Marvel Comics has many great villains, but Doctor Doom is probably the most iconic one we had the pleasure to experience. Victor Von Doom first appeared in Marvel Comics in 1962 as the archnemesis to the Fantastic Four. Dr. Doom was immediately categorized as the supervillain who would eventually go against the likes of Spider-Man, Black Panther, and Doctor Strange. However, as the years went by, Doom had to ally himself with the heroes to stop “out-of-world” villains to protect the world, so his motivations got a bit “blurry” over the years. So, is Doctor Doom a hero, anti-hero, or villain?
Doctor Doom was always considered something between a villain and an anti-hero, but in his case, Victor Von Doom could be defined as the anti-villain. His motivations were always the same: put humanity on his back and try his best to protect it. However, he tends to be against the “good guys” and be on the bad side of things for the betterment of humanity, which makes Doom one of the most compelling characters in Marvel Comics.
Doom is a historic villain of Marvel Comics who has changed with time, and his character analysis is still discussed today. If you’re interested, stay with us until the end.
Does Dr. Doom become good?
Victor Von Doom first appeared in the Marvel Comics in ‘Fantastic Four’ issue #5 comic book run written and drawn by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. His origins story is very closely connected to Reed Richards, whom he met during his student days at State University in Hegeman, New York.
Reed Richards and his best friend Ben Grimm conducted pranks on Doom, who wasn’t as outgoing as his colleagues. Besides the social aspect of their relationship, Doom and Richards were scientific prodigies compared to the biggest names in history, Leonardo Da Vinci and Albert Einstein.
During his years as a student, Victor became obsessed with developing the machine that would help him free his mother’s soul from the demon Mephisto. Reed pointed out the flaw in his calculations, but Victor ignored him.
Doom didn’t know Reed wanted to help him, so when he experimented, the machine exploded and scarred his face. Victor was expelled from the University for his unethical actions, and from that moment in time, he hated Reed Richards.
This leads to Doom returning to his homeland of Latveria, overthrowing the government there, and becoming the King, infamously known as the country’s leader who will try to take over the world.
Moreover, Doom’s uprise led to a huge conflict between Earth’s superheroes and Doom on many occasions, most notably, the Fantastic Four.
Since then, many major events of Marvel Comics featured Doctor Doom, which made him one of the most notable villains, but recently, even Doom “mellowed” his ways, at least in some cases.
The “black and white” aspect of villainy was erased from Doom’s characters over the years, and people started questioning his “villain” role and character motivations. Doom was a villain and was mostly on the opposite side of the heroes, but his motivations and goals skewed the lines of good and bad.
His experiences as a young Romani child and his mother’s soul being captured by the demon Mephisto motivated Doom to protect humanity and put their interests above everything.
His methods are vile, but his intent to protect humanity is pure. One user on Quora defined Doom perfectly – he is an anti-villain, the opposite of an anti-hero.
In most cases, an anti-hero is defined as a hero striving for good but sometimes doing brutal things to achieve his goal. Punisher comes to mind as he is molded that way in Marvel Comics.
Doom is the opposite – he is on the “bad” side, mostly against heroes, but he justifies his bad ways by putting humanity and Earth first. Nevertheless, Victor Von Doom’s motivations are similar to heroes, but his, at times, vile ways make people consider him a villain. Doom is sometimes a good guy to save the planet, but he is that only temporary.
Why is Dr. Doom considered a villain?
Besides constantly fighting against the heroes, Doom is considered a villain for many things, especially when he uses his vast resources to do everything his way. However, his sometimes twisted look at things leads him to join forces with the heroes to protect the Earth and use them to achieve his goals.
When Onslaught kidnapped Franklin Richards, Doom became a reluctant hero who helped the heroes defeat the powerful enemy but once again returned to his bad methods when he took over the Counter-Earth and tried to rule it. Another example is Susan Storm giving birth to her and Reed’s second child. Reed is away, and Johnny Storm calls Doom to help his sister in her struggling pregnancy.
Doom even helps Johnny with his power malfunction and names Susan’s daughter after his ex-lover, Valeria. However, once again, Doctor Doom finds a way to gain mystical powers by using a newborn baby, Franklin, and his ex-lover to have the powers that will let him rule the world.
Most fans will consider Doom a villain because of his foul ways and the treatment of everyone around him. He uses everything he can to achieve his goals and overshadows his long-time rival, Reed Richards. But even the character’s co-creator, Jack Kirby, didn’t define and predict Doom as the villain.
On multiple occasions, Kirby described Doom as the villain and the hero who changes his alliances as he wants and needs at the given moment.
Doom’s tendency for perfection is what made him an evil man in the eyes of others, which Kirby analyzed as the complexion of his character.
Nevertheless, people consider Doom a villain for many things, which is fair, but looking into his history and doings, Doom could be easily interpreted as anything between a hero and a villain.
One fan described Doom as the anti-villain, and I agree with that notion – Doom wants to help humanity, but his ways are foul in most cases.
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below!