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Comicguy1


Member Since: Tue Apr 04, 2017
Posts: 1,275


I caught an episode a few days ago (I THINK that it was on Wednesday morning.) on AMC. For those who don't know, it's a show that's hosted by Kevin Smith and focuses on his comic book store (Which I've been to a couple of times, as I do like in New Jersey.). Stan Lee came to the store and a customer wanted to buy a really old and expensive issue of the FF that had Doctor Doom. Stan was explaining that he didn't view Doom as a bad guy, that he basically thought that Doom was more of a nobleman. I can't remember his exact words, but the gist of it was Stan explaining that Doom wasn't really a villain. I think that they were trying to get the customer to pay more for the comic (I'm pretty sure that it worked! It sure would for me, too.), but it seems like quite a few writers and fans agree with this. What do you guys think? He has been written this way a few times.
I myself prefer a more villainous Doom (But one who does have at least what he considers to be a code-of-honor.). I don't prefer him to be sadistic, the same way that Carnage or the Black Mask are, but I do prefer him to be more on the ruthless side. But I certainly see the appeal of the other take. And if Stan said it, then he must be right. I do remember a story from the Stan and Jack era where Doom was willing to bomb his people though, so that does seem strange.


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Count Dante


Location: Ad Pages in Old Comics
Member Since: Wed Aug 21, 2013
Posts: 3,215


I'd agree with that take on Dr. Doom. I think later writers went more extreme, but I think that while Jack and Stan probably originally set Doom up as a ruthless dictator, he eventually became popular and thus they softened him a bit to the "noble Doom". That said, he's still a cold-blooded killer who will have no issues taking out people he deems to be a threat. But he does it in a quite noble way. Sort of an "Aristocratic Punisher". Less emotion, more political.




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Iron Maiden 

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Member Since: Sun Nov 02, 2003
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Why is this even a question? Stan is one of the co-creators of Doom along with Jack Kirby. If Stan says it, it's true. ;\-\)


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Grey Gargoyle


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 12,126


... especially, when Doom stole the power of the Silver Surfer.



He made Doom behave like an aristocrat, that's true, but a noble man ?

Hmmm, it is probably like when he compared Magneto to Malcolm-X.

Actually, it was Chris Claremont who made Magneto a revolutionary mutant rights fighter.

During the Silver Age, Magneto behaved like a mutant supremacist.


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Iron Maiden 

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Member Since: Sun Nov 02, 2003
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It is very true that Stan tended to write him as a villain. Around the time that Stan & Jack did their last Doom story together in FF 84-87, things changed. Recall at the end of #87, Doom just calls it all off and says the FF are free to leave. He had just killed his assistant Hauptmann for endangering his art collection with a flame thrower. Surprisingly, Reed agrees to leave without further incident. Maybe because they did come in a spies sent by Nick Fury.

But just prior to FF#87 came out in June of 1969, the first Doom solo story is released in Marvel Super-Heroes #20. It was plotted and co-written by Stan's brother Larry Leiber with Stan as the editor. The following year, Doom gets a solo series in Astonishing Tales. The next time Doom appears in the Fantastic Four, he fights on the side of the Fantastic Four against the Overmind. The story was written by Archie Goodwin with Stan as the editor. Stan had written the earlier issues of the arc so one can assume he had a hand in plotting also. So we can see here that Stan was most likely the one push for more of an anti-hero kind of characterization.

Stan is pretty notorious for having a bad memory but he has been consistent in saying that he doesn't feel Doom is not purely a villain at least as far back as the first Fantastic Four movie. I think I have an issue of Back Issue magazine where he also makes this statement.


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Reverend Meteor


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 11,689




    Quote:
    ... especially, when Doom stole the power of the Silver Surfer.



    Quote:



    Quote:
    He made Doom behave like an aristocrat, that's true, but a noble man ?



    Quote:
    Hmmm, it is probably like when he compared Magneto to Malcom-X.



    Quote:
    Actually, it was Chris Claremont who made Magneto a revolutionary mutant rights fighter.



    Quote:
    During the Silver Age, Magneto behaved like a mutant supremacist.


I love Stan Lee but I don't see his versions of the characters the way he describes them. Other writers fleshed these characters out and gave them the nuance. Oh sure he helped create them and made them fantastical but the sort of nuanced characterization he's talking about wasn't really there in the 60's. Later writers added that IMO.

Like take Roy Thomas. He didn't create most of the characters but it fell to him to write most of the Marvel characters after Stan and Jack moved on and his job was to sort of make sense of them and make the whole shared universe thing work. Some fantastical things had to be dialed back a bit and a working amalgam of these disparate elements was created which we still enjoy today as the Marvel Universe.

