Doctor Doom is not a Supervillain According to Stan Lee
Stan Lee recently made a statement that iconic Fantastic Four villain Doctor Doom is not actually a villain. He is simply a very complex misunderstood character. Then in the comics, we have All New All Different Marvel with Victor Von Doom, fresh from his godhood in the Secret Wars Event, is now the new Infamous Iron Man. The most recent news in the superhero film community aside from the Stan Lee statement is that it was revealed that Ego, the Living Planet was actually Fox property, altruistically traded by Fox to Marvel for Negasonic Teenage Warhead in the Deadpool movie. These seem like three different items, but they have something in common. Fox and Marvel may be working on some sort of deal regarding Doctor Doom. It seems like a ballpark throw but let’s lay down the playing field.
One big reason for the X-Men’s decline in Marvel comics and the Fantastic Four’s cancellation is that Fox owns the movie rights for both franchises. Fox will not let Marvel buy back or return these franchises. Marvel wants justice done to these characters, but Fox wants to keep on making money and write whatever story comes out of their… minds. Anyway, you’ve seen what they did with Doctor Doom. Instead of being a complex character, we get a vengeful, shallow and obnoxious one in