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MonkeyWithTypewriter said on August 1st, 2011 at 9:10 am

The most important point for telling a good Doom story from a bad one: DOES HE CALL ANYONE FAT? That’s all.

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“When Byrne wrote Doctor Doom, you could tell he was fully able to understand that in Doom’s world, he is the hero of the story and Reed Richards is the villain.”

Interesting how this corroborates your earlier note that, when written well, Doom becomes “almost a second protagonist.” Because in most comics, the traditional roles of hero and villain relating to protagonist and antagonist, respectively, are reversed. Most superheroes take their responsibility as to protect and serve, for the most part, devoting their super powers not to actively making the world a better place but rather to preserve a certain status quo (one notable exception is the Superman: Peace on Earth one-shot, which features Superman actively trying to end world hunger and create world peace).

Being a hero or protagonist typically involves wanting something (and often a quest); in comics, the villains are often the protagonists–they want something that the heroes must prevent them from achieving.

Doom, I think, is a terrific villain partly because he’s a fantastic protagonist; he doesn’t want to take over the world just to have the world but rather because he legitimately believes he’d do the best job running the show (and his citizens’ enthusiasm for his leadership only corroborates his belief).

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Heksefatter said on August 1st, 2011 at 10:01 am

I am glad that I am not the only admirer of the crossover story where both Doctor Doom and Superman appears. The Doom there is both entertaining and menacing. The story also has my love for the fight between Superman and the Hulk, which I have been using to teach conservation of momentum in physics class ever since.

I also want to chime in and add my displeasure with Waid’s Doom and the story ‘Unthinkable.’ Much of the entertainment value from Doom is the awesome factor. He looks terrifyiing, of course, and he has his unapologetic megalomania and his unquestionable competence.

And then Waid gives us a story about a creature that is, at all levels, pathetic. Doom was awesome when he tricked Mephisto so that his mother was freed from hell in ‘Triumph and Torment’ and is willing to make genuine sacrifices for his mother’s sake. In Waid’s ‘Unthinkable’ he is pathetic as he trades the soul of the other woman he loved to other demons out of desire for revenge. He is also pathetic because he is willing to trade away the science that he has spent his entire LIFE learning and accomplishing in just like that. Furthermore, he is pathetic because he does not even become a particularly powerful magic-user – Reed tells Doom straight to his face that he will never become more than a mid-level magician, then beats Doom and proves his point. Finally Doom’s dialogue is that of a wretch, telling the rest of the FF of how he would let them go if they could, while he is torturing them.

That story removed so much awesome and so much menace from Doom that I’ve not even bothered buying stories written after it.

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BUT he’ll LET THEM GO! Doom never specified when or in what state!& Doom shall free Franklin… later, the show Cats is on.
His speech in ” unthinkable” to Reed , when he lectures him about being a megalomaniac while he, DOOM, is a better man was legendary & didn’t go against the claim “in Doom’s world, he is the hero of the story and Reed Richards is the villain.”, It was pushing that sentence to a whole other level!

& for citizens loving him, you don’t have much of a choice in dictatorship now do you?

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American Hawkman said on August 1st, 2011 at 11:23 am

I genuinely despise Waid’s Doom for a host of reasons, not the least of which being that it’s entirely out of character for Dr. Doom to turn to demons for help. He simply is too arrogant for it to EVER occur to him that he needs help, and has destroyed Doombots for making the mistake of thinking he might. He may be the WORST Doom writer ever… and the people that think his Doom’s so awesome totally miss the point of Dr. Doom. It’s a heck of an FF story, but it’s a waste of Dr. Doom. That said, it’d have been an excellent Wizard story…

Brubaker’s Doom bit doesn’t work for a few reasons. For one, he has Doom raping a girl in college, which is pretty much the same horrifically out-of-character mistake that Englehart made which keeps him down the list for me too. Doom simply doesn’t give a crap about things like that.

Roger Stern deserves to be on this list for Triumph and Torment alone, probably in the place of Jim Shooter.

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@Iron Maiden: Phooey on Dwayne McDuffie. Chalk it up to being a Doombot or whatever. I am happy that a story exists where Luke Cage gets to steal a Pogo Plane and say “where’s my money, honey?” to Doctor Doom, because *that* is comic books. The rest is details.

P.S.: I’m just kidding about the phooey on D.M., who I became acquainted with for a short time and worked his way up to being one of my favorite people in the comic book industry. Smart, no-nonsense, thought-provoking guy who could talk art, film, music, politics, economics, and just about everything else. I remember a lunch that lasted three hours because neither of us could shut up. Life is so fucking unfair; he left us way too soon.

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Or perhaps, AH, those of us who think Waid’s Doom is awesome get that the point of Doom as a character is that he wil do anything, go to any length, if he thinks it will force Richards to admit that Doom is superior.

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@ Prodigal: DOOM says Understatement ! & Doom shall revive Valeria… after the Ramadhan ends!

