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Friday, October 6, 2017

Dr. Doom Key Comics & Other Issues Part 2

We are at Part 2 to this Dr. Doom key comics series, and although this may be the first time you're reading it, this is the 2nd time I wrote it. Perhaps, it'll be better the 2nd time around.

Gonna keep this intro short. If you missed Part 1 just click that link.

1st Marvel villain solo feature series
1st appearance of Rudolfo Fortunov

A great perception among speculators and quite a few comic investors is that villains are not good comic investments. I believe that whenever there is a debate, Ultron's first full appearance in Avengers #55 is almost always brought up to support it.

Personally, I could care less. I do love me some villains and absolutely Dr. Doom.

Some villains don't make great villains for other superheroes, but Dr. Doom is easily the exception when it comes to this. Sure, most know him as the iconic Fantastic Four foe, but Doom has caused a lot trouble for a variety of heroes and can easily cross-over.

I've always said this about comic villains, but the great ones really make our heroes shine.

Without a great character to put a so-called "hero" to the test and drive them to the breaking point, they and their adventures in the pages in whatever comic book would basically be meh. Alright, let's get to this issue here.

The first issue to Astonishing Tales has the 1st time a Marvel villain got his or her own on-going solo feature. No surprise that it is none other than Victor von Doom (iconic villain).

Who woulda thunk it, right? An all-out villain like Doom as the main protagonist of his own solo feature?

This is the Bronze Age though and early Bronze Age key as Astonishing Tales #1 came out in 1970. Joker headlined his own comic series in 1975 that lasted only 9 issues.

Astonishing Tales did also expand on the mythos of Dr. Doom and his Latveria back ground. Hey, bad guys need bad guys of their own that hit close to home, and in Victor von Doom's case, his baddies are the Fortunovs.

Doom does get revenge on Vladimir for being responsible for the death of his father and obviously takes over Latveria, but Vladimir does have descendants. No surprise that they would try to reclaim their royal birthright.

So Rudolfo Fortunov is the first descendant of Vladimir to appear in comics, and, of course, he is head of a rebellion against Doom. Rudolfo and his rebellion would continue to be Doom's adversaries in most of the 8 issues that his solo feature ran in Astonishing Tales.

In terms of Doom and his back story, there really is a richness that would absolutely make a great film completely independent of the Fantastic Four, as weird as that sounds. I surely hope that they do draw from these type of stories concerning Doom.

I mean, revenge, rebellion? Got a solid basis right there.

How to make a tyrannical villain, who basically wants to rule the world and believes that the world under his rule would be better place to live, a likeable character for the audience to care about? Three words for that: Alexander the Great.

It can be done and I hope it happens. For the most part, this is a key that's historical for Marvel and also for Doom who is still considered an all-out villain. He is not an anti-hero like the Punisher nor Namor are considered. Well, at least, not yet anyway.

Also for the most part, this key comic is pretty over-looked. Not saying that 9.8s are cheap. Just saying for the most part. 

Here's some data to consider, and yes, I'm starting with the CGC Census and then some GoCollect stats for this book.

I could not find examples of pence copies for this specific cover but I think they exist. Issue #2 through #7 have them and the price is 1/- on the cover. Go figure that I also could not find them for issue #8 as well.

So, definitely a must-have for Doom fans. Specubating or investing in comics? All I gotta say is that villains are being considered for movies like Sinister Six, Joker, Harley Quinn, Gotham City Sirens and recently Dr. Doom.

The nerdo-o-sphere has yapped about a Thunderbolts movie, and Suicide Squad, though not very good, already sort of paved the way. Catwoman did get a flick quite a bit before that band of villainous miscreants. 

Astonishing Tales #1 has the cover date of August, 1970 and hit the stands around May, 1970.

1st cameo of Cynthia von Doom
Last issue to Doom solo series

When it comes to Dr. Doom stories, this is always mentioned as a classic or a must-read. I believe it does set up a recurring concept concerning the villain and does humanize him a lot more.

In terms of Cynthia von Doom and her debut in this issue, don't get too excited as it is only a one panel cameo. Here it is below.

Yes, Cynthia is Doom's mommy and we see her for the first time in this issue. Don't get excited about a first full as her earlier appearances that follow this issue are all obviously in flashback and only in a one panel cameo.

