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The Servo-Guards were robot soldiers created by Doctor Doom, often equipped with weapons such as laser rifles. They were programmed to recognize any enemy of Doctor Doom and fight it as their own.

Doom claimed to have designed the Servo-Guards to protect the people of Latveria.[1]

Doom used these robots to guard the city of Doomstadt[2] and the towers of Castle Doom.[3] Fifty Servo-Guards were assigned to the Latverian Embassy in New York City as a security detachment.[4] Doom, facially scarred and uncomfortable with his face, authorized only the Servo-Guards to be in his presence when he does not have his armor on -such as when he had showered, and the phlegmatic Servo-Guards don his armor.[5] The Servo-Guards also manned the Tractor Beams protecting the borders of Latveria.[6]

Their first known use was when the Fantastic Four entered Latveria to investigate a robot found by S.H.I.E.L.D.. A squad of these robots defeated the Fantastic Four thanks to the intel they had on them and their specialized equipment provided by Doom, including a close-range electro-shock pistol and insulato-shields to deal with the Human Torch, a heat shell to knock down Mr. Fantastic, and an unnamed gas bomb to defeat the Thing. Although several robots were destroyed, they succeeded in defeating the intruders.[7]

Doom then sent these robots to thrash two rebellious Latverians, then interfered himself so that the men would have a chance to escape, pretending to be aghast. Really, Doom was testing another design, the Invincible Robots, to stop the runaways. Soon afterward, Doom sent the twelve operating Invincible Robots to attack Doomstadt, as a test of their teamwork; the Servo-Guards protecting the city failed to stop the advance of these machines and they pointlessly asked Doom for help before being destroyed themselves.[2] The surviving Servo-Guards retired to the hills while one of them personally went to report to Doom - only to be knocked down by Doom for speaking without permission.[8]

After defeating the Invincible Robots and saving Doomstadt from a detonation,[8] the Fantastic Four attacked Castle Doom. Initially caught flat-footed when the Thing threw a clock tower to the castle, the Servo-Guards then regrouped and did their best against the invader, including manning air artillery to attack the Human Torch and try to hold Invisible Girl and Crystal. Even if Doom had equipped one rifleman in each unit with infrared viewing scope to find the Invisible Girl, the Guards were unable to stop the Fantastic Four. Doom finally allowed them to leave for his own reasons.[3]

Later, pretender Rudolfo Fortunov staged an attempted coup by raiding Castle Doom, sending a robot doppelgänger of himself to lead the attack. Doom captured the robot but, when it tried to escape, a Servo-Guard destroyed it with one shot - as Fortunov had intended, so that Doom could not track him.[9]

Doom then sent his Servo-Guards to track Fortunov's rebels in nearby farms, but the rebels had received advanced alien weapon from Fortunov's ally Faceless One. The new rifles were enough to destroy Doom's Servo-Guards, and encouraged the rebels to attack Doom's castle. The first defense line of Servo-Guards were easily defeated, forcing Doom to join the battle - which was Fortunov's plan.[9] However, Doom finally won the battle.[10]

Doctor Doom's minion clone used rifle-welding Servo-Guards for security in his Upstate New York Castle when he retained the Fantastic Four after conditioning Mr. Fantastic to capture them. To prevent surprises, he secured each of the heroes with an Electronic Shackle. Indeed, the Thing released himself from his initial bondings, he easily fell three Guards, but then Doom immobilized the Thing using the Shackle.[11]

The three imprisoned Fantastics disabled the Shackles and escaped from their cell only to find a swarm of Servo-Guards in a corridor. Each hero defeated easily several Guards and eventually they buried the Guards under the room's ceiling. They were unable to escape, nonetheless, as they found Dr. Doom and were subdued.[11] The heroes were sent to the Latverian castle, where Servo-Guards were a constant presence, including one escorting artist Alicia Masters[12] or pushing the superhuman prisoners with lances to lead them to Doom's Power Transference Machine, where their powers would be reproduced in Victor II! At that point, Mr. Fantastic was believed to have died, but he returned, only to be knocked down by Doom, and dragged by two Servo-Guards to the Machine with his partners.[13] Mr. Fantastic then released his friends and led a charge against Doom's Servo-Guards. The Servo-Guards once again proved unable to defeat the Fantastic Four, but Doom convinced them to surrender because he was holding Masters hostage, with a Servo-Guard ready to kill her if needed. The Servo-Guards again served as pickets to the Fantastic Four.[1]

Doom used the Servo-Guards only for internal security, with different robots taking care of pomp & circumstance. The Servo-Guards were however defeated by an ally of the Fantastic Four, Zorba Fortunov, who used an optic blast against them to reach the cell and release the Fantastic Four.[1] The Servo-Guars however took Doctor Doom's statue to the United Nations Headquarters, putting it on a plane to the Upstate New York Castle, then taking it unannounced to the United Nations as if it were a present from Doom. It was however a device that Doom could activate remotely to hypnotize the delegates. Before he could do so, three members of the Fantastic Four arrived and defeated the Servo-Guards - albeit they were unable to prevent the statue from being used.[14]