These versions of the characters that Stan is talking about...aren't what he wrote. Other writers later guided Doom and gave him that nuance...that character development stuff was big in the 70's and 80's.





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D. Strange


Member Since: Tue Sep 19, 2017
Posts: 272


He didn't say he isn't a villain, he said that he isn't a criminal.

He has been making this point about world domination not being a crime since... at least when Marvel first got a website and had little videos explaining it.

And, he's right. The example he gives is apt, a cop can't stop a guy from wanting to take over the world.

More importantly, nobleman doesn't mean a person who acts nobly, it means a royal. And Dr. Doom is a royal, and there for free from prosecution for most crimes any way. Usually attempted murder/attempted mass murder, would over ride that.

The point is that he isn't a criminal by law... not that he is a good person.

Admittedly, I didn't watch the episode, I looked it up after reading this, and just had a guy reading a quote.

I always viewed him as a guy who views himself as noble, wants to be noble... but isn't.

He likes the illusion. He likes the Delusion.


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Reverend Meteor


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 11,689




    Quote:
    He didn't say he isn't a villain, he said that he isn't a criminal.



    Quote:
    He has been making this point about world domination not being a crime since... at least when Marvel first got a website and had little videos explaining it.



    Quote:
    And, he's right. The example he gives is apt, a cop can't stop a guy from wanting to take over the world.


Is it apt? I mean Doom wanting to take over the world isn't the problem. I kinda want the same thing. But Doom commits numerous crimes in other countries that are not his own to facilitate his desire for world conquest. His desire to rule is for the most part irrelevant. The crimes he commits to achieve that goal are where legality enters the equation. He's often committing acts of terror outside of Latveria. The sad fact is the United States or the European Union don't have a mechanism to bring despots like that to justice (aside from toppling their governments and throwing the countries into chaos) even in the real world if they're heads of state. But he's still committing terrorism and general crimes.



    Quote:
    More importantly, nobleman doesn't mean a person who acts nobly, it means a royal. And Dr. Doom is a royal, and there for free from prosecution for most crimes any way. Usually attempted murder/attempted mass murder, would over ride that.



    Quote:
    The point is that he isn't a criminal by law... not that he is a good person.



    Quote:
    Admittedly, I didn't watch the episode, I looked it up after reading this, and just had a guy reading a quote.



    Quote:
    I always viewed him as a guy who views himself as noble, wants to be noble... but isn't.


Yeah he's not descended from a royal family. He's descended from the Roma (gypsies) who aren't viewed positively. He's king because he killed the rightful king and seized power. I'm sure the other royal families in Europe in the MU don't like him because he's Roma more than because he's a tyrant or an usurper....they've all had their share of that in their own histories.

(you know I would think Doctor Doom being Roma AND a king would be an important combination. Has any real world Roma ever been king of a country before and been allowed to embrace their Roma heritage?)



    Quote:
    He likes the illusion. He likes the Delusion.


Which to me is a little sick. I'm sure the king wasn't Roma. Instead of breaking the aristocracy that marginalized the Roma in Latveria he kept it going so it could benefit him. Instead of bringing about a new enlightenment to his country he uses the systems of the old monarchy to continue to stifle people in his kingdom. He's a Roma playing at being king instead of improving the plight of his people or his kingdom as a whole. Zorba's family really did win...they may have lost control but Latveria is still just as crappy a kingdom as it always was.





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Iron Maiden 

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Member Since: Sun Nov 02, 2003
Posts: 4,877


Yet more often then not, we've seen things get worse when Doom is out of power in Latveria. He wouldn't have had the people rallying around him as we saw in detail in Books of Doom if they loved the current ruling family. Both successors to King Vladimir, Rodolpho and Zorba, were found to be lacking. Rodolpho reformed before he was killed by the Red Skull. Prince Zorba grew paranoid and began to oppress the people using the same guardian robots (not Doombots) that Doom used. Recall that one of them killed Kristoff's mother. John Byrne shows us a Doom more like those few panels in his origin. He is respected if not loved by the people, more so than the Hassens, heriditary ruling family of Latveria. All the heirs are gone now and the people have come to accept Doom's reign as an improvement over the Hassans. Byrne is very clear about that and even recently, Bendis shows us the people still have loyalty for Doom even though he's not ruled Latveria since he became Infamous Iron Man.

He had appointed Latverian's highest ranking general to establish a new government but unfortunately for the people General Karadick proved to be more of an opportunist that had his troops confiscate most of the assets like medical supplies, food etc and was withholding them from the people. Ben came across a child scavenging in the ruins of the city. There must have been some kind of conflict in Doom's absence but Bendis never really tells us any details




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Grey Gargoyle


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 12,126




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Grey Gargoyle


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 12,126



    Quote:
    Other writers later guided Doom and gave him that nuance...that character development stuff was big in the 70's and 80's.