They also recap the events that took place in this issue here. So, every year, Victor von Doom gathers enough strength to battle the Devil, later retconned to be Mephisto, or his minion of choice, for the soul of Cynthia von Doom.

This is the last issue to Doom's on-going feature in the comic series. Not sure if that was planned or if it was because the concept of a Marvel villain being the main protagonist of story feature bombed at the time.

Don't care, but this story is a classic and pretty important to the character of Doom. After all, he would seek powerful sorcerers or sorceresses quite often to become more powerful himself so he can win back his mother's soul from Mephisto. 

Morgana le Fay would one. For the most part, I think this comic is a hugely over-looked Dr. Doom key issue currently but that is my opinion.

So, come up with your own conclusion concerning this issue. Another early Bronze Age key and important to the character of Doctor Doom. This issue also has the 3rd appearance of Bobbie Morse, the character that would later become Mockingbird.

 Astonishing Tales #8 has the cover date of October, 1971 and was released in July of the same year.

1st appearance of Zorba Fortunov

Once again, we have another Fotunov. Concerning Latveria and Doom, the Fortunov family are major characters that bring mischief to Victor von Doom quite often.

I think most would probably sweep this character into the minor bin currently. Sure, maybe as a Fantastic Four key over-all, but I would digress when it comes to this being a "Dr. Doom key".

The Fortunovs are not only tied to Doom's origin, but they are also tied to the very nation that Doom took from the family. There is, or was, a major feud between Doom's family and the Fortunovs prior.

Zorba Fortunov is the son Vladimir and brother to Rudolfo.

No surprise that Zorba is also part of a rebellion in Latveria, against the tyrannical Doom to reclaim his families royal right. With the Fantastic Four's help, Zorba even succeeded in doing so, and he would even prove to be more tyrannical than Dr. Doom.

The issue where that happens in coming up soon, but this issue, Fantastic Four #198 has the cover date of September, 1978 and was released June, 1978.

1st appearance of Kristoff Vernard
Death of Zorba Fortunov

I love this John Byrne cover. Not saying it's a classic or anything. Just saying I've always liked this cover.

Okay, let's recap a little bit here. So remember Zorba that we just talked about in the listing right before this one?

Well, I did mention that his rebellion was successful in ousting one Victor von Doom from the throne of Latveria. Yep, and that happened in Fantastic Four #200.

Well, as mentioned before, Zorba proved to be even worse than Doom. Fantastic Four Annual #15 saw Latverian revolts against Zorba begin to happen.  

You can read all about it over at in the "notes" section at the bottom. Gonna sidetrack a bit here.

John Byrne's run with Chris Claremont helped to revitalize the X-Men as we all know. However, John Byrne also has a fan-favorite run on Fantastic Four in which he wrote, penciled and inked.

Byrne also made more strides in humanizing the villain, and we can see that in this issue. Although arrogant and a narcissist, Doom does seem to care for the people of Latveria and has a strange sense of loyalty and soft spot.

So Latveria is in turmoil since Zorba took over. Doom swallows his pride and seeks the help of his arch enemies, the Fantastic Four.

They return to the nation and a woman loyal to Doom updates the Fantastic Four on what a mistake they all made by ousting Doom.

So Doom may be a cunning liar in order to steal powers (Silver Surfer and the Beyonder) and he may be seen as a tyrant, but according to this story, Doom kept his people safe from crime and didn't let his people go hungry.

Another depiction of Doom's strange sense of loyalty is when Zorba kills the woman and Doom is pissed about it, as she was under the "personal protection" of him.

So the Fantastic Four help Doom to regain Latveria, and Doom has a showdown with Zorba which ends with the death of Vladimir's son. This issue debuts Kristoff Vernard, and he is the young boy of the mother who was under the "personal protection" of Doom in this story.

Byrne also had Doom adopt Kristoff as his ward, and the character would end up becoming somewhat a foe for Victor von Doom and even impersonate him. That happens later, however.

Released in July, Fantastic Four #247 has the cover date of October, 1982.

1st Kristoff Vernard as Doctor Doom

The great Dr. Doom dead? Well, his Doombots thought so and did some really funked up stuff to his ward Kristoff to make him think that he was the real Dr. Doom.

As mentioned earlier, Kristoff Vernard assumes the mantle of Dr. Doom and keeps the villainous legacy alive and well but first he needs a bit more information before he can attempt the task at hand.

