Written By Desi LaSalle
Every hero needs a villain. For a comic book, or a superhero movie, to be successful you need a really impressive bad guy. Through the years we have seen this formula work to the point where you might even find the villain even cooler than the hero. We are usually drawn to the more complex villains, such is the case for the iconic villain known as ‘Doctor Doom’, eternal Fantastic Four bad guy. This particular villain was created by the legendary Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1961 and known as ‘Victor Von Doom’, aka Doctor Doom, sworn enemy to Reed Richards leader of the Fantastic Four.
Doctor Doom has a unique look with his suit of armor and recognizable mask. On first impressions he looks like a robot, but once you read a Fantastic Four comic book you could see, by learning his origin, that he was indeed so much more. Doom is a villain with a genius-level intellect that rivals that of Reed Richards, but also has unique abilities in sorcery. The masked man has enough knowledge and power to hold his own against Doctor Strange, but considers his scientific knowledge to be his greatest weapon. Unfortunately Doctor Doom has not been portrayed adequately on the big screen, as is the usually the case with Fox with Marvel superhero movies. On the other hand, this has not been the case in the comic book series throughout the years.
I personally think that when John Byrne was writing and drawing the Fantastic Four comic book he took it to another level and created many more interesting layers to all the characters, including Doctor Doom. A good example of this is issue #247 of the Fantastic Four, with the story titled This land is Mine!, in which the Fantastic Four is forced to help Doctor Doom regain control of his native Latveria, the country of which he is king. In the many issues done by John Byrne, we see Doom as a very complicated character. He is a mad genius full of hate for Reed Richards, capable of doing almost anything to destroy the Fantastic Four. Using his armor as a weapon in amazing ways, Byrne gives us insight to the mind of Victor Von Doom and his inner struggles. Hate, fear, his natural talents for leadership, strategy, politics and manipulation all contribute to the final makeup of his character.
I would recommend to anyone, who loves this iconic bad guy, to read this run of issues that sees the Fantastic Four pitted against Doctor Doom. It is because of this run that I believed Doctor Doom would be the main antagonist of such important series like Secret Wars, both in 1984 & 2015. Doctor Doom is a convoluted character, that to this day is considered “COOL”, which is surprising considering how old this character is. But, due to good character development and good art, Doctor Doom is as interesting and impressive as he was back then in 1961. Victor Von Doom is truly a fan favorite which I hope will one day see justice on the big screen. Also, let’s hope for the best and hopefully there are still a lot more great Doctor Doom stories left to read.