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History

Doctor Doom developed and built the Solartron Complex in the basement of his New York Castle. It was a solar-powered energy generator that could provide energy to the whole United States indefinitely,[1] and which Doom intended to use to power his many weapons and military devices. This was achieved throughout a room-sized, multi-faceted radiation crystal that reflected sunlight, generating energy in the process.[3] The crystal was also a thousandfold mirror, reflecting its environment[1][3] and the local radiation in those solar-powered intensified reflections. As a result, no-one without protective lenses could afford to enter the complex, under penalty of going crazy due to the sensorial volley and the radiation. Doom's mask included protective lenses for himself.[3]

Doom schmed to use the Solartron in a particular plot to take over the world. At that point, Doom was the monarch of Latveria as Doom the First.[3] The United Nations were considering a vote of no confidence and expulsion of Latveria due to supposed crimes Doom had committed.[4] To prevent this, Doom intended to abdicate in favour of Victor von Doom the Second, his so-called son, but secretly his clone instead.[4] Doom had ordered several artists, including Alicia Masters, to sculpt a statue of himself with a non-scarred face, to be delivered in the United Nations Headquarters to commemorate his relinquishment.[5] However, Doom expected to rule through his clone[4] and the statue was to include a device to control the emotions of the U.N. delegates, so that they would obey Doom's whims.[3]

This technology, partially based in Psycho-Man's equipment[1] and powered and controlled through the Solartron complex,[3] was beyond Doom's considerable skills. Using the cover company Cynthian Associates,[6] Doom recruited several teams of highly intelligent scientists, giving each of them only a section of the puzzle,[7] and never telling them that they were working for the Latverian government. Doom's clone[6] and scientist Gert Hauptmann oversaw this operation.[1]

Doom recruited his former enemy Reed Richards, who had justlost his super-powers, disbanded the Fantastic Four and forfeit his identity as Mr. Fantastic. Richards worked in the New York State[6] along with a Dr. Kaminski.[7] Being particularly intelligent, Richards understood that his work continued another man's previous ideas and progress[6] and, considering the components used, he reduced the possible outcomes of the research.[7] As Richards was too close to truth, Doom's clone had him hypnotized to capture the other members of the Fantastic Four,[1] then compelled him to recover his powers in a shuttle flight[5] because Doom was to steal all the Fantastic Four's powers with a Power Transference Machine and gave them to the clone.[8] While the flight was successful, Richards was believed dead and rescued by S.H.I.E.L.D.. Richards, now knowing he was against Doom,[5] developed a micro-feedback system he hid in his belt to short-circuit most of Doom's technology.[4]

Doom re-captured Richards and took him, along with the other Fantastic Four, to the Power Transference Machine,[8] but Richards escaped using his new device, then released his partners and foiled the clone's crowning ceremony by revealing the clone's true nature. The clone, refusing to follow Doom's orders, attacked his creator and forced Doom to kill him.[4] Doom refused to abdicate in favour of his opponent, Zorba Fortunov: Instead, he ordered to carry his statue to his castle in New York State and from there to the United Nations Headquarters. The Fantastic Four chased him, but they were unable to reach the UNHQ in time.[3]

Richards had separated from his teammates to follow Doom himself, and attacked Doom at the Solartron. Richards' device, still hidden in his belt, short-circuited Doom's Armor, disabling most of its mechanisms. Doom, using the armor's reserves, immobilized Richards and activated the statue's controls from the Solartron. The UN delegates, under Doom's hypnotic control, attacked the Fantastic Four.[3]

Richards, however, released himself and took Doom's mask, including its protective lenses. The solar-powered intensified radiations in the Solartron drove Doom crazy, leaving him in a catatonic state. Richards immediately operated the Solartron's keyboards to release the UN delegates.[3]

Doom's ordeal at the Solartron Complex became public knowledge soon afterward, with the Latverian commoners being familiar with their former king's ordeal there.[9]

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