Friday Funny Pages: Has Anyone Seen Dr. Doom?

This has been a busy week for me, well I guess I should say it’s been a busy/lazy week for me.  My wife has been out of town the past few days so when I haven’t been busy doing something, I’ve made sure to be busy doing nothing at all.  I have sat in front of the television this week longer than I have in a very long time.  I’ve taken this opportunity to rewatch some Babylon 5, perhaps the best run of the show, the third season.  I’ve been alternating B5 DVDs with those of the the show Extras, starring Ricky Gervais.  It’s been a nice mix of dramatic sci-fi and uncomfortable humor.  All that being said I’ve been a bit lax on my blog posts this week, but fear not!  As you can see of course I did not forget about the Friday Funny Pages, and I already have a few blog ideas lined up for next week and, spoiler alert, I’ve been working on the last phase of the Terrordrome Renovation project!  So fear not loyal readers (reader), you’ll get your Wits fix, as I like to call it.

Anyway onto this panel from the classic Silver Age pages of the Fantastic Four.  Continuing our Dr. Doom theme this week brings us one of the earliest days of the bad doctor.  This of course is brought to us from the Mega Marvel Masters themselves Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.  I really enjoy this panel because it encapsulates so much of Dr. Doom’s personality in one little rectangle.  First off whenever Dr. Doom is looming around in an open doorway you know nothing good will come of it.  Many a brave soul have met there end after laying their eyes on such a scene.  Also I just really like his line here, “Did someone mention my name?”, every good villain has that line at some point and it shows how self centered they are and just how bloated their maniacal egos have become.  When not planning revenge based plots, or building evil robots Dr. Doom keeps an ear out for people talking about him.  Classic.  I love it.

This panel comes from an issue that is full of zany goof, Fantastic Four #10, The Return of Doctor Doom.  In the issue the story stops mid-way to cut to a scene of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby themselves, suffering from a bout of writer’s/artist’s block.  In a very meta-before-there-was-meta, style the two comic book creators are feeling somewhat at a lose chronicling the adventures of the Fantastic Four because several issues back Dr. Doom seemingly was launched into space and lost to the infinite void.  Recognizing Doom’s grand style of villainy Lee and Kirby feel there’s nothing exciting left for the FF to undertake and doubtlessly worry about sales dropping as the Fantastic Four fall into a peaceful life free of Dr. Doom.

Too bad that Doctor Doom was lost in space!”  Says Stan ‘the Man.’  “He was possibly the greatest villain of all!

Next to Stan Lee Jack Kirby ruefully sits at his drawing table, his face buried in his palms.

Yeah!”  Kirby adds.  “We sure can’t come up with a menace like him everyday!

And then, it happened!

That of course leads to Doom’s appearance.  Dr. Doom, under threat of death, forces Stan Lee to call Mr. Fantastic on the phone and ask him to come over to their studio to supposedly work out some plot details for an upcoming issue.  Of course when Reed Richards arrives, Dr. Doom is waiting for him with a gas gun of some kind and the whole plot of the issue takes off again.  Long story short Dr. Doom somehow joins the FF and Mr. Fantastic is the villain of the issue.  But what I really like about this issue is that within the universe, of the Marvel Universe Stan Lee and Jack Kirby are big enough properties that Dr. Doom would think to work them into his plans and Mr. Fantastic apparently drops whatever he’s working on to come over when they call.  Those guys are big shots!

Anyway, I need some coffee and a few more episodes of Babylon 5!

That is all!

Here's a little bonus for you, from the first appearance of Lee and Kirby! This issue is worth a fortune! A fortune I tells ya!

Friday Funny Pages: Super Doom

     So here it is the last in our Friday Funny Pages crossover series, but it is also the perfect time to kick off a Dr. Doom series!  That’s right for the next couple of weeks Friday Funny Pages will spotlight everyone’s favorite tyrannical dictator of small eastern European countries, “Doctor” Victor VonDoom.  Three cheers for Doom! (As mandated by Latverian state ordinance 616B: Three cheers are to be given in response to any public mention of the name Doom or VonDoom.)

     This last of the panels from the Crossover Classics starts our Doomfest with a nice little confrontation between Doc Doom and Superman himself.  This image comes from the second Superman/Spider-Man team up brought to us by Jim Shooter’s words, and John Buscema’s pen.  There were of course also a bunch of other names attached to this DC/Marvel crossover, like Walt Simonson and Marv Wolfman.  The plot revolves around a villain brainstorm between Parasite and Dr. Doom.  Superman and Spider-Man remember one another from their previous encounter with Lex Luthor and Doc Ock, so they skip the usual hero standoff and subsequent battle and get right down to helping each other out.  This panel shows Superman making a trip to the Latverian embassy in Washington D.C. in order to get a few answers from Dr. Doom about some recent suspicious activity.  Of course Dr. Doom, the ever prepared evil mastermind is expecting the man of steel and has fortified his embassy with features to help nullify Superman’s powers, like lead-lined walls to counter his x-ray vision and kryptonite powered laser banks installed in his office.  As we see in this image Doom really has Supes by the short hairs simply by reminding the man of steel that Doom is the legitimate ruler of Latveria, and by being within the Latverian embassy he has to follow his rule.  As Dr. Doom so eloquently puts it later in the story “Pitiful fool!  Your vaunted strength holds no terror for me!  Your hands are shackled by your own naive morality!”  A good wordy smack down from a haughty supervillain is often times more fun then an epic raging brawl.

     Another fun little part about this crossover is that Peter Parker and Clark Kent take part in a newspaper exchange program of sorts and get to spend some time working at the other heroe’s place of employment.  Peter has a few good moments at the Daily Planet working with the admirable Perry White and putting up with the douche bags who regularly taunt naive Clark Kent.  Clark on the other hand has some great moments over at the Bugle dealing with the raging madness of J. Jonah Jameson who at first was excited at the prospect of a new star reporter but gradually gets more and more pissed with the borrowed Kent who mysteriously vanishes at random times throughout the day, and seems to be a bumbling goofball.  That crossover within a crossover was a really nice touch, and gave the second Superman/Spider-Man installment a completely different feel.  

     Anywho, now it’s time to say farewell to the crossovers and give a snappy salute to the approaching Dr. Doom goodness that will be coming your way within the next couple weeks.  Until then, stay holed up in your embassies, stock pile that kryptonite, and take a few lozenges to prepare your throat to yell “Curse you Richards!”  over and over again, cause Doctor Doom is coming to town, and as usual he’ll be in a surly mood!

That is all!