Yes, Kristoff is still a boy but it matters not to the Doombots. So they transfer the memories of Victor von Doom into the brain of Kristoff and this is a good excuse to retell the origin of Dr. Doom.

I think Byrne did change some things in the origin. Doom's face was but scarred in the college explosion.

I think origins before had that moment as the time Victor's face was horribly disfigured, but not in this origin. In this origin, his face was horribly disfigured when he first put the Doom mask on.

Uh, yeah, they didn't wait for it to cool off first. Okay, so Kristoff, as a little kid, gains the memories of Dr. Doom and assumes the mantle in this issue.

For the record, he only shows up as Doom in four panels, one of them fully, two on a computer monitor, and the other is just a profile shot of his face in the Doom mask. The Fantastic Four would confront Kristoff as Doom in the next issue of #279 and discover that he's just a kid.

He's a kid who now happens to believe that he is the real Dr. Doom and thus Victor von Doom. Yes, this would cause trouble not only for the Fantastic Four but for Doctor Doom when he returns.

Just another notch in his mythos. Hey, even villains sometimes wish to have a successor and Kristoff is just that for Doom. 

May, 1985 is the cover date for Fantastic Four #278.

Dr. Strange earns title of Sorcerer Supreme
Extended origin Cynthia von Doom

Was going to put this in the outro but decided to feature it. As mentioned before, Doom is always looking for other powerful sorcerers to help him win back the soul his mommy.

What better sorcerer than Dr. Strange, yeah? Actually, the Aged Ghengis has summoned all the most powerful sorcerers to a gathering that would test and determine who would be the Sorcerer Supreme.

And there will be two left - Dr. Strange and Doctor Doom in a magical battle for the ultimate honor. If you're a fan of the magical and mystical side of Marvel, this is definitely a read for you.

Doctor Strange is the winner and I believe this is the very comic where he earns the title of Sorcerer Supreme. Strange has to fulfill a wish or "boon", and Dr. Doom seizes the opportunity to get the new Sorcerer Supreme to help free the soul of his mother.

So, off to Mephisto's domain and the two would team up to battle him but not before an origin of course. After all, Doctor Strange does not know the story of Cynthia von Doom, and at this time, I don't think readers knew too much about it at the time either.

Well, we know that she made some kind of pact and the devil has her soul but Marvel Graphic Novel #49 goes into quite a bit more detail. The devil is in the details, after all.

I think this is the first extended origin of Cynthia von Doom which reveals that an evil Baron had tormented the gypsies, especially Doom's parents. I'll let the actual comic tell the story a bit.

Alright, jumping in here as required, and as we all can assume, Doom betrays Strange and makes a bargain with Mephisto. Yep, for the life of his mother or so it seems on the surface.

However, it seems that mommy has a problem with that.

Sorcerer Supreme and Doom then team up against the evil of Mephisto in a pretty bad ass battle. Did you recognize the artist?

Some Mike Mignola goodness here. Really great read and this comic actually sheds a lot more light on Cynthia von Doom for the first time and thus expands on Dr. Doom's origin as well.

I won't ruin the ending or what happens next for those who are Dr. Doom or even Doctor Strange fans but have yet to read this graphic novel. Quite a bit going on as the origin of how Dr. Strange becomes Sorcerer Supreme and a full Cynthia von Doom origin.

 Marvel Graphic Novel #49 has the cover date of July, 1989.

1st appearance of Doom 2099 (preview)?

Okay, so Overstreet and most likely the third party grading companies note this as the first appearance of Doom 2099, which is actually Victor von Doom from Earth-616. Yes, this is also an 8 page preview.

Some believe a preview should count and some don't. This is a comic book for sure, but it also does state it is a preview in the table of contents.

The preview contains the first 8 pages that was originally created and primarily intended for the 1st issue of Doom 2099 #1. I don't like previews that do this, and I usually consider the issue that the actual preview was intended for to actually tell a story and not sell the issue the "1st full".

I know! I know! All that cameo, minor, brief, 1st full bugs the crap outta me too. 

Okay, I'm lazy so I am going to do this all in the same listing. If you actually read the post, which is why I actually write stuff under the listing heading, you won't miss much. If you're a lazy ass specubator who just looks at the title and image...oh, well.