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I have to second the inclusion of Roger Stern for his unforgettable “Triumph and Torment” graphic novel. Doom’s final “Doom begs for no man’s help” statement (I’m paraphrasing) zeroes in on both his pride and genius in engineering his mother’s release like no other panel I’ve ever seen.

That and it’s a super kick-ass Dr. Strange story.

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American Hawkman said on August 1st, 2011 at 6:14 pm

I still feel that Doom’s pride is a heck of a lot more important to him than beating Reed. If it wasn’t, he’d have murdered him first thing upon gaining the Beyonder’s power, or taking over the world via mind control any of the times he’s done it, while Reed was unable to fight back in the Overmind event, or any number of other times. Doom wouldn’t need to prove he was superior to Reed by going about it in such a way that proves he ISN’T. Doom’s an arrogant, egotistical madman but he’s proven in decades worth of stories that a win against Reed that isn’t based on Doom being more awesome than him ALONE doesn’t count. Doom would gladly die, or sacrifice ANYTHING to destroy Richards… EXCEPT for his own pride and self-reliance, and that’s what Unthinkable does to the character. It’s a step back from what makes Doom a bigger character than the FF, and drags him down to the level of a Norman Osborn, a Magneto, or a Red Skull… and that’s not worthy of Dr. Doom, unquestionably the greatest villain comics has ever created.

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HEY NOW! AH take out Norman Osborn of these comparisons! HE IS NOT WORTHY TO EVEN PUT IN THE SAME SENTENCE WHEN TALKING ABOUT DOOM!

THIS IS WHAT MUST HAVE HAPPENED TO THAT WRETCH:

http://devilkais.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d3k8pcp

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Down to the level of a Magneto? I know Mags has seen better times, but you’re making him sound like a crap character.

And for me Lex Luthor is greateast villain comics has ever created. I like Doom and all, but I like Luthor better.

And finally, at least we can all agree what Millar did with Doom was total shit, right?

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malakim2099 said on August 2nd, 2011 at 12:38 am

I think we can agree that Millar and Bendis are total shit with the Doomster.

Personally, I never read Unthinkable, so I’m not weighing in. 😉

I did like the Doom representation in the FF v. X-Men mini, though.

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Mark Temporis said on August 2nd, 2011 at 2:10 am

My nom is Christopher Priest, in Double Shot #2.”They know they cannot defeat me, so they instead wound me with visions of evanescent waifs”

Speaking of Doom’s armor being comparable to Iron Man’s, in the X-Universe series the Big Brains create their own Heaven. Characters in heaven have palette-swapped costumes basically to help the reader keep ‘heaven’ and ‘earth’ storylines straight.

Iron Man and Doctor Doom switched color schemes precisely.

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American Hawkman said on August 2nd, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Magneto’s a great character, but he’s inextricably intertwined with the X-Men, to the point where he’s not capable of doing things without them. (Note that this wasn’t true back in the Seventies.) Whereas Dr. Doom pretty much can show up anywhere, do anything, and works without the FF as well or better than he does with them, as well as being the guy who created the “villain with a code of honor” thing that keeps Magneto popular. Magneto’s a great villain… but he’s not in Doom’s league, and half of what keeps him even a contender is concepts stolen from Doom to begin with.

Luthor’s closer. He has a lot of Doom’s great characteristics… but lacks the sympathetic code of honor that Doom does which makes Doom more protagonistic than he is. Luthor may be a great villain… but Doom transcends that title.

As for Norman? I have to admit that he’s wiggled out of his traditional role under Bendis, but in the end, he’s always going to snap and throw everything away to kill Spider-Man. Whereas some of Doom’s best stories don’t even have Reed Richards IN them… they are either solo tales, fighting another villain, or the like. Unthinkable turns Doom into that sort of villain… and it LESSENS Doom. Sure, you might get a little more scared when Doom pops up in FF, but if you weren’t already excited when Dr. Doom shows up, then you probably weren’t reading the FF title anyway.

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American Hawkman said on August 2nd, 2011 at 4:42 pm

Oh, and Doom in X-Men vs. Fantastic Four is classic Doom… he’s perfectly willing to plant a twenty year old journal to screw with the FF’s heads purely out of malice, but he’s also honorable enough to assist the X-Men, and classy enough to politely host the FF and the X-Men for a nice dinner when his overall scheme falls apart due to Reed again finding his confidence and corrects Doom’s math in his process to cure Kitty Pryde. Claremont is clearly a Doom fan, hence his outright theft of large portions of Doom’s personality for Magneto, and use of Doom as a protagonist in his FF run for a healthy portion of it. Somewhere along the line he’s forgotten that Doom’s a scary, scary man, which keeps him off the list, but his pre-FF run use of Doom’s pretty good.

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dangermouse said on August 3rd, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Like a better list of good Doom writing would include the story where Doom is so angry about getting a boo-boo – which of course he blames on RICHARDS! – that he shoves burning hot iron onto his face and melts off all his skin.

Versions of Doom that try to pretend that flat-out stupid shit like that isn’t just as much a part of the character as everything else aren’t versions of Doom I’m interested in.