I totally agree.

There was a spectacular evolution of the characters of Doom & Magneto between 1970 & 1985.

It started as soon as 1970 when Doctor Doom became the main protagonist of his own book.

Still, in these stories, he was perceived as the "lesser of two evils" compared to Andro, the Faceless One or Red Skull.

I think that, after Jim Shooter became editor-in-chief in 1978, the portrayal of Doom & Magneto evolved a lot. Chris Claremont & John Byrne had a huge influence on both characters.

Still, it was Jim Shooter himself who showed how much the characters had evolved in the 1980s Secret Wars.

Doom was, apparently, the main antagonist but, once he had the power of the Beyonder, he showed everyone what would really happen if he became omnipotent.
Magneto, right from the start, was not included among the antagonists.


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Grey Gargoyle


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 12,126



    Quote:
    It is very true that Stan tended to write him as a villain. Around the time that Stan & Jack did their last Doom story together in FF 84-87, things changed. Recall at the end of #87, Doom just calls it all off and says the FF are free to leave. He had just killed his assistant Hauptmann for endangering his art collection with a flame thrower. Surprisingly, Reed agrees to leave without further incident. Maybe because they did come in a spies sent by Nick Fury.

    But just prior to FF#87 came out in June of 1969, the first Doom solo story is released in Marvel Super-Heroes #20. It was plotted and co-written by Stan's brother Larry Leiber with Stan as the editor. The following year, Doom gets a solo series in Astonishing Tales. The next time Doom appears in the Fantastic Four, he fights on the side of the Fantastic Four against the Overmind. The story was written by Archie Goodwin with Stan as the editor. Stan had written the earlier issues of the arc so one can assume he had a hand in plotting also. So we can see here that Stan was most likely the one push for more of an anti-hero kind of characterization.

    Stan is pretty notorious for having a bad memory but he has been consistent in saying that he doesn't feel Doom is not purely a villain at least as far back as the first Fantastic Four movie. I think I have an issue of Back Issue magazine where he also makes this statement.


In my opinion, around 1969-1970, Doctor Doom was still portrayed as evil but, when he was the protagonist, he was the "lesser of two evils".

Stan Lee has always portrayed him as a complex villain with a tragic past and who was victim of injustice. But, I think that, during the Silver Age, Doom was portrayed as an insane megalomaniac with a narcissistic personality disorder. He was closer to the portrayal of 20th century dictators, whether they are fascist or communist.

On the contrary, right from the start, the Submariner was portrayed as the "noble antagonist".

Sue Storm & the Avengers were convinced that, under different circumstances, Namor would have been an ally & even a friend.

Then, during the Bronze Age, Submariner became a protagonist. Especially, as soon as he became one of the founding members of the Defenders.

I have the feeling that, slowly & certainly, step by step, Doom & Magneto started to replace him as Marvel's "noble antagonists" during the 1970s and the beginning of the 1980s.

In 1984-1985, in Secret Wars, the change was complete.
Then, there were the trial of Magneto in December 1985, the Emperor Doom graphic novel in June 1987 and the Triumph & Torment graphic novel in 1989.

I'd say that, just before the beginning of the 1990s, Doom & Magneto had been turn into Nietzschean characters, beyond the usual definition of heroes & villains.

From then on, they have been more or less static.


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America's Captain 

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Location: Bayville New Jersey
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 11,838


“Everybody has Doctor Doom misunderstood,” Lee said. “Everybody thinks he’s a criminal, but all he wants is to rule the world. Now, if you really think about it objectively, you could walk up to a policeman, and you could say, ‘Excuse me, officer, I want to tell you something: I want to rule the world.’ He can’t arrest you; it’s not a crime to want to rule the world. So […] it’s unfair that he’s considered a villain, because he just wants to rule the world. Then maybe he could do a better job of it. So I’m very interested in Doctor Doom, and I’d like to clear his name.”

Our pal D. Strange has it right in his comment below.







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Grey Gargoyle


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 12,126




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bd2999


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 16,135


sort of, but not at the start. He was always upper ruling class but was not a good guy at all. He was a villain in every sense of the word in his first few showings.

As time went on that was developed more with Doom still not being a good guy but having his own sense of honor to him. So he was not black and white but grey. His sympathetic origin story (or at least some of it) helped the cause too.

Doom is always a dangerous genius that is just not a good guy most of the time. He will side with other guys if it is in his best interest though.






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