Beard: Doctor Doom still comics’ baddest bad guyWritten by Jim Beard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Hollywood just doesn’t seem to like Doctor Doom.
The baddest comic book bad guy of them all has yet to fully leap from comic page to silver screen, or at least maintain some of his royal dignity in doing so. The first live-action Doom never made it to theaters – in Roger Corman’s aborted 1994 Fantastic Four film – and his turn in 2005’s Fantastic Four left much to be desired. Now, actor Tony Kebbell just let slip that in the 2015 movie reboot Marvel Comics’ supreme monarch of menace sports a new origin as a “very anti-social programmer” and a new name, “Victor Domashev.” Oh, and his online moniker is “Doom.”
So, who’s the real Doctor Doom, the villain that’s knocked heads with almost every hero in the Marvel Universe? That would be Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s seminal 1962 creation, a bad guy who, while an amalgamation of fictional villains that preceded him, stands today as the touchstone of comic book despots and dictators.
Debuting in Fantastic Four #5, Victor Von Doom appeared in cold, metal armor and flowing cloak, a mysterious figure with advanced technology and a burning desire to rule the planet. Two years later, in 1964, readers learned that he was the son of gypsies, a dabbler in black magic whose superior attitude set him on a course to world domination. Doom’s experimentation in mixing arcane sorcery and technology blew up in his face – literally – and the resulting facial scarring sent him scrambling for an iron mask to hide behind. Since that time, the Doctor’s challenged all who oppose him, which is pretty much everybody else on Earth.
So, if filmmakers can produce a movie featuring the Fantastic Four – a stretchy guy, a guy made out of rocks, a kid who bursts into flames and an invisible woman – why can’t they give audiences the one, the only, true Doctor Doom? Some might say that in their hubris, they simply know better than Stan and Jack and all those comic creators who followed in their footsteps. Still others might say that they’re scared of the character, afraid that moviegoers would chuckle at such a larger-than-life villain more than feel chills from him. One thing’s for sure: the real Doc Doom is still waiting in the wings, eager for the blogger-poser to make a fool of himself and clear the way for Victor’s next shot at ruling the world…and its movie theaters.