting that Reed would have seen through it, but not these dopes. They fall for it hook, line, and sinker.

Meanwhile, Reed escapes his cell and wanders out, only to be brained with a flower pot by Invisible Girl. Alicia is there and says she senses an “aura of nobility” around Doom’s body, somehow. If only Reed were conscious to flip out about all the things a blind person can do. The team is confused. They think something must be up. So they return to Reed to straighten things out.

Back in the lab, Doom decides now is the time to destroy the other three while everyone is confused. Sue is ready to be hit by the ray, but Reed tries to save them.

fool

Now, the team thinks Reed is not speaking like Reed usually speaks. But didn’t we just see him be callous to “shut-ins,” and be amazed that a blind person can do anything? Is calling someone a fool so un-Reed like? Torch does some ridiculous Silver age tomfoolery where he makes a heat mirage of a stick of dynamite appear on the floor. Who really cares how at this point? Let’s gauge the reactions.

dynamite

Doom does the heroic thing and runs off to get help. Reed decides to finally end it all and commit suicide. Who is the real hero here? Reed is too cowardly to continue living, let alone lead a super team. The team figures it out and the “shock” forces the two to body switch back into their real bodies. Sigh. So close. SO CLOSE. Curse you, Fantastic Four. So they fight, and Reed points the reducing ray at Doom.

shrink

Who’s the hero, here? Reed has no problem trying to straight up murder Doom and callously watching as he shrinks to nothingness. Doom at least gave you an hour’s worth of air in your little cell, cretin! Doom gave you a chance to escape! Curse you, Richards. Curse you.

I’m counting this as an escape. Fuck you, Fantastic Four. You’ll never capture Doom. He made it back from space, I’m sure he can make it back from nothingness. I hope.

As usual, feel free to leave your thoughts and comments below. You can also send your comments to thenonicheblog@gmail.com or follow me on Twitter at John_S20. If you really want to stalk me, you can find me posting fairly regularly at Herochat.com, known for its mature and frank discussions about comicbooks.