Who is Doctor Doom? Everything You Need To Know About Victor von Doom
Despite many middling adaptations of the character, Doctor Doom, a.k.a. Victor von Doom, remains one of the most essential Marvel villains of all time. If you only remember him as being played by Cole from Charmed, you may be wondering who, exactly, is this baddie?
Doctor Doom’s first Marvel Comics appearance
First appearing in The Fantastic Four #5 in July 1962, the character was the byproduct of a collaboration between Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Kirby said of Doom’s appearance during an interview with Ken Viola in 1995: “I tried to develop the costumes along classic lines. Dr. Doom was the classic conception of Death, of approaching Death. I saw Dr. Doom as The Man in the Iron Mask, who symbolized approaching Death. It was the reason for the armor and the hood. Death is connected with armor and inhuman-like steel. Death is something without mercy and human flesh contains that element of mercy. Therefore I had to erase it, and I did it with a mask.”
The origin story of Doctor Doom
A metal man with a cloak of green, in a sick perversion of a knight’s armor. While a villain in many regards, the character comes from noble origins and with more profound ambition than just wanting to date Sue Storm. In universe, the character was born into a Latverian Romani tribal family. His mother was a witch killed by Mephisto, and his father was the leader of the tribe and a medicine man. Their tribe was ruled by a man known as the Baron. One day, the Baron called on Victor’s family to heal his wife, but she succumbed to her illness. In response, the Baron called father von Doom a murderer and tried to kill young Victor. With his father’s help, Victor returned to their Roma camp and combined technology with sorcery to protect the Roma people—and get revenge on the Baron.
Eventually, Victor headed to the United States for school and met Reed Richards, whom he immediately disliked and tried to swap out for another roommate. While making enemies left and right, Victor created a machine that would allow him to communicate with the dead. He made a mistake, however, and the machine exploded, scarring his face. It was later revealed that The Thing himself, Ben Grimm, tampered with the machine because he thought Victor was a dickhead.
In a normal response to trauma, Victor went to Tibet to train with monks and mastered even more abilities. (I wonder if Doctor Strange read about that?) He then made the metal armor and, before the mask cooled, applied it to his face, sealing it on his face forever. Now named Doctor Doom, he took over Latveria from the Baron—making sure to protect the Roma—and went on to torment the Fantastic Four out of a warped sense of vengeance, believing they wronged him.
With his great intellect, diplomatic immunity, and mastery of sorcery, Doctor Doom is one of the most exceptional villains in the Marvel world. He is only ever brought down by his arrogance and ego. And that is why he is so dangerous and so iconic.
(featured image: Marvel Comics)
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