So Doom 2099 #1 goes here, and I consider it the full appearance of Doom 2099. Now, this might be highly arguable and even debatable but I also consider this Doom's 1st ever self-titled on-going comic series.

If you know this series and read it back in the day, you might see where I'm coming from with this. If you don't, you may be scratching your head or maybe you could care less.

Humor me a bit while I explain my position here. Most of the 2099 characters are different than their original counterparts because the timeline is in the future.

We all know that. Miguel O'Hara in 2099 took up the mantle of Spider-Man and Jake Gallows is the Punisher in 2099.

However, the running mystery in the first half of the Doom 2099 comic series was whether this Doom in the future is another dude or the original. Like I said, I'm going to spoil it and we learn in Doom 2099 #25 that this Doom in 2099 is not a different guy but is fact the original Victor von Doom.

Yes, Victor von Doom from the mainstream universe of Earth-616 but just in the future and obviously doesn't start off remembering much of his past. He does remember it in issue #25 of Doom 2099 though.

Panels above from Doom 2099 #25

So if it's the same character, isn't Doom 2099 technically the first on-going comic series that bears his name in the title?

Not to say that Doom 2099 #1 is a great spec or anything. I wouldn't doubt if that issue was over-printed back in the day. 

Yes, there are newsstands of the first issue of Doom 2099 and supposedly newsstand distribution would be around 15 to 10 percent back in 1992 according to Chuck over at Mile High.

Doom 2099 did last like 44 issues or close to that. Marvel Comics Presents #118 is cover dated December, 1992 and came out 21 days before Doom 2099 #1.


I originally had this book featured above but changed my mind and will put here in the outro as an honorable mention. Iron Man #150 does have the 1st meeting between Doctor Doom and Morgana le Fay.

As mentioned in Part 3, Doom and le Fay did have a daughter together in later comics. In this issue, Doom seeks out Morgana to somewhat help concerning the whole having mommy's soul ordeal, and Doom does recap his yearly scraps with the Devil in this issue.  

I highly doubt that most of these are that well-known concerning Doom's mythos. Just because they are not that well-known does not mean they are not good or they are not significant to the character.

Gonna keep this outro short. Gimmie a break. I had to rewrite all this again from scratch. There is a Part 3. Just click the link to continue this Dr. Doom key issues series. Click the Part 1 link below if you missed that.


  1. Hey TCM,

    I' m actually not on to/ in to the Doomster, but
    I remember he was quite cool in Secret Wars.
    Any key issue goodness there?

    Max Rebo

    1. Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars #10 - He steals Beyonders powers. Only comic in that series that sees a somewhat important Dr. Doom moment.

  2. Hi Mayhem & friends,

    since we just had it with the Hughes covers,
    I wanted to bring your attention to the new Harley
    and Ivy meet Betty and Veronica Hughes Variant.
    Love this one cause the gals on the cover are really striking
    poses that say it all. As I heard on another site, prices
    are allready 2 - 3 times coverprice, so hurry modern
    variant lovers...

    Speculation Jones

  3. Hiya M.,

    since I know you are a Punisher fan,
    just bought a Garth Ennis, Richard
    Corben Oneshot called The Punisher
    The End. Great combo! Maybe you like?


    1. Ace, I'll check it out. How is it?

    2. Hey TCM,

      I just found time to read it. It' s
      cool but also very dark. Garth
      Enis has done better stories though.
      You should only get it if you
      are a Corben fan like me. Other-
      wise I would recommend the
      Corben stint on Hellblazer cause
      the story really is knockin' it out
      of the park!


  4. Needs FF#258, which is a Doom solo issue and a classic cover.

  5. Hey y' all,

    New Mutants Trailer anyone?
    I liked the grim and gritty style.
    Any investment tips so far? Which
    character did you recognice?

    Max Rebo

    1. The only books that I think are worth investing in are Marvel Graphic Novel #4 1st print VF or better(raw or graded), New Mutants #1 graded 9.8 or high grade Canadian Edition, and New Mutants #14 graded 9.6/9.8 or high grade Canadian Edition. If your into previews you can also look for Amazing Heroes #16.


    2. I would put UXM #160 over New Mutants #14. I sorta did a debunk on New Mutants #14 in the G+ community and presented Chris Claremont's short view on it. I've yet to do a full blown article on the main site though.