- To escape it, or to simply use it, Richards must think like me. To think like me, is ultimately to become me.
Appearing in "Latveria"
- Deiter, chief of staff
- Counter-Earth (Vision)
- New York City (Appears on a computer screen, TV, or hologram only)
- Moscow (Appears on a computer screen, TV, or hologram only)
- Beijing (Appears on a computer screen, TV, or hologram only)
Synopsis for "Latveria"
The Fantastic Four have come to Latveria, where Reed -- still trapped in Doctor Doom's armor -- is celebrated for his "return" to Latveria with his new "wife" Sue, who "Doom" introduces as the Baroness von Doom. Johnny can't help but notice that Reed seems to be enjoying this a little too much, but Ben reminds him that Reed has to play up his role as Doctor Doom for now, reminding him how the people of Latveria fear their ruler. They are soon greeted by the Burgomaster of Doomstadt and his wife. When Sue questions her about why people don't consider Doom a tyrant, she tells her that only a small group of malcontents are against the reign of Victor von Doom. As "Doom" continues to introduce his "new wife" to the audience, Sue can't help but think how Reed has secretly managed to unlock his armor and gain access to the Fantastic Four's file but has kept these facts a secret from the others. Because Reed is linked in with their uniforms, Sue is unable to warn the others because he is aware of everything they do and say. They soon return to Castle Doom which is being rebuilt after a series of instabilities that have occurred since Doom's departure from Latveria some time ago. While "Doom" retreats to carry out "state business", Sue is dragged off by the Chief of Staff to carry out her duties, leaving both Johnny and Ben alone. As they walk the property Johnny remarks how glad he is they're all on the same side pointing out it could be easy for someone to ambush them for splitting up so easily. When he remarks that Reed has been taking on his role too easily, Ben reminds him that their mission here is to deactivate things like Doctor Doom's Time-Platform to prevent them from falling into dangerous hands. The two are unaware that they are being monitored by Reed himself who is now putting his plans into action.
He contacts them and warns them of how the castle's "guardian" program has run amok and they are being considered enemies. No sooner are they "warned" of this are Johnny and Ben attacked by an army of Servo-Guards. While the pair fight the two robots, the sound of battle is heard by Sue, who ignores the Chief of Staff's protests when she leaves to investigate. With the added power from Sue, the Servo-Guards are easily defeated. Reed tells them that he is trying to find the source of the malfunction and will fix it so they are not attacked further while they are in Latveria. Reed tells Johnny and Ben to continue deactivating Doom's devices while Sue carries on her tasks as the Baroness. When Sue tells the others to follow their "marching orders", Ben notes a tone to her voice. When Sue dismisses it as jet lag, Ben thinks to himself how he knows her better than that and suspects that something is going on.
As Sue goes through her day she keeps on asking Doom's servants where her husband is but they only deflect her questions. Sue goes to sleep alone that night worrying what will become of her husband. Suddenly she dreams about being on Counter-Earth where she is confronted by the real Doctor Doom. This is no mere dream, Doom is using his sorcery skills to reach out and contact her. Doom explains that he seeks to retrieve his armor from Reed and asks that Sue activate the teleportation device in his castle that can transport him from Counter-Earth to Earth. Doom explains that the longer Reed wears his armor the faster he begins to change into Doom himself. Sue finds it hard to bring herself to betray her husband. When Doom tells her she must he reaches out and touches her shoulder. She wakes up shouting and realizes that her husband has come and put his arm upon her. When Reed asks what he can do for her, she tells him that it was only a dream and nothing is wrong. The following morning, Johnny, Ben and Sue are working to dismantle the cosmic energy siphon that Doom once used to steal the power of the Silver Surfer all the while Reed monitors them from his lab. Reed muses, as he watches view screens of major cities from across the world, that he has great plans for the future of the world and his family.
That night as Sue sleeps she is visited again by the real Doctor Doom who demands that she work with him to stop her husband before he becomes just as much the tyrant as Doom himself. As he continues to petition her, Reed himself begins a plan to transform the world into a utopia, however it being one under his dictatorial rule. As the days progress, Reed continues his plans for world domination while the Fantastic Four toil away at dismantling Doom's arsenal. Sue continues to be haunted by dreams of Doctor Doom. When Johnny notices there is something wrong with his sister she petitions her to tell him what's wrong. She tells him that she has a lot on her mind and he tells her that he will stand by her no matter what. Later that night Sue is finally convinced by Doom and uses her powers to force her way into Doom's lab, fighting her way through the Servo-Guards set to protect the castle. Confronted by Reed and the others in the lab they try to subdue her before she can activate the teleporter. However she is able to activate it even though Reed has mastered the ability to stretch in Doom's armor to try and restrain her. Moments after she throws the switch, the real Doctor Doom teleports into the room. Finally back on Earth, Victor von Doom informs Reed that the charade is over.
The Fantastic Four move into their new home, Castle Doom, just as the real Dr. Doom returns! As the FF travel to Latveria, things couldn't be more topsy-turvy, but could all the chaos be caused by one of their own? What is the horrible secret kept by the Invisible Woman? And did we mention that the real Dr. Doom is back?!
- Reed has been trapped in Doctor Doom's armor since Fantastic Four (Vol. 3) #25 while Doom was transported to Counter-Earth as seen in Doom #1.
- Reed talks about the recent instability in Latveria in recent times. This is because Doctor Doom was among the many beings transported to Franklin's Counter-Earth after seemingly sacrificing their lives in Onslaught Marvel Universe #1. While the heroes brought to Counter-Earth were brought back in Heroes Reborn: The Return #4, Doom ended up getting sent back to Counter-Earth as seen in Heroes Reborn: Doomsday #1 where he spent that time conquering that world. He briefly returned in Fantastic Four (Vol. 3) #24 only to be banished back to Counter-Earth following a battle against Dreaming Celestial in the following issue. During his long absence from Latveria the following happened:
- The mutant terrorist named Stryfe attempted to conquer it but was stopped by the X-Man and Cable in X-Man #45–46 and Cable #63 (This issue only references X-Man #45)
- Spider-Man fought a Doombot posing as Doom there in Peter Parker: Spider-Man #15.
- Lastly the mutant thief Gambit ran amok in Doom's castle causing most of the damage seen in this story.
- Johnny and Ben dismantle two specific devices in this story:
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