Appearing in "True Lies"
- Doctor Doom (Vernard) (First as Doctor Doom)
- Doctor Doom (von Doom) (Only in flashback) (See chronology)
- Psycho-Man (Shadow only)
- Mr. Unger (Mentioned)
- Sub-Mariner (Recap)
- Boris (Only in flashback)
- Werner von Doom (Only in flashback) (See chronology)
- Valeria (Only in flashback) (See chronology)
- Fraulein Mueller
- Daniel Kurtz (Only in flashback)
- Dwayne Samuels
- New York
- Tibet (Only in flashback)
- State University
- State University
- Doctor Doom's Armor
- "Trans-dimensional warper" (unnamed device Doom built at University)
- Memory Transference Machine
Synopsis for "True Lies"
One of the robots that poses as Doctor Doom has informed Doom's young ward Kristoff Vernard that it is now time. Interrupting the boys studies, the Doombot takes the lad down to one of Doom's labs. There he informs Kristoff that the real Doctor Doom seemingly died battling the Fantastic Four.  The gathered Doombots then explain to Kristoff that he is to be Doctor Doom's final legacy, explaining that a copy of Doom's mind will be implanted into Kristoff's body creating a copy of Doom so perfect that even a telepath would not be able to tell the difference. The innocent boy is then strapped to Doom's mind transfer device and then it is activated, as young Kristoff sees the life of Victor von Doom flash before his eyes...
.... Years ago, Werner von Doom tells his son Victor that he was unable to cure the King's wife of cancer and she has died. Fearing reprisals, Werner and his son flee into the montains. As they hid in the ice and snow of the Alps, Werner wraps his young son in his coat in order to keep the boy warm. When they are found by Werner's friend Boris, Werner is on the brink of death. Taken back to their gypsy village, Werner dies telling his son to protect. Young Victor von Doom swears to make those responsible for murdering his father will pay.
Over the years, Victor continued to harbor hatred towards those he blamed for his father. When his lover Valeria tried to convince him to let it go, he refused. Finding his mothers old trunk of magical artifacts, Victor began practicing witchcraft as well as science. As the years grew on, Victor became obsessed with becoming master of the world, despite Valeria's pleas to let go of his anger.
Soon Victor is flown to the United States where he attends school at State University. It is there that he first met Reed Richards. One day when Richards was examining his notes for a device to contact the neither world, Reed pointed out a minor error in the calculations. Disbelieving that he could have done anything wrong, an angered von Doom pushes Reed out of his room. Victor goes on with the experiment which suddenly goes off in his face. While recovering in the hospital, Victor was expelled form school due to his unauthorized experiments. When Victor finally removes the bandages from his face he is horrified to see a single scar running down the side of his face from left eye down to his chin. Finding this disfigurement horrifying, he smashes the mirror he is looking into.
Later still, Victor von Doom travels the Himalayian Mountains of Tibet until he finds a secret order of monks who take him in and teach them everything. He eventually becomes their master and has the monks construct his armor. When the mask is constructed, Doom insists it be placed on his face before it can cool, and the visage of Victor von Doom is horrifically scarred by the searing heat of the mask. In pain, Victor fled out into the snow to cool his face. Recovering he had his first costume made and his vow to take over the world.
Some time after that, Victor had his first unsuccessful clash with the Fantastic Four. Then his second attempt to stop them where he allied himself with the Sub-Mariner and attempted to hurtle the Baxter Building into the sun...
Kristoff -- his mind now imprinted with the memories and personality of Doctor Doom -- calls for a halt of the memory playback. Now wearing a suit of Doom's armor that makes him look like an adult, Kristoff -- now calling himself Doctor Doom -- has an idea of how to use this same scheme to destroy the Fantastic Four once and for all.
