Doctor Doom is often a lonely figure, but in the House of M series, he had it all: a wife, a son, and even his own Fantastic Four team!
There have been many incarnations of the Fantastic four over the years, but by far the strangest was one directed by none other than Doctor doom the same. This team, known as the Fearsome Four, showed how different Marvel’s First Family would be if it were made up of their greatest enemy. The Wildest Fantastic Four first appeared at the crossover event. House of M.
On House of M, Wanda Maximoff, also known as the Scarlet Witch, altered reality, making mutants the dominant species on the planet. However, Magneto still needed allies to keep the rest of humanity at bay, and that’s where Doom’s Fearsome Four came in. In this reality, Reed Richards’ expedition into space ended horribly, leaving Ben Grimm as the sole survivor (although Johnny Storm was never on the expedition, replaced by John Jameson). But in this reality, the wreckage of the ship was recovered by Doctor Doom, who harassed radiation to give himself and his family powers. Doom gained the ability to transform into a metallic being capable of stretching. His wife Valeria became the Invincible Woman, who could create shields from a dark substance. Meanwhile, his adopted ward, Kristoff, became the Inhuman Torch, who used magic to generate intense fire around his body. Caged and captive, the mutated Grimm received the insulting nickname from him.
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Of course, Doctor Doom and his team weren’t content to serve as Magneto’s assault squad forever. Frustrated with the treatment he received from Magneto, Doom and the Fearsome Four launched an assassination attempt on Magneto and his family. The plot almost worked, as the team was able to make short work of Magneto and Quicksilver, and only Polaris escaped. However, he freed the captive Magneto and Quicksilver, who took revenge on the Fearsome Four. Doom’s metallic abilities made him extremely vulnerable to Magneto’s powers. His wife and adopted son were killed by the Master of Magnetism, though not before Valeria apparently dispatched the treacherous It (though it was later revealed that he survived and was recovered by the human resistance led by Alicia Masters). Doom himself was left alive and made to live the rest of his days in humiliation.
The Fearsome Four shows how Doctor Doom excels and ultimately fails in a role similar to that of his own adversary, Reed Richards. Unlike Reed, Doctor Doom gains both his powers and his equipment by ruthlessly exploiting the tragedy. However, like Reed Richards, Doom can be understanding. He clearly cares a great deal about his family, though he constantly endures the insult of his opportunistic mother-in-law Cynthia, who ultimately pushes him to do his doomed power play (no pun intended).
The Fearsome Four seem to be an interesting precursor to the fan favorite. Superior Spider-Man. Both stories show how a supervillain would handle both the resources and responsibilities of his arch enemy. While Doom’s Four fearsome is short-lived given the nature of House of M, is an interesting look at what Doctor doom it could have been in different circumstances.
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