Doctor Victor Von Doom, better known as Doctor Doom, is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The son of Romani witch Cynthia Von Doom, Doctor Doom is the archenemy of the Fantastic Four, and the leader of the fictional nation of Latveria. He is both a genius inventor and a sorcerer. While his chief opponents have been the Fantastic Four, he has also come into conflict with Spider-Man, the Avengers and other superheroes in the Marvel Universe.
Doctor Doom has made many appearances in video games, television series, and merchandise such as action figures and trading cards. He was ranked as the 4th Greatest Villain by Wizard on its 100 Greatest Villains of All Time list. IGN’s list of the Top 100 Comic Book Villains of All Time ranked Doctor Doom as #3.
Doctor Doom has also been featured in other Marvel-endorsed feature films such as Roger Corman’s unreleased 1994 The Fantastic Four played by Joseph Culp, and the 2005 film Fantastic Four and its 2007 sequel Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer played by Julian McMahon. Toby Kebbell portrays the character in the 2015 reboot.
In the book Superhero: The Secret Origin of a Genre, Peter Coogan writes that Doctor Doom’s appearance was representative of a change in the portrayal of “mad scientists” to full-fledged villains, often with upgraded powers. Doctor Doom is also emblematic of a specific subset of supervillain, which comic book critic Peter Sanderson describes as a “megavillain”. These supervillains are genre-crossing villains who exist in adventures “in a world in which the ordinary laws of nature are slightly suspended”; characters such as Professor Moriarty, Count Dracula, Auric Goldfinger, Hannibal Lecter, Joker, Lex Luthor, and Darth Vader, also fit this description. Sanderson also found traces of William Shakespeare’s characters Richard III and Iago in Doctor Doom ; all of them “are descended from the ‘vice’ figure of medieval drama”, who address the audience in monologues detailing their thoughts and ambitions.
Described as “iconic”, Doctor Doom is one of the most well-received supervillains of the Marvel Universe, as well as one of the most recurring; in his constant battles with heroes and other villains, Doctor Doom has appeared more times than any other villain. The comics site Panels of Awesome ranked Doctor Doom as the number one villain in their listing of the top ten villains in comics; Wizard Magazine went a step further by declaring Doctor Doom the fourth greatest villain of all time.
Comic Book Resources ranks Doctor Doom as their fourth favorite Marvel character. Journalist Brent Ecenbarger cited him being able to “stand up against entities like Mephisto, the Beyonder, and Galactus and often comes out on top”, as well as the tragedy of any “other number of circumstances could have led to Doctor Doom being a savior, but as it is, instead he remains Marvel’s greatest villain.” Fellow journalist Jason Stanhope called his “master[ing] of sorcery and technology an unusual combination”, and also felt “his inner sense of nobility sets him apart from lesser villains, in a similar manner to Magneto.” Doctor Doom has also been favorably regarded by those who wrote for the character; Stan Lee declared Doctor Doom his favorite villain, saying that Doom “could come to the United States and he could do almost anything, and we could not arrest him because he has diplomatic immunity. Also, he wants to rule the world and if you think about it, wanting to rule the world is not a crime.”Mark Waid echoed Lee’s assessment of the character, stating that Doom “[has] got a great look, a great visual design [and] a dynamite origin.”
A ride called Doctor Doom’s Fearfall is located at Islands of Adventure in the Universal Orlando Resort.
Doctor Doom appears in the game Clash Royale as the Dark Prince troop.