Appearing in "When Titans Clash!"
- Fantastic Four
Races and Species:
- Earth (Main story and flashback)
- United States of America (Main story and flashback)
- China (Only in flashback)
- Tibet (Only in flashback)
- Victorium (First appearance)
- Vortex Machine
- Refrigeration Unit
- Doctor Doom's Armor
Synopsis for "When Titans Clash!"
Doom laments over the death of his clone, who suddenly betrayed his plans to have a puppet successor to the Latverian throne to appease the United Nations. Witnessing this is Doom's mortal foes the Fantastic Four. When the Thing tries to pummel Doom, the monarch electrifies his armor, allowing him to escape his enemies and flee into the next room, sealing the door behind him. When the Thing tries to smash through the metal door, Reed stop him, showing the Thing that it had been boobie trapped with an disintegrator. Reed then chastises Ben for not following orders and commands him to get back in line.
Meanwhile, Doom is in another part of the castle and is informed by one of his guards that Zorba is leading the people into a revolt. Going out on the balcony to witness this, Doom sees that he guard was correct. Answering this affront swiftly, Doom activates his vortex machine, creating a massive tornado. Doom then orders his guard to have the statue he had constructed loaded up in a plane to be taken to the United Nations building in New York City. Soon, a Latverian passenger jet takes off with Doom on board, destination: New York.
Back at Doom's castle, Reed manages to squeeze through a small opening between rooms and shut off the trap so that the rest of the team can escape, but it is a close call. When they are free they are reunited with Zorba and see that his people are caught in the vortex created by Doom, and deactivate it. Finding Doom's plans that are shocked to learn that their foe is plotting to decimate the entire planet. They quickly find and rescue Alicia, freeing her from Doom's dungeons. After Ben and Alicia, and Reed and Sue share a romantic moment, the Fantastic Four prepare to stop Doctor Doom's plans.
Chapter Two: Beginning of the End!
Doom has arrived at his lab in Upstate New York preparing for the next phase of his plan when one of his men alerts him of the approaching Pogo-Plane. Doom orders missiles launched at the FF's ship, but Johnny flames on and uses his heat to lead the heat-seeking missiles off the trail of his comrades. Reed then orders Ben, Johnny and Sue to head to the United Nations to stop Doom's schemes there while he bails out of the ship to deal with things on the ground. After Johnny destroys the missiles with a nova blast, Sue pulls him back aboard the ship and they take off for New York City.
Floating down to Doom's American estate, Reed enters the building and is quickly confronted by his old foes. Doom then recollects how they had first met in college and reminds Reed of his expertise in both magic and science. When recalling his experiment to reach the netherworld through a scientific device, Doom comes to believe that Reed somehow was responsible for tampering with the experiment. Explaining how he went on to become Doctor Doom following the resulting explosion. Doom and Reed then begin trading blows, but Doom ultimately gets the upper hand on Reed and manages to break free. Fleeing into another room, Doom then begins activating the various death traps hidden in his manse. Although Reed manages to dodge most of the defenses, he soon finds himself suspended over a flaming pit with the heap sapping his energy.
Chapter Three: At Long Last, Defeat! At Long Last, Victory!
A number of Doom's guards crash a meeting of the United Nations at the general assembly in New York City in order to present the massive statue of their leader, Doctor Doom. Just as they place the statue in the middle of the assembly and signal their master, the other members of the Fantastic Four arrive. Back in his lab, Doom hears the signal and leaves Richards to his fate, confident that his mortal foe will surely die in his absence. Left to his own devices, Reed notices that there is a gas vent pumping the room full of chlorine, an attempt by Doom to utterly ensure his foe dies. Holding his breath, Reed stretches his body thinly enough to fit through the pipes of the gas vent and burst out on the other side.
Unaware of this, Doom enters the crystal complex that he had constructed and activates the viewing monitor, showing the Fantastic Four clashing with his soldiers at the UN. Before Doom can activate his secret weapon, Reed attacks! Placing a scrambler device on Doom's armor causes most of its devices to short out, but Doom once again gets the upper hand thanks to the cooling systems -- freezing Reed in a block of ice.
With is final victory in hand, Doom activates the device, which causes the eyes of his statue at the UN to begin to glow. The beams wash over the UN delegates, turning them into Doctor Doom's mindless slaves. Doom then orders the government officials to attack the Fantastic Four, who can do nothing to strike back.
As Doom gloats over this latest turn, Reed bursts free of his icy prison and attacks Doom anew. Once again, Doom begins taking the advantage over Reed and begins trying to choke Richards to death. During the struggle, Reed pulls off Doom's mask, leaving him vulnerable to the insanity-inducing crystals. Seeing his horribly scarred face reflected back to him millions of times over is enough to apparently drive Doctor Doom insane. With his foe defeated, Reed deactivates the weapon, causing the UN delegates to cease their attack on his teammates and return to normal.
Epilogue: Latveria: A Nation Anew!
In the aftermath of the battle, the Fantastic Four have returned to Latveria where Prince Zorba has assumed the throne pending a democratic election. Zorba thanks the Fantastic Four for helping liberate his people and tells them that the catatonic Victor von Doom will be taken care of and given the best care possible. Elsewhere in Doom's former castle stands the statue of Latveria's former leader. Although originally carved to look like Victor's face prior to his disfigurement, the face of the statue suddenly begins to crumble.
- The crystal Solartron device was first seen by Reed Richards back in Fantastic Four #196.
- Doom's castle in Upstate New York is a very apropos place for him to battle Reed Richards, as that was the location of his first battle against the Fantastic Four back in Fantastic Four #5.
- Likewise Doom's rehashing of his origins (albeit abridged and a very skewed recollection) was first represented in Fantastic Four #5 and expanded upon in Fantastic Four Annual #2 and Books of Doom #1–6, among other retellings.
- As revealed in Astonishing Tales #8, the soul of Victor's mother Cynthia is trapped in the nether realm of Mephisto (clarified in Doctor Strange and Doctor Doom: Triumph and Torment #1). His attempts to contact the nether world were to reach his mother's lost soul.
- The jamming device used by Reed here was brought along with him to Latveria in Fantastic Four #197 and what he used to break free from all of Doom's traps between that issue and this one.
- Doom mentions that his mother was murdered by "a suspicious, frightened, pack of cloddish morons who were too stupid to see the truth." Which again is a somewhat skewed recollection on Doom's part.
- As revealed in Fantastic Four Annual #2, Doom's mother Cynthia was killed by the soldiers of King Vladimir.
- Cynthia wasn't exactly an innocent as revealed in Doctor Strange and Doctor Doom: Triumph and Torment #1 when she made a pact with Mephisto for more power to get revenge against the king for persecuting her people. This led to the slaughter of an entire town, including innocent women and children. Horrified by what she had done, Cynthia allowed herself to be executed.
- Although Doom is seemingly driven insane in this story, it's revealed in Fantastic Four Annual #15 that it was a ruse.
- Doom's flees from Latveria to his castle in New York - he tells his pilots in page 9 to go to New York, and the narrator identifies the castle in page 15. In page 38, however, the narrator mistakenly says that Doom is in Latveria.
- Wolfman is editor, Gruenwald is assistant editor, Shooter is consulting editor.
- This giant-size issue has a cover price of 60 cents.
- This issue contains a letters page, Baxter Building Building Bulletins. Letters are published from Rom Steinke, Robert Cantine, Peter Sanderson, and Commander Quotey.
- This issue is dedicated to Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.
Links and References
- Grand Comics Database: Fantastic Four Vol 1