After this event, however, Doom the First was deposed as ruler of Latveria, replaced by King Zorba,[14] who was less prone to use Doom's robots. He nonetheless started using the Servo-Guards as secret police in an attempt to enforce martial law when Latveria fell into a crisis of poverty, famine and crime. The Servo-Guards executed anything defying the curfew, including unarmed civilians, using their laser guns. This was useless and only stirred up discontent toward Zorba.[15]

During this period, the alien Silver Surfer raided Castle Doom in a fit of rage to rescue his beloved Shalla Bal, surely smashing several sentinels in the process, disregarding the nominal threat they meant for someone such as him.[16]

Before trying to recover his throne, Doom imprisoned the Fantastic Four in diminutive synthe-clone bodies in the maquette city Liddleville. He also developed at least two five-person squads of miniature Servo-Guards with laser handguns to prevent them from leaving the boundaries of the city. The Fantastic Four only encountered them after having recovered their power, so they easily made short work of them.[17]

When Doom escaped Liddleville, he allied with the Fantastic Four to recover the Latverian throne. They infiltrated in Latveria, where they saw Servo-Guards suffocating individual liberties in the name of "His Supreme Majesty Zorba the First". When the robots murdered a helpless woman, the Fantastic Four and Doom confronted them. Zorba's programming of the robots was sub-par, as they needed to contact their central for instructions during the fight. Doom soon recovered his throne,[15] and adopted the murdered woman's child.[5]

Servo-Guards from Fantastic Four Vol 1 258 page 15.jpg

Doom was escorted by Servo-Guard A-17 when scientist Gert Hauptmann presented the finished Power Cosmic Infusing Machine. Doom insisted that Hauptmann tested the machine in himself, instead of in Doom as scheduled, and Hauptmann was destroyed as the Power Cosmic was too much for a human body. A-17's protective circuits activated, although Doom had disregarded any risk. Soon afterward, however, Doom sent four Servo-Guards (Units 5, 6, 7 and 15) to recruit a new candidate for the Power Cosmic: Tyros the Terrible, former herald of Galactus, who was hospitalized, immobile and amnesiac, in New York City. The Servo-Guards flew there in a sleek craft, with Five killing two doctors to reach Tyros and Six piloting the escape vehicle just in the window). Due to the presence of nearby superheroes, including Captain America and Iron Man, the robots were in a hurry; and Doom even gave them explicit instructions to not approach also convalescent Thing. The vehicle with the robots and Tyros reached Latveria in four hours. Doom then interviewed with Tyros, explained part of his plan and ordered two Servo-Guards to place Tyros in the Power Cosmic Infusing Machine. After Tyros was successfully empowered, a Servo-Guard questioned the wisdom of giving power to an unstable villain; Doom discreetly revealed to the robot that the power was consuming Tyros' life in a matter of hours - time enough for Tyros to fulfill his mission.[5]

After Doom's apparent demise, Kristoff Vernard acquired his mind patterns, impersonated him and replaced him as ruler of Latveria and nemesis of the Fantastic Four. Vernard tried to destroy the Fantastic Four, but he failed and the Four, in response, raided Castle Doom, literally breaking a wall to enter. Six Servo-Guards ran to stop the Four, carrying concussion charge rifles. Their charge was easily stopped by the Invisible Girl's force fields, then they were easily defeated. The Four's newest member She-Hulk broke the floor to go under the Guard's feet, then broke the ceiling to trap the Guard's boats. One Guard got a lucky shot stunning the Invisible Girl, but was immediately melted to slag by the Human Torch. The Invisible Girl then field-pushed several Guards through a window.[18]

The real Doctor Doom adopted the temporary identity of the Invincible Man in a plot to take over the Latverian Embassy. The Invincible Man claimed that Doom had kidnapped his family, thus recruiting superheroines Invisible Woman (previously Invisible Girl), She-Hulk, and Wasp. The four of them raided the embassy; squads of Servo-Guards went to protect the building, but they were quickly destroyed. Doom's new Invincible Man armor's bolts broke several robots. However, this was a plot: After the embassy's Doombot was destroyed, Doom knocked out the Invisible Woman, took over the embassy,[4] and sent more Servo-Guards against She-Hulk and Wasp[19] while he used the Invisible Woman's signal device to summon the remaining Fantastic Four.[4] He left three Servo-Guards to protect the embassy's door, knowing they would be easily destroyed. When Mister Fantastic and the Human Torch joined She-Hulk and Wasp fighting disposable Servo-Guards, Doom joined the fray with a hand-held weapon that defeated all the heroes: a Concussion Ray.[19]

