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Monday, October 2, 2017

Doctor Doom Key Comics & Other Issues Part 1

Yes, and "other issues" because Victor von Doom has quite a few issues. We shall get to those.

This was requested a while back by Da Ragu when news first broke that a solo Dr. Doom flick was in production. The thought was very much like is Doctor Doom key comics worth investigating or not?

I didn't think it would hurt to investigate to see if there were other significant Dr. Doom key issues. I mean, he is an iconic Marvel villain and arguably one of the most iconic in Marveldom. 

What else is there to Doom besides 1st, 2nd, 3rd appearance, origin, and first villain team-up? I thought, What the heck? We can find out and maybe uncover some not so well-known sleepers or minor keys. 

Maybe some that aren't necessarily keys either or just not seen as significant yet but are to the character. Some say villains aren't good comic investments. I think there are exceptions and Doctor Doom is definitely one of them, but this should be fun if not anything else.

Paging Dr. Doom, paging Dr. Doom.  

The doctor is in!

1st appearance & origin Doctor Doom

One of the best and notable Fantastic Four key issues since it debuts one of the most iconic FF and Marvel villains ever, Doctor Doom. He is Victor von Doom and not only is this guy a super genius that invents a whole bunch of cool tech but he is also a powerful sorcerer.

Double the trouble and double the villainy. He is also the ruler of his very own nation, and that is the fictional nation of Latveria. Needless to say that he is a ruthless dictator and Doomstadt is its capitol.

Anyway, we'll get to Latveria a bit more. So, the story goes that after Lee and Kirby kicked off the Fantastic Four title, it had been selling quite well.

The next step was to introduce a new baddie that would be the crème de la crème of super villains, one whose very name would make fans fear for the lives of their favorite heroes. Legends Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were up to the task.

In the words of Stan Lee himself, the name for this sensational villain was to be "eloquent in its simplicity — magnificent in its implied menace," and so it was Doctor Doom!

As most already know cause you can pretty much look it up on wikipedia, Kirby modeled Doom's look on death and wanted the metal armor to signify a creature void of flesh and thus mercy. In his own words:

"It was the reason for the armor and the hood. Death is connected with armor and the inhuman-like steel. Death is something without mercy, and human flesh contains that mercy."

What about Doom's first origin? Let's take a look at this pretty short origin of Doctor Doom.

As most know, there are pence copies or "UK Editions" for this particular issue. They are considered 1st prints as well, and as I've said prior, a niche market is growing for them.

I'll put the image for your reference in case you're into them or these pence copies garner your fancy somewhere down the line. They are currently harder to find and more scarce in the secondary market.

As shown before, the CGC Census is a lot more sparse than the regular U.S. Editions or copies. Not hyping them up or pushing them. I'm just stating what it is at the time of this writing, and that is all.

Like 'em or don't care for 'em: They do exist. Fantastic Four #5 has the cover date of July, 1962 and was released in April of the same year.

2nd appearance of Doctor Doom
2nd S.A. Sub-Mariner appearance
1st Marvel super-villain team up

Usually, I'd say if you can't afford the debut of a major comic character you can try their 2nd appearance, but in this case, this issue is pretty pricey already itself. No surprise there since this issue does have Doom's 2nd appearance and it goes hand-in-hand with Namor's 2nd Silver Age appearance.

I know it's not a true 2nd appearance as Subby is from the Golden Age, but it's the 2nd appearance for the character under the Marvel banner. Anyway, those two things already make this comic pretty awesome.

But there is extra gravy to this issue, and this issue also has the first villain team up under the Marvel banner as well. That is very cool. Come to think about it, is Namor the earliest comic anti-hero for Marvel?

Mind is wandering there. So, with all the key issue goodness for this comic, it's still a cheaper alternative than Doom's debut but already pretty expensive. Not surprising since it is an early Fantastic Four comic and the FF kicked off the world of Marvel Comics.

