Saturday, January 17, 2015

A Wing And A Prayer

Greetings once again, you cowering cattle.

Word has reached my castle that you have recently been given accounts of a famous conflict which took place between myself and the Fantastic Four, following a successful procedure I devised to strip the Silver Surfer of his power and transfer it to myself. Since you have now reached the point of this conflict's conclusion, and since it is important for you to be in full possession of the facts regarding this final encounter, I have prevailed upon the one you know as Comicsfan to--ah, withdraw, so that I may give you a clear account of the events of that day. Naturally, my recitation will be unbiased as well as complete--therefore, you will have no need to banter amongst yourselves as to interpretation of the points raised. The perspective of Doom is all you require.

As for Comicsfan, he shall be released returned in due course. At present he is providing a convenient target training assistance for my elite corps of battle sentries. Early reports suggest he has encountered a volley of deadly explosions complications, and may be detained indefinitely.

In the first part of this story, you were witness to a remarkable example of Doom at his manipulative best, were you not? The Surfer, while cautious, was inexperienced in dealing with someone of my depth, and practically fell into my literal clutches. My next step, perhaps rashly, was to seek out the Fantastic Four and overwhelm them. It proved to be a brilliant stratagem. So devastating was their defeat, so crushed was their morale by the battle's end, that they were helpless to watch as I departed to further my plans--never knowing when I might return to snuff out their lives at a whim. I then embarked on a worldwide display of my newfound abilities, which further eroded the world's hopes of resistance while allowing me to extensively test the power I now wielded. And it was clear for all to see: Doom was supreme.

And now, with my impotent once-foes no doubt monitoring my progress, I was on the verge of capturing the world.  But the final battle was yet to come.

I could only imagine the rage, the helplessness those members of the Fantastic Four were feeling at witnessing the spectacle of my might, unleashed without a care given to the plight of those whose paths I crossed--the cringing men and women who would soon become my subjects.

Yet before I could proceed, there was one last annoyance to deal with--an imprudent youth, who refused to believe the evidence of his own eyes the last time we clashed, and who would now pay in full for the mistake of crossing me twice.

The fool! He was clearly relying on increased training with his flaming speed to give him a tactical advantage in facing me a second time--but to what end? How could his flame possibly affect one who has the power to virtually ignore it? The "Human Torch" was now no more to me than a flittering, fumbling moth who flew about me aimlessly--and I had no patience to suffer such foolishness.

Yet, with the Torch now dealt with, it stood to reason that his three partners would follow suit and choose to attack me again. They would never have allowed their young associate to face me alone; ergo, Storm must have impetuously acted on his own. I thus knew I wouldn't have long to wait for the others, given Richards' resources:

In truth, I relished another meeting with Richards and his cohorts. Despite the depleted state of morale I had left them in, it would have been a mistake to underestimate Richards' team and its ability to pull itself together in a time of crisis, particularly when one of their own was facing such a dangerous opponent alone. This time, I would see to it that their ability to resist was completely crushed--and if that involved finally taking their ill-spent lives, so much the better. And the first move would be mine.

With Richards and his wife occupied at least temporarily, my attention fell to the misshapen Thing, whom I had spared in our last meeting but who would now be forced to endure a brutal battle where only one of us would emerge alive. This was a foe that I would enjoy humiliating--matching and easily exceeding his paltry strength, but also crushing his arrogance and forcing him to beg for his life. It was a reckoning long in coming.

Yet, as often as I have demonstrated my superiority against him, Grimm has always astonished me with his resourcefulness. This was a clash where I would leave nothing to chance, and truly have the pleasure of watching Grimm crumble under my assault--or so I thought:

Perhaps your childish "sportscasters" would have enjoyed commentating on such a fierce match as the one taking place between myself and the Thing--an amusing thought in hindsight. Little did I know that such an analysis was indeed being given by one who excelled in such observations, before finally (and wisely) reaching a decision to refrain from intervention:

But what of the remaining members of this annoying foursome? While I dealt with Grimm, Richards and the Invisible Girl had succeeded in locating the Torch, who had miraculously survived my spinning deathtrap:

Once the group reunites to face me, for what would surely be the final time, the battle begins in earnest. It seems that I've put too little stock in "teamwork," though the Four's admittedly valiant efforts only serve to delay the inevitable.

The thought occurs that those of you who had partaken of the third part of this story might be recalling how the mysterious Inhumans had finally and successfully gained their freedom from their imprisonment from the barrier which had surrounded their Great Refuge, and you've wondered about their status. What capricious dolts you are--to avert your attention from a battle which will decide the fate of humanity, where Doom is on the verge of grinding his greatest enemies beneath his armored heel. To be so distracted in the midst of such events is to indicate your disrespect for Doom granting you an audience as he recounts this story. But no matter; I shall grant your feeble wish, since it may heighten your anticipation of the final moments of this clash, which may well have been this scene's original intent:

You see? There was no real purpose served here, and your ludicrous curiosity has been satisfied for nothing. Bah.

At last, it is time for this story's climax, where Doom is on the cusp of achieving his greatest victory to date. Yet it would be the trickery of Richards which would prevail this day:

It should come as no surprise that I detest offering further comment on this seemingly rushed ending to what had been an epic conflict built up over four issues of the Fantastic Four book. Let me assure you that "leaving you hanging," as you might put it, would not have been my choice. It not only does you something of a disservice, but it also disposes of Doom in a manner that shows little regard for my genius and determination in reaching this point, sweeping me out the door in a slight I shall not easily forget. Fortunately, Comicsfan has already put in place a more insightful afterword on this story which offers further thoughts on its closing moments, as well as detailing what happened to myself following that dazzling flash in space.

As for the Marvel Comics company, clearly it feels no shame in capitalizing on Doom's presence in this story, judging by what heads this issue's letters page:

Doom's worth has apparently been assessed at one dollar.
I don't know why I bother with you savages.

Fantastic Four #60

Script: Stan Lee
Pencils: Jack Kirby
Inks: Joe Sinnott
Letterer: Sam Rosen


Anonymous said...

Yes, your Excellency! I couldn't agree more with everything you just said!
I don't know if you can see through the computer screen that I am cowering, but I assure you that I am indeed cowering like crazy. Your loyal servant, M.P.

Anonymous said...

Your Majesty, if I had access to a flying board and the Power Cosmic I'd probably try to take over the world too. It would be a lot more fun than spending most of my time sitting on the board feeling sorry for myself and complaining about the world below. Long Live Your Latverian Magnificence !

Super-Duper ToyBox said...

GREAT post, as always, your Highness! LOVE the art on this...