Servo-Guards vs She-Hulk, Hercules and Eric Masterson

Doom also used a number of Servo-Guards as his minions in a plot to recover the Latverian throne. He travelled to the Latverian forest undetected onboard a Gyroscopic Aircraft along with these droids, a Time-bot that had stolen Thor's hammer and the pieces to build a Time Displacer. He ordered the Servo-Guards to build the Displacer following his specifications, using the hammer as a mystical energy sourced, then to remain there in case anyone came to attack the non-portable machine, while Doom himself raided Castle Doom. The robots were indeed attacked by Hercules, She-Hulk, and Eric Masterson, who were looking for the hammer. The heroes defeated the robots, then destroyed the Displacer.[20]

When captured by Aron the Watcher and cryonized, the Invisible Woman dreamed of the Doom-Vernard conflict. Her imagination conjured visions of the Servo-Guards escorting Vernard and fruitlessly attacking Doom.[21]

Alternate Reality Versions

Heroes Reborn

Servo-Guards (Heroes Reborn) (Earth-616) from Fantastic Four Vol 2 4.jpg

When the Fantastic Four, Avengers, and Doctor Doom seemingly sacrificed their lives to stop the psychic entity known as Onslaught,[22] Franklin Richards (the son of the Fantastic Four's Mister Fantastic and Invisible Woman) used his powers to save their lives by transferring them to a pocket dimension later called Counter-Earth. There the heroes and their allies, as well as Doom, each lived a variation of their past life.[23] In this capacity, Doctor Doom still ruled the nation of Latveria. He created these models of Sero-Guards to act as his bodyguards, defenders, and assistants.[24]

Animated Spider-Man (Earth-8107)

Servo-Guards and Johan (Earth-8107) from Spider-Man (1981 animated series) Season 1 17.jpg

In one of his first battles with Spider-Man, after his plan to replace the U.N. security council with robot doubles was thwarted, Doctor Doom himself escaped capture by replacing himself with a robot. Much later, when he had finally gained firm control of the world (for the moment), an array of Doombots took the place of all the world's leaders. It was also on this occasion that Boris escaped his master's wrath using a robot version of himself. When the real Doom was destroyed, all of his robots shut down.[citation needed]

Earth X (Earth-9997)

Servo-Guards Earth X Vol 1 2.jpg


Pet Avengers (Earth-97161)

Servo-Guards from Guardiaans Team-Up Vol 1 5 001.jpg

The Servo-Guards interrupted a battle of the Pets of Evil Masters against the Pet Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy. After the heroes escaped, the guards took Vulture von Doom into custody.[25]


Deeds of Doom (Earth-TRN564)

Doomsman, Servo-Guards (Earth-TMP564) from Deeds of Doom.jpg

When the Doomsman -possessed by Chthon- attacked Doomstadt, Doctor Doom apparently sent three or more Servo-Guards with advanced handguns to hinder its advance while several superheroes were on their way there. The Doomsman destroyed one robot by shooting it with a hand ray, and the other one by breaking it simply separating its body in twice on the waist.

After these events, Doom kept a cadre of these robots in his NYC Latverian Embassy, along with other robots of his design. Soon afterward, the Embassy and a Doombot impersonating Doom were attacked by the android Human Torch, who was mind-controlled by Andro, Lord of Androids. The Doombot was attacked when arriving at the Embassy in a limousine and, while the vehicle was destroyed, the Doombot survived and returned fire. Doom sent six Warrior Robots from the Embassy to confront the Torch. Andro then summoned two more mind-controlled heroes, Deathlok and Vision; the Embassy answered by sending six more Warrior Robots. A number of superheroes spontaneously joined the fray.

Soon afterward, Andro captured and modified a Doombot replica of Doom, accidentally giving it its own personality. The Doombot escaped Andro's lair and joined some superheroes to fight Andro's minions. Doom then appeared in an armored van, along with twelve Warrior Robots: His goal was to destroy the "defective unit" before it could lead to trouble or be studied by unsavory third parties. The Warrior Robots helped Doom in his scheme.[citation needed]

Properties


  • Low level superhuman strength and endurance but normal human speed and reaction levels.
  • Photoelectric eyes.[5]
  • Immune to visual horror.[5]
  • Protective circuits that activate when the robot perceives that Doom is in danger.[5]
  • Some Servo-Guards were able to shot energy bolts from their naked hands.[9]

Doom has a hand-held device known as Electro-Neumonic Scrambler to disable Servo-Guards even if they were controlled by a third party; but apparently he cannot use the Scrambler in any situation.[15]

Weaponry

Frequently they are equipped with rifles[1] or laser handguns.[17]

Occasionally Doctor Doom provides one Servo-Guard in a given unit with a specific high-technology weapon from his personal armory, such as an Antimatter Extrapolator, an Electro-Shock Pistol, an Insulato-Shield, a Stasis Gun, or a Stun-Shocker.[6]

Notes

Even though referred to as Doombots as well, they are not to be confused with the Doombot, which are exact replicas of Doctor Doom's armored form.

The "pure, metal robots" used by Doom in Giant-Size Super-Villain Team-Up Vol 1 2 may be a reference to the Servo-Guards, but they look distinctly dissimilar to the Servo-Guards' other appearances.[26]

See Also

Links and References

Footnotes

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