Fantastic Four #5 CGC 8.0 | Fantastic Four #6 CGC 8.0
$5,655.00 (Sep 2015 | $1595.95 (Jun 2017)

Fantastic Four #5 CGC 7.0 | Fantastic Four #6 CGC 7.0
$3,500.00 (Sep 2015 | $750.00 (Aug 2017)

Fantastic Four #5 CGC 4.0 | Fantastic Four #6 CGC 4.0
$1,450.00  (Jun 2017 | $395.00 (Sep 2017)

Interesting numbers of slabbed sales data that GoCollect has for these two issues. Take from it what you will. I already have.

UK pence copies obviously exist. Not that many slabbed copies and this issue is pretty sparse in high grade 9.6 and 9.4 so far in the CGC Census.

Zero 9.8s as of this writing. Is this an over-looked key? Well, at least, CGC does note this as the 2nd appearance of Dr. Doom.

Anyway, don't wanna look like I'm hyping this book up or anything, but important key for Dr. Doom. Released June of 1962, Fantastic Four #6 has the cover date of September, 1962.

3rd appearance of Doctor Doom

Doctor Doom returns to build upon his legacy as being the formidable foe of the Fantastic Four. This his 3rd appearance, and other than that, there really isn't much else to be honest.

Well, there is the gag that Stan Lee and Jack Kirby are in this comic. First time ever in a Fantastic Four comic but I am not sure if this is the first time they put themselves in a comic story.

According to, Stan Lee did put himself in the 78th issue of Patsy and Hedy. That came out more than a year prior to this issue.

According to the same source, this may be King Kirby's first appearance in a comic. I'm not 100% sure about that though, so take with a grain of salt.

Cover date for Fantastic Four #10 is January, 1963 and release date is October, 1962.

4th appearance of Doctor Doom
1st Ant-Man x-over
1st appearance of Pearla 
1st appearance of Sub-Atomica

Sub-Atomica and the Microverse in Marvel Comics is a bit confusing. I tried to explain this in the Micronauts key issues/comics series and brought up this comic.

With news of Janet van Dyne definitely being in the Ant-Man and Wasp flick and all that jargon about how she went sub atomic, speculation has it that a region of the Microverse called Sub-Atomica just might be explored in the sequel. Sounds logical to me.

Ant-Man does guest-star in this issue like the cover suggests, so there is an early connection with Sub-Atomica and Ant-Man. Sub-Atomica is a location in the Microverse and somewhere in comics the two were merged into one universe.

Back then, however, and in this comic, Sub-Atomica appears to be a teeny weeny tiny universe in which Doctor Doom had shrunk down and into after his last encounter with the Fantastic Four. Of course, he ended up taking over this realm of the Microverse.

As usual, the team ends up going to this strange tiny universe and crossing paths with ole Doom again. Not a very well-known key but connects with Ant-Man's micro world and the world of the Micronauts.

Maybe even Psycho-Man since he is greatly associated with Sub-Atomica and the Microverse. Princess Pearla is a pretty minor character but is royalty on the Mirwood planet in Sub-Atomica. She would later ascend to Queen and Psycho-Man would overthrow her kingdom twice.

After researching a bit more, this issue does appear to be the first Ant-Man cross-over in comics. With that said and having the debut of Sub-Atomica, this just might be more of an Ant-Man key issue being that it is his cross-over.

Some other minor goodness is that this is the first meeting between Doctor Doom and Ant-Man. It actually might very well be the first meeting between the Fantastic Four and Ant-Man.

There are pence copies or UK Editions for this comic as well. Cover is to the left for reference as usual.

As shown above, both CGC and Overstreet recognize this issue as the 1st Ant-Man cross-over. Not an overly sought-out Silver Age key at the moment but not cheap in high grades either.

Not really sure if this one is that well-known or not. Most movement for slabbed copies are in the 8.0 and below range.

3 most recent sales this year for 8.0 CGC copies were two on eBay and one on Heritage. Only 2017 sales numbers I could find for this issue at that slabbed grade:


Heritage: $479 (February)
eBay: $535 (July) and $450.00 (April)

However, since 2007, the most slabbed sales were 7.0s for this issue and there's only been 13 of 'em sold on eBay from then 'till now. Not that well-known and in-demand is pretty accurate.