In New York City, Johnny and Alicia are walking through Times Square. Along a fence Johnny notices a poster advertising Reverend Thomas Scott-Harmon's payer meeting for racial equality. He is shocked to see that someone as defaced the posters by placing banners over them with derogatory slurs. Disgusted by what he is reading, Johnny explains what he has seen to Alicia then spots the man vandalizing the posters. When Johnny turns the person around he is shocked to see that it's actually a young boy, and worse a fan of the Human Torch. When Johnny asks what he's doing, the young man begins to talk about a man named Mister Unger who has been teaching the boy that the only way to achieve peace is to acknowledge hatred. The boy then hands Johnny a pamphlet on "Hate" and starts spouting racist ideals about white supremacy. Johnny hears enough and tells the kid to get lost, sending the racist bigot off with a kick in the butt to see him off. Then using his flame powers, Johnny burns off the racial slurs from the posters before deciding to walk Alicia home instead of going on their date. As young Johnny Storm leads his blind girlfriend on, they are unaware that a mysterious figure is watching and pleased that his plan is coming to fruition, a plan that will see the annihilation of all mankind.
While at the Baxter Building, Reed has finished conducting a series on tests on Franklin to see if his mutant powers have returned. After Reed sends Franklin off to bed, and assures him that his dreams are only dreams. However when the boy is gone, Reed admits that Franklin has been having precognitive dreams, such as the night the fought Mephisto. When Sue begins to worry that they will never have a normal life, Reed tries to comfort her but can only assure her of the reality of their lives in the Fantastic Four. While downstairs, She-Hulk and Wyatt Wingfoot return from a date, entering the elevator after saying hello to Mister Samuels the night watchman. Samuels muses over the fact that he works for the Fantastic Four, but his thoughts are interrupted when what appears to be a brick comes smashing through one of the windows, prompting him to go out and investigate. In reality, it is not a brick but a disguised device that activates and send the Baxter Building shooting up into the sky. Seeing this from afar is the Human Torch, who flames on and rushes toward his headquarters. However the Baxter Building soon gets too high and the lack of oxygen causes Johnny's flame to go out. But before he can fall to his death, he is grabbed by Reed who has stretched out his arm to catch Johnny and pull him into the building.
With the building sealed off, Reed is suddenly contacted by Doctor Doom who has come to gloat over his victory. Although he concedes that this is not an original scheme, Doom still believes that he has finally made a plan that will see the destruction of the Fantastic Four. Pressing a button on his control panel, Doom causes the Baxter Building to explode just outside of Earth orbit.
- The Fantastic Four were last seen, chronologically, in the following publications:
- Reed, She-Hulk and Wyatt Wingfoot had a brief cameo in Thing #25 where they are waiting to see if they hear back from the Thing who just recently estranged himself from the Fantastic Four.
- Sue was last seen in the last two pages of Fantastic Four #265 which take place after the events of Fantastic Four #266-277.
- The Torch was last seen in Amazing Spider-Man #267 where he hangs with Spider-Man and to catch up on what he's been up to.
- The Doombots believe the original Dr. Doom to be dead, he seemingly died in Fantastic Four #260 when his body was atomized during a battle between the Silver Surfer and Tyros. However as Fantastic Four #288 reveals, Doom actually used the Ovoid mind transfer technique to steal the body of Norm McArthur.
- Doom's memory device plays back Doctor Doom's origin story that has been previously told in Fantastic Four #5 and Fantastic Four Annual #2. This version of the story expands on a number of facts but also omits others.
- This issue confirms that King Vladimir's wife died of cancer.
- It also inserts Valeria into Doom's origin story. Valeria was introduced as Doom's childhood friend and adult lover in Marvel Super-Heroes #20.
- This story omits why Doom is going to America. Fantastic Four Annual #2 states he was invited to attend State University by its staff. However Books of Doom #1 later goes on to state it was the United States military who invited him so he could use his genius in the service of the US.
- This story does not explain why Doom is trying to contact the Neitherworld. Astonishing Tales #8 and Marvel Graphic Novel #49 both confirm that Doom is trying to free the lost soul of his mother Cynthia von Doom.
- This issue reveals that the accident did not scar Doom's face as badly as originally suggested, it was not until he put on a searing hot mask was his face horribly burned.
- Doom's origins are later expanded in further detail in Books of Doom #1-6.
- The recording also recounts Doom's first battle against the Fantastic Four from Fantastic Four #5. The Thing is depicted as having dinosaur-like skin here. As explained in Marvel Two-In-One #50 that is what the Thing looked like when he was originally mutated back in Fantastic Four #1 and his body continued to evolve into his trademark rock-like appearance which began appearing after Fantastic Four #10.
