Marvel Comics is rife with villains who harness the power of magic or technological prowess. But few, if any, have a mastery of both like Doctor Victor Von Doom. The Fantastic Four’s great villain is a scientific genius and master of the dark arts with an insatiable lust for power. Despite being born into a poor family in Latveria, he has risen to establish his own kingdom and even achieved god-like powers.
A creation of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Doctor Doom was introduced 60 years ago in The Fantastic Four #5 (July 1962). Both of his parents died when he was young, but he found his mother’s mystical relics, which began his affinity for magic. His aptitude for science secured him a college scholarship, so he temporarily moved to the US. It was during his student days in New York that Doom met fellow scientific genius Reed Richards and they quickly became rivals.
Doom created a device to connect dimensions, but the experiment exploded, scarring his face. Expelled for the damage he’d caused, Doom traveled to Tibet and forced a group of monks to create a suit of armor and mask for him to hide his face.
His next move was to return to Latveria to overthrow the monarchy and become the ruler. Now with an army at his command and his own continued scientific advancements in weaponry and robotics, Doom sought to conquer the world. Over the years he has continued to improve the abilities of his suit, reenforcing it with titanium, adding a force field generator, gauntlets that can shoot concussive blasts, and the ability to fly. He reated robot duplicates of himself called Doombots to use in his stead and he surrounded Latveria with his robot army.
Doctor Doom’s attacks against the US pitted him against the Fantastic Four and his former scholastic nemesis, Reed Richards. The dislike that existed when they were students kept growing with Reed opposing Doom’s constant bids for power and the egomaniacal Doom never admitting that Reed is a fellow genius. At one point he swapped minds with Reed, the Thing crushed his hands in a fight, and he tried to ruin Reed and Sue’s wedding. Soon after that, he stole the Power Cosmic from the Silver Surfer, fueling an obsession with powerful objects from beyond our world.
He hasn’t had close relationships with many people, though he did welcome an orphaned boy named Kristoff into his kingdom. Doom started looking at the child as his potential heir and even imprinted his memories into the boy’s mind. But, rather than behave like the heir Doom wanted, the boy came to believe that he was Doom and that the real Doom was an imposter. Once his mind was cleansed and returned to its original state, Doom allowed him to leave Latveria.
Following an event involving Galactus that left Doom nearly destroyed, he joined with other villains on Battleworld to fight the heroes of Earth. While there, he learned of the Beyonder, a nearly all-powerful being, and began a new plan to take the power.
Doctor Doom returned from one adventure to learn that Sue Richards was dealing with a dangerous pregnancy and was asked to use his advanced technology to help in the delivery. For his help, he demanded that he get to name the baby girl, which Sue agreed to, and he named her Valeria. After helping Sue and his nemesis, Doom focused his energy on increasing his magical power to match that of his technological skills.
In the aftermath of the Skrull invasion, Green Goblin asked Doom to join a new team of villains. Doom made a power move by helping the Scarlet Witch after she’d been brainwashed to kill the Avengers, and for a period he used her abilities to give himself even more power. He also created the Parliament of Doom when he learned that there was a group of alternate versions of Mr. Fantastic called the Council of Reeds.
Doctor Doom gained the near-ultimate power he’d always wanted by using alien energies to create a new Battleworld where Sue and Valeria were his wife and daughter. Once again Mr. Fantastic set out to stop him, gathering other heroes to take Doctor Doom’s power and send him back to Earth.
Doom decided that he should help fix the world, and when Tony Stark was defeated during Civil War II, he followed the footsteps of the fellow tech genius by becoming Iron Man. Some of his former allies weren’t happy about Doom’s change of heart and tried to take him out. During the battle his face, which Mr. Fantastic had healed after the Battleworld conflict, was severely burned, so he retreated to his home.
In the recent King in Black event, Doctor Doom asked Iron Man about the new armor he was wearing, because he wanted to improve his own. Iron Man didn’t give him the information he wanted, advising Doom to focus on magic instead.