Who is Doctor Doom? Doctor Doom in the Movies? Doctor Doom (Dr. Victor von Doom) is a character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the character first appeared in The Fantastic Four #5 (July 1962). The monarch of the fictional nation of Latveria, Doom primarily serves as the archenemy of Reed Richards and the Fantastic Four. He has also come into conflict with other superheroes in the Marvel Universe, including Spider-Man, Iron Man, Doctor Strange, the Black Panther, the X-Men, and the Avengers at times. He has also been portrayed as an antihero at times, working with the heroes if their goals align and only if it benefits him.
Doctor Doom was ranked #4 by Wizard on its list of the 101 Greatest Villains of All Time and #3 on IGN’s list of the Top 100 Comic Book Villains of All Time. In a later article, IGN would declare Doom as Marvel’s greatest villain.
The character has been substantially adapted from the comics into several forms of media, including television series, video games, and merchandise such as action figures and trading cards. Most notably, Doctor Doom has been portrayed in licensed Fantastic Four live-action feature films by Joseph Culp in Roger Corman’s unreleased 1994 film; Julian McMahon in the 2005 film and its 2007 sequel; and Toby Kebbell in the 2015 film.
Who is Doctor Doom?
Victor von Doom, better known as the malevolent masked monarch Doctor Doom, is perhaps the most popular Marvel Comics supervillain who has yet to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe — though his inevitable arrival has been hotly anticipated by fans for years now. But of course, Doom is still no stranger to the big screen, as he’s appeared in every single Fantastic Four film adaptation to date.
However, as any fan of the character can attest, Doom’s past movie appearances haven’t exactly been the most faithful adaptations. And indeed, both the 2005 and 2015 Fantastic Four films feature incarnations of Doctor Doom whose origins are as different from the comics as they are from each other. So in the interest of unraveling the history behind this iconic antagonist, here’s a brief summary of every take on Doctor Doom’s origin story, across both the movies and the comics.
Doctor Doom in the Movies
Victor von Doom made his theatrical debut in the 2005 Fantastic Four film, in which he was played by Julian McMahon. The movie never explores Victor’s backstory, save for a brief mention that he hails from Latveria. Otherwise, all that’s known about him is that he’s a wealthy industrialist CEO who finances Reed Richards’ space expedition — a far cry from the sorcerous despot of the comics. In another departure from the comics, Victor follows Richards and company into space, and is exposed to the same cosmic rays that give the Fantastic Four their powers.
Doom’s famous scars from the comics are reimagined as organic metal slowly covering his face. Meanwhile, his signature lightning blasts are depicted as the result of innate electric powers, not sorcery or high-tech weaponry. After the disastrous space mission, Victor lost funding from his investors, ruining his company and nearly driving him to bankruptcy.
Blaming Richards for his troubles, he takes on the identity of “Doctor Doom” and seeks revenge on the Fantastic Four. In the sequel, Rise of the Silver Surfer, Doom returns to steal the power of the Silver Surfer, seemingly for no other reason than his own lust for power.
Doctor Doom’s most recent cinematic appearance thus far is in the 2015 Fantastic Four movie, more infamously known as Fant4stic. The film once again includes Victor as a companion to the FF on the journey that grants them their powers — not to space this time, but rather to a dimension known as “Planet Zero”.
Victor seemingly dies on Planet Zero in the accident that grants the heroes their powers, but he later returns, now fused to his spacesuit and possessing telekinetic powers. Doom attempts to destroy Earth and remake it in his own image, but is ultimately killed by the FF.
Noticeably, both film versions of Doctor Doom forgo his trademark power armor from the comics, instead giving him superhuman abilities like those of the Fantastic Four. Meanwhile, the Doom of the source material has never had any innate superpowers, only technology and sorcery. But just as glaringly, all of Doom’s movie appearances have completely omitted any form of backstory for him. His past in Latveria is never explored — he exists solely as an antagonist for the FF, with no real history or goals of his own. However, this is far from the case in the comics.
Made Latveria Subservient To Him
Doctor Doom is the ruler of Latveria, and, for the most part, his people love him. There have been moments where they rose against him, but those were often squashed in quick order, and Doom always returns to power in the end. No one in Latveria starves, and everyone has a home, but the country remains poor while Doom remains all-powerful. These people are subservient to Doom, who offers them protection but will stamp them out if anyone crosses his path.
Used Scarlet Witch To Gain Her Powers
In Young Avengers: The Children’s Crusade, Tommy (Speed) and Billy (Wiccan) set out to find their mother, the Scarlet Witch. They believed she was alive but was hiding for her own safety since the X-Men wanted her to face punishment for M-Day. They found her with Doctor Doom.
Wanda had amnesia, and soon it appeared that Doom was helping keep her safe, and the two were to be married. It was all a trick, as Doom just wanted to gain her powers. By the time it was all ended, Doom had killed Scott Lang’s daughter, Cassie.
Used Purple Man To Conquer The World
In the Marvel graphic novel Emperor Doom, Victor Von Doom finally achieved his life-long goal: he took over the entire world. To do this, he captured a villain that he knew could help him in the Purple Man. When Kilgrave realized he couldn’t control Doom, he had no choice but to allow Doom to use him to mentally force every country on Earth to name him the Emperor.
Wonder Man was the only person left standing and began to free his teammates one by one, and then Doom finally gave up, bored with what he had achieved in victory.
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