It may surprise some of you that, from time to time, even Doom finds himself with, as you Americans say, "time to kill," and it is indeed time itself that has brought about this intrusion into the digital musings of the one you know as Comicsfan--for I have noticed that, among all of his references to Doctor Doom, there has yet been no mention of my earliest encounter with the quartet of adventurers the world has come to know as the Fantastic Four. As many of you are aware, it was that meeting that first brought Doom to the attention of the western world, and in particular the odd but widespread fictional medium of "comic books"--and it seems only appropriate that this, eh, "blog" should include the details of that world-shaking event. And who better to enlighten you than Doom, himself?
Thus, I have
Now, to the story. I must point out that many of you have an impression of Richards and his group as being a unique group of adventurers whose abilities and dedication were deservedly celebrated worldwide. Yet I submit to you that, at least in this stage of their "fame," they were little more than squabbling fools:
Indeed, could a super-team of such presumed skill and fortitude be ensnared so easily--their entire headquarters captured in a humiliating display seen throughout the city?
And as you can see, even the sound of my voice gave Richards pause, and with good reason:
Richards. He and I would go on to have our private war with each other in countless more encounters, all going back to the incident at State University where my efforts to contact the nether world met with a setback. Though "war" is perhaps an overstatement of our differences. Richards no doubt regarded me as a rival to be confronted and stymied whenever the opportunity arose--whereas from my perspective, I would have casually disregarded him had his activities not interfered with my plans.
And so, from the start, Doom was in control of this first meeting--a virtual puppetmaster dealing with puppets. I managed to acquire the Invisible Girl as a hostage, and then transported the four to my castle in order to issue my demands:
Naturally, simply the fact that I created a time travel device would have sufficiently humbled Richards--but he was merely a means to an end. The cretin never bothered to wonder what need Doom would have for mere pirated treasure. Yet for you, I can fully disclose my reasons for wanting these particular valuables:
So, off they went on their fool's errand. I shall spare you the trio's dealings with the sea-faring 18th century clods they encountered in their quest to confiscate the treasure chest. Rather, let us simply rejoin them upon their return, though I would discover it to be fraught with treachery:
Richards, in an effort to subvert my original instructions, was making the point that I wished to have the treasure chest, while specifying no desire to have the treasure itself--a blatant lie, since I had made it quite clear (and specified as much) that it was the treasure I was sending them to retrieve. But where others argue niggling specifics, Doom instead takes his revenge--which begins after a laughable attempt by the Thing to strike my person:
An ingenious trap indeed for these bumblers. And this early encounter with the Fantastic Four might well have seen the end of their nascent career, had it not been for an invisible fourth member who managed (incredibly) to take Doom unawares and then free her cohorts:
It then fell to the Human Torch to surround my castle with flame in order to force me out like some common rabble. Yet Doom is no novice to be flushed out of his stronghold thus--and with my plan at an end, I felt obliged to engage a contingency measure:
And thus the account of that first fateful meeting comes to an end. Naturally, it would not be long before Doom would once again have the Fantastic Four reeling in confusion and helplessness--but, hopefully, your friend Comicsfan will have occasion to relate that story to you before my intervention is again warranted. I shall return him to your care once his stay in my land is concluded--assuming of course that