Take from that what you will also. Just an observation, and although I will not feature it, I will mention that the next issue of Fantastic Four #17 has the 5th appearance of Dr. Doom.

July, 1963 is the cover date of Fantastic Four #16. It hit the newsstands around April, 1963.

1st meeting of Spider-Man & Doctor Doom
1st Doctor Doom x-over
1st Spidey & Doctor Doom battle

Amazing Spider-Man #5 is still an important issue as it's the first time Spider-Man meets one of the most iconic villains in the Marvel Comics universe. That's right, the wise-crackin' wall crawler meets Doctor Doom here for the first time. 

Seeing that both he and Spidey are outcasts, ole Doctor Doom tries to recruit Spider-Man in joining his cause for evil and that the two of them together could rule the world! Hey, who doesn't want to rule the world?

Well, Spidey doesn't, and he doesn't buy into Doctor Doom's brilliant idea either. Of course, this 1st meeting between our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man and the iconic arch nemesis of the Fantastic Four would evolve into their 1st battle as well.

Actually, there would be two face offs between the two contained in this mighty issue. After Spidey escapes their first skirmish, Doom plans to capture Spidey but captures a certain Flash Thompson dressed as the webhead instead. 

The 2nd battle is definitely longer and more action-packed than the first. Good ole Silver Age action drawn by Steve Ditko. 

Definitely a classic issue and a great Spider-Man Silver Age key comic as well. Only one 9.8 in the CGC Census at the time of this writing and it's a Universal. 9.6s only has 9 currently with none of them being restored. Only twelve 9.4s and one is under the Restored label. Total is 1,510 registered copies.

Onto Pence copies for this issue and the highest graded copies are so far are four 7.0s, all Universal, non-restored copies. 2nd highest are also four 6.5 non-restored comics. Only 16 total copies graded to date concerning UK Pence copies of this issue in the registry. Cover price is still 9d in the price box.

Pence copies for these early Spidey issues are rising in price and demand. Needless to say, but the niche is growing and becoming more recognized by collectors. Here's the UK Pence CGC stats.

This was taken directly from Part 1 to the Spider-Man Silver Age Key Issues series that was recently done. Numbers may be slightly different since then (January 7th, 2017). 
The Amazing Spider-Man #5 has the cover date of October, 1963 and the LoC copyright date of July 9, 1963.

Expanded origin of Doctor Doom
1st appearance of Werner von Doom
1st appearance of Boris

I was tempted to note this a "full" origin of Doom. Boy, but this issue does have a more complete origin or back ground story for Victor von Doom.

It's not the first origin of the villain, but we do see the first appearance of Victor's pops, Werner von Doom, in flashback.  Of course, this issue reveals Doom's back history that eventually leads him to his rivalry with Reed Richards and how they first met.

Getting slightly ahead of ourselves here. Let's get to the basic core of Doom's story.

This origin is important and key because it establishes important things about the character and villainy of Doom. It establishes that he was from a gypsy family and community that was looked down upon by most of Latveria, especially the ruthless ruler King Vladimir Fortunov (debuts in this issue also).

Much like Magneto, Victor and his people were persecuted by this ruthless King Vladimir Fortunov, and cruelty directly affected the boy who would later become Doom. 

A disastrous set up and we can all guess what is to happen next. The King does hunt down him and his father.

So, we also learn some more interesting and important facts about Doom and his lineage. His mother knew magic also and left behind some things that would shape the character of Victor von Doom and his own magical prowess.
As Victor makes more mischief for the King and Latveria as the years go by, they too begin to hunt him down. Regardless, his magic and intelligence always fool the King's men. 

Doom would use robot decoys to keep from getting caught, much like he would later use Doombots in his villainous career. Word of his genius would spread.

And at the university, he would meet Reed Richards. The original origin doesn't really explain much of a connection to Doom and Reed, but this origin does make that important connection. 

So we can clearly see an early glimpse of Doom's world class arrogance. It's this arrogance that has led to his downfall quite a few times.

However, this arrogance would lead to Richards rooming with Grimm instead and his fateful disfigurement. I think he would blame the accident on Richards in later comics.

