It was July of 1962. Andy Warhol was unveiling his latest creation, his famous Campbell’s Soup Cans. The Rolling Stones played their first gig in London. Wal-Mart opened their first store in Arkansas. But more importantly, The Fantastic Four met their greatest foe in Doctor Doom.
Victor von Doom is more than just the power-hungry leader of Latveria, he’s a comic icon and one of the greatest threats to ever appear in Marvel Comics. His resume is so powerful that IGN’s List of the top 100 Comic Book Villains placed him third overall. His metal mask and green cloak have become a lingering nightmare for Reed Richards and the rest of the Fantastic Four.
But could we have been wrong about Doctor Doom all along? Could it possibly be that he’s not a villain… but just misunderstood? Stan Lee seems to think so.
14-year-old KJ Ricci got the amazing opportunity to interview Lee during the Rhode Island Comic-Con. Ricci cut right to the tough questions, such as Lee’s favorite Marvel villain. While the legendary comic writer offered his choice of Doctor Doom, he was quick to question the term “villain” used to describe Doom’s methods.
“Everybody has Doctor Doom misunderstood. 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.”
Lee makes a fair point; wanting to rule the world is not a crime (yet!). However, once you look at the lengths Victor went to in countless attempts to secure world domination… well, he clearly falls into that villain category. From setting off countless bombs, employing mind manipulation, destroying other realities and, of course, to that time he captured the Infinity Gauntlet, it’s going to be hard for Lee to clear Von Doom’s name with a rap sheet like that.
Perhaps Lee is looking towards the future in regards to Doctor Doom. Recently, Victor seemed to be renouncing his evil ways following the events of Secret Wars. This all came to a head in Infamous Iron Man where Doom did the unthinkable and actually took over the mantle of Iron Man. Does Stan Lee’s comments mean Doom could perhaps leave his villainous ways behind? Or will Doctor Doomuse his new Iron Man persona to finally do what he always wanted: to control the world!!!
While Lee’s admiration with Doctor Doom may never be fully understood, there’s another Marvel bromance Stan offered his thoughts on. Regardless of the nature of their relationship, Stan granted his superior wisdom on the following question of questions: who would win in a fight… Hulk or Thor?
“I would have to say Thor, because as strong as Hulk is, he’s still a mortal. Thor is one of the Norse gods!”
We saw Round 1 during the Hulk/Thor fight scene in The Avengers.
Perhaps next year’s Thor: Ragnarok will put The God of Thunder face-to-face with The Incredible One in the gladiator arena for Round 2! Then we can see if Lee is on-point with his assessment!