Friday, 29 August 2008

Prisoners Of Doctor Doom!

Fantastic Four #5, July 1962
(Lee & Kirby)

Can't let the first appearance of Doctor Doom pass without comment, although this is by no means his finest hour. Watch, you'll see what I mean.

Nice study, Vic. Bit confused by the whole chess board motif, especially as the Thing takes up about four spaces on his own. and is that a vulture you have as a pet? Ick. So, anyway, Victor von Doom, for reasons of his own, seeks to test himself against the Fantastic Four, who are relaxing at home.

Yes, he's reading a comic about the Incredible Hulk. Yes, it's the same one we looked at yesterday. No, there isn't a proper shared Marvel Universe yet. Give it time.

Anyway, the FF's peaceful afternoon is interrupted by the arrival of Doctor Doom, who shows up in his helicopter, and casually tosses a net over the Baxter Building, in order to trap his prey. As he announces his presence, Mister Fantastic recognises his voice. Cue, the original origin of Doctor Doom.

After taking the Invisible Girl hostage, the villainous von Doom whisks the FF off to his castle, somewhere in upstate New York, where he confronts them.

Hmm, the Thing versus a tiger. Ben Grimm needs to work on his confidence somewhat. anyway, let's hear your audacious scheme, Vic.

Er, ok... So, the FF agree to the plan, because they trust Doctor Doom to be a man of his word. He sends them back to ye olde world, where they mug some locals in order to blend in. They celebrate their larceny with a drink or two - and wake up aboard a pirate ship, having been shanghaied. D'oh.

The Thing doesn't take kindly to being abducted and proceeds to beat crap out of the crew of the ship, until they roll over and make him their chief. Now, can you guess what they dub their new leader?

So, the FF decide to double-cross Doctor Doom, who is, therefore, more of a man of his word than they are. They switch out the treasure for worthless chains and wait for Doom to recall them. However, the Thing has other plans.

Thankfully, before things get too out of hand, a passing tornado destroys "Blackbeard"'s ship and our heroes find themselves cast away on a desert island. What happens to the rest of the crew, history does not relate.

The FF kiss and make up, just in time for Doctor Doom to recall them.

Whilst the rest of her team are caught in a deathtrap by the (justifiably) angry supervillain, the Invisible Girl escapes her bonds and rescues them. The Human Torch sets fire to Doom's castle, but the mad scientist escapes, swearing revenge on the FF. And he'll be back before you know it...

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