With the MCU Big Baddie Championship Belt currently up for grabs, rest assured that at some point in Phase 4 or Phase 5 we will be introduced to a new antagonist worthy of battling the galaxy’s greatest heroes. There are seemingly endless possibilities for a large-scale villain to penetrate the Marvel landscape, but the smart move may be to park your money in Latveria. Rumors abound as to alternative options such as a sinister character with the motivation and resources for world domination like Norman Osborn. There is also speculation that another cosmic villain could be on the horizon, with Galactus most likely to cross paths with our off-earth heroes. I’m betting, however, on a classic bad dude who is just as intimidating in this world or others and has the track record of clashing with any number of established MCU heroes: Dr. Doom.
As speculation and popularity of Victor Von Doom begin to creep upwards with the release of the Doctor Doom #1 this month, it’s worth taking a survey of the key moments Dr. Doom throws down with our known MCU quantities to predict his future landing spot. His first appearance in Fantastic Four #5 is in the pantheon of Marvel grails, but exposing us to Doom through his archenemies doesn’t seem to be in the cards.
Again, the list below are critical encounters with current MCU characters. With no Fantastic Four movie on the immediate horizon, I just can’t see a scenario where Disney waits three+ years to give us another formidable foe.
Although the likelihood that Doom would be introduced in some kind of solo Hulk project or other movie tie-in is HIGHLY unlikely, the two did pair up for an interesting storyline a number of years ago in the solo Hulk series.
In Incredible Hulk #143 and Incredible Hulk #144, Dr. Doom kidnaps Bruce Banner after offering him diplomatic immunity and takes him back to Latveria in an attempt to chemically control the Hulk into following Doom’s orders. After a short skirmish between the two mean greenies, Hulk escapes the country with a better understanding of the devious plots Dr. Doom has in store for the world.
Likelihood of Doom intro: 1 in 10 Latverians – Hulk continues to be relegated to supporting cast, taking this intro almost completely off the table.
This is about as keyish as keys can get (or maybe as graily as grails can get?), with an extremely early Spider-Man and his first encounter with Dr. Doom, both of whom had been introduced to Marvel lore the year prior.
In Amazing Spider-Man #5, Dr. Doom attempts to form an alliance with Spider-Man, as he seeks out supporters to help destroy the Fantastic Four. Spider-Man, of course, declines, leading to a battle between the two where the FF4 eventually show up to aide Spidey. As much as this may translate to an epic big-screen experience, this would require a lot of establishment before materializing. We may never see this one happen, depending on future licensing agreements.
Likelihood of Doom intro: 2 in 10 Latverians – Spider-Man will likely duel a previously-seen villain in his third film, but can you imagine the reaction in the theater if Doom popped up in a Spider-Man film? That would be legendary.
Secret Wars #1-12
The massively popular 1984 Secret Wars series highlighted Dr. Doom as a chief villain in their forced war against the heroes, all set in motion by the Beyonder. Whispers of this story being the guide for future projects have existed for some time, but unless some significant changes are made, you need multiple apocalypse-level villains to pull this off.
In Secret Wars #1, Doom is established as one of the leaders of the group of villains when his genius-level thinking is needed to determine how to outmaneuver the heroes while at the same time outsmarting the Beyonder.
By the time Secret Wars #10 rolls around, Doom has begun to absorb much of the power of the omnipotent Beyonder in an attempt to battle him. This issue also offers a partial Doom origin story, as he relives memories of his witch mother and how he damaged his face.
Likelihood of Doom intro: 4 in 10 – Still improbable because it would take time for a narrative like this to marinate and bake in the MCU, but this is certainly an MCU-level story that could basically write itself into a movie.
This epic 2010 miniseries introduced us in Doomwar #1 to Dr. Doom attempting to steal Wakanda’s supply of vibranium, with heroes such as T’Challa, Shuri (Black Panther), and the X-Men determined to stop him. In later issues, the Fantastic Four, War Machine, Deadpool, and others join the fight as Doom completes a new suit of armor made entirely of vibranium.
In Doomwar #6, the conflict culminates in a throw-down between T’Challa and Dr. Doom where the Wakandans ironically use the technology and power of vibranium against Doom and render it useless, taking away Doom’s advantage.
This story has some complex issues interwoven, such as the simple fact that Shuri is the Black Panther, but these can easily be scripted out in the writing room if Disney wants to go this direction.
Likelihood of Doom Intro: 6 in 10 Latverians – Now we’re talking. Not only do we have an in-place story for Black Panther vs. Doom, but Doom and Namor (also rumored for Black Panther 2) have a popular history of teaming up as villains in classic Marvel stories (they were were first villain team-up in Fantastic Four #6, and worked together again in Super-Villain Team Up #1).
Let me know in the comments what other options you think are possible to introduce Dr. Doom to the MCU.
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