And finally, we have the famous scene where he acquires his famous armor, mask and hooded garb.

So, pretty important origin that would establish quite a few things that we all connect to the character today. Not sure just how well-known this key origin is, and Overstreet just notes it as a Dr. Doom origin.

Here's how CGC notes it as of this writing.

Pretty uneventful notation as well, but this origin, although not the first, is important for both the characters of Doctor Doom and Reed Richards as well.

Yes, there are Canadian Editions of this issue as well. I don't know much about these, but I do believe that these Canadian Editions basically had the same cover and price.

No different prices for these, I believe. However, they were noticeably different.

Regular back cover and Canadian Edition back cover

The backs were blank and I think the inside cover was also blank where the ads should be like in the regular U.S. copies. I remember Strange Tales Annual #2 had one of these Canadian Editions without adverts.

Fantastic Four Annual #2 has the cover date of September, 1964. It hit the stands around July, 1964.

Dr. Doom steals Silver Surfer's powers
4rth Silver Surfer on cover

Part of this story was greatly used in the Fantastic Four Rise of the Silver Surfer movie, and Dr. Doom does end up stealing Silver Surfer's power and board. If there were a villain who would think and could pull such a coup, it has to be Doctor Doom.

The Inhumans also make an appearance, and the story is continued in the next issue, Fantastic Four #58. I believe the story arc ends with issue #60.

Yes, it's a whole Dr. Doom goes cosmic, and I believe it's considered a classic Doom & Silver Surfer story arc. It's definitely pretty well-known among collectors and even more so since the flick that based part of it off this story arc.

This is the 4rth comic cover the Silver Surfer graces and Fantastic Four #57 was released September of 1966 with the cover date of December of the same year.

1st appearance of Valeria

Who says that super-villains don't need love too? Sure, they do.

Apparently, Victor von Doom wasn't always hard-hearted, and supposedly he and Valeria were teenage lovers. Doom a softie for anyone?

This villain does have them as we'll later learn. Because Doom is such a badass, Diablo wants to do a super-villain team up but the Doctor is having none of it.

That's until, Diablo reveals that he has Valeria hostage. There is then a brief flashback that reveals a bit more about Doom's past and this woman who holds a special place in his heart.

Then this memory connects with part of the origin of Victor von Doom told in Fantastic Four Annual #2. Actually, the character of Valeria is written into Doom's origin in this very issue as shown below.

So it retells the death of Victor von Doom's father but also adds this extra bit of information that has Valeria written into it.

So this retelling of Dr. Doom's origin not only writes Valeria into it, but it also reveals that before he leaves to study in the U.S., he already had become cold-hearted and intent on seeking ultimate power to basically rule mankind. Thus, he left Valeria behind.

Now, it seems that old feelings start coming back when it comes to Valeria. He fights to free her from Diablo but she would realize that Doom was far from the boy she had once loved so dearly.

In the end, she refuses Doom and leaves him this time. Another tragic ending for the iconic villain and another addition to his back story and mythos. 

CGC is a bit sparse for this issue. Don't think it's all that in-demand, even though a 9.8 sold last year (2016) for $1050. Most recent 9.4 CGC sold for only $176.50 back in September of last year also.

When it comes to character of Doctor Doom in the movies, I wonder if they'll ever tell any of this stuff on the big screen. So far, Hollyweird has yet to do a good on-screen translation of this iconic villain.

We shall have to see how they once again tackle this character in a third attempt. I'd like to see a little more back story.

Roy Thomas wrote this story with art by Stan Lee's brother, Larry Lieber. Cover date for Marvel Super-Heroes #20 is May, 1969 and hit the newsstands February of the same year.


Please do not mistake the Valeria with the daughter of Reed and Sue Richards. Two different characters but they are both connected by Dr. Doom.

Getting ahead of ourselves here, but we do have Part 2 to this thing. Despite that these comics may not be known or not on the radar for most doesn't mean they aren't significant to the character of Doom.

It just means they aren't that well-known. Anyway, I had all three parts done and all the sudden my Part 2 draft vanished. Super mucking pissed.

Looks like I'll be rewriting the entire post again.

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