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Iron Maiden said on August 4th, 2011 at 2:54 am

In the Lee/Kirby years, you will never find a story where Doom blames the accident on Reed. That doesn’t come until much later in Wolfman’s FF#200.

Check out FF annual #2 and Doom clearly realizes it is self-inflicted. Wolfman’s Doom was seriously paranoid and the story ends with his complete mental breakdown. I tend to like Stan and Jack’s version better. He knows he screwed up. Then you have to whole small scar (Kirby) vs the completely destroyed face argument but that could be a whole topic in itself.

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CapnSilver said on August 4th, 2011 at 5:09 am

Reggie Hudlin. He understood Doom like no man before him. That is: not at all

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American Hawkman said on August 4th, 2011 at 12:02 pm

The Hudlin line actually made me choke on what I was drinking. 😛 It’s also 100% accurate. It’s a genuine tragedy that Hudlin understands the Black Panther on the same level.

Priest’s Doom, on the other hand, is definitely a great one, missing my personal list solely due to the fact that he hasn’t written him a lot. His use in Priest’s Black Panther run is VERY good, showing Doom’s ability to play politics at a level few can.

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Still agree with dangermouse here, Doom has magnificience but his hatred towards Reed IS petty (kinda unfair that Eddie Brock always gets the shaft on the motivation matter while Doom’s motive for hating Reed is weaker…)! it’s an interesting mix that puts in the EPIC villains list for me!Even in the Lee/Kirby he Gives his word but it’s not how YOU intended because you’re Not VICTOR VON DOOM! UNDISPUTED RULER AND SEX GOD OF LATVERIA! WOMEN PLACE IS TO ADORE DOOM ‘S THRONE!

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Scavenger said on August 5th, 2011 at 11:15 am

I give shouts to the comments about Claremont’s Doom and Priest’s Doom. Claremont’s Doom is just a class act, and Priest…well his Doom isn’t so remarkable in and of himself, it’s just that Priest is one of the best at writing genius & manipulative characters.

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As for Waid, and the “Doom will do anything to beat Richards.”…that’s just not true, is it. A “the honor thing is a lie, he just hates Richards” Doom, just goes right out and kills everyone around Reed. Sue, Johnny,Franklin and Alicia? Dead from sniper shots to the head. Ben, just disintegrated when he’s stepping out of the bar. A truly monsterous non-honorble Doom just takes everything away from Reed and leaves him with nothing.

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John 2.0 said on August 5th, 2011 at 2:02 pm

@Scavenger: I think Waid’s point is that everybody knows that Doom has honor, because he keeps telling people he has HONOR, over and over. However, about half the time his actions give the lie to his statement (or at least display that he has a very pliable definition of that word). He steals the power cosmic from Silver Surfer. He pulls the Baxter building into space. He pulls the the ‘rules in a knife fight’ gambit from Butch and Sundance on Reed during their time duel. He manipulates the space/time continuum so Sue will have an affair with Namor. These are not the works of an honorable man.

I imagine that what Waid thinks stops Doom from hiring that sniper, or placing a Thing-sized landmine outside of every Yancy Street bar is that if he went that far EVEN HE couldn’t buy his ‘honorable man’ bullshit any more. Doom will lie to himself, hell, his inability to face his own failure is at the root of his conflict with Reed, but he’s intelligent enough to have to keep that lie plausable to himself.

Of course, Waid himself admits that people either love or hate his take on Doom. So reasonable people can disagree.

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& reasonable people can also agree, it goes both ways. Hiring a Sniper? DOOM is NO COMMON MURDERER! WHAT DOOM DID IN UNTHINKABLE IS JUST SHOWING THE BLASTED RICHARDS WHO HIS MASTER IS,DOOM HAS TO TEACH THAT MEGALOMANIAC PRETENDER SOME MODESTY!THE ONLY UNTHINKABLE THING IN THAT STORY IS THAT DOOM WAS NOT TRIUMPHANT! FOR DOOM IS A TRAGIC HERO THAT HAS TO DEFEAT THE VAIN & VILLAINOUS & INADEQUATELY NAMED MR FANTASTIC!
JUST AS DOOM SHOWED THE PATHETIC DELINQUENTS ON COUNTER-EARTH WHO THEIR KING IS!
FOR DOOM IS SUPREME!

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Doom could snipe them himself.

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Austin Clark said on August 7th, 2011 at 1:43 pm

For what it’s worth, I’m convinced the Hudlin Doom was in fact a Doombot, programmed that way just so that Doom could test T’Challa’s arrogance. Especially after the conversation with Dracula on the moon, where Doom rips the heart out of any racist’s argument, forever.

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Word to Austin Clark, above. I really liked the way Paul Cornell wrote Doom in the sadly few scenes that character had in “Captain Britain and MI: 13”.

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Patrick Rawley said on August 10th, 2011 at 7:57 pm

JACK KIRBY CREATED DOCTOR DOOM, NOT STAN LEE.

Stan Lee can’t even SPELL.

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