- The recording also recounts part of the events of Doctor Doom's first team-up with the Sub-Mariner from Fantastic Four #6 where he tried to launch the Baxter Building into the sun. In that story, Doom tried to betray the Sub-Mariner, leading to his downfall.
- This is not the real Alicia Masters but a Skrull spy named Lyja posing as her, as revealed in Fantastic Four #358.
- Johnny states that the year is 1985, this should be considered a topical reference relative to the year of publication, as per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
- The shadowed figure is the Psycho-Man as revealed in Fantastic Four #280. He was last seen in Micronauts #15-17 where he tried to recover his stolen armor from the Baxter Building leading to a clash with the Fantastic Four and the Micronauts.
- Reed and Sue are worried about Franklin's mutant powers which have been working on-and-off since they were first introduced in Fantastic Four #132. Recently in Fantastic Four #245 Franklin willingly shut down his powers. However they have begun manifesting themselves again during the events of Fantastic Four #276-277.
- The new Doctor Doom states that he has been monitoring the Fantastic Four secretly. In reality, it was his Doombots who were doing it because it was after the real Victor von Doom's apparent death and before Kirstoff was imprinted with Doom's memories. He is referring to the device that freed Spider-Man's alien costume from captivity in Reed's lab in Fantastic Four #274.
- This issue marks the destruction of the original Baxter Building. Reed begins constructing its replacement the Four Freedoms Plaza in Fantastic Four #285, construction is completed in Fantastic Four #296. The FF Plaza is destroyed years later and dumped into the Negative Zone by the Thunderbolts in Thunderbolts #10. Noah Baxter later constructed a new Baxter Building in Fantastic Four Vol 3 #38-39.
Events occur behind the scenes in this story that affect the chronology of the following characters:
Victor von Doom:
- Page 4, Panel 1 - Young Victor tells Valeria how the king took his mother.
- Page 4, Panel 5 - Victor and his father are found in the freezing cold by Boris.
- Page 5, Panels 3-4 - Victor is with Valeria as he mourns the loss of his father, finds his mother's storage trunk.
- Page 6, Panel 1 - Victor gloats to Valeria about using his mother's artifacts to get revenge.
- Page 6, Panel 3 - Valeria pleads with Victor to give up his mission of revenge.
- Page 6, Panel 5 - Victor decides to learn science since he has mastered magic.
- Page 7, Panel 1 - Victor takes a plane to the United States.
- Page 7, Panel 2 - Victor arrives at State University.
- Page 7, Panel 5 - Victor pushes Reed out of his room.
- Page 7, Panel 6 - Victor prepares his experiment.
- Page 8, Panel 1 - Victor orders Kurtz to activate the device.
- Page 8, Panels 4-5 - Victor removes his bandages and sees his scarred face.
- Page 9, Panel 1 - Victor travles through the Himalayas
- Page 9, Panel 2 - Victor is taken in by the monks.
- Page 9, Panel 3 - The monks teach Victor everything they know.
- Page 10, Panel 5-Page 11 - Doom puts on his mask for the first time. Runs out into the snow. Completes his Doctor Doom costume.
- Page 4, Panel 1 - Valeria learns that Victor's father had been taken by the king.
- Page 5, Panels 3-4 - Valeria witnesses as Victor finds his mother's storage trunk.
- Page 6, Panel 1 - Valeria begs Victor to swear off his desire for revenge.
- Page 6, Panel 3 - Once again Valeria begs Victor to give up his madness.
Werner von Doom:
- Page 4, Panel 1 - Werner returns home after failing to cure the queen.
- Page 4, Panel 5 - Werner and Victor are found in the snow by Boris.
- This issue contains a letters page, Fantastic Forum. Letters are published from Mark Klobas, Roger W. Norris, Joe Frank, and Dennis Steele.
- The letters page also contains a Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation.
- Write your own review of this comic!
- Discuss Fantastic Four Vol 1 278 on the forums
- Images from Fantastic Four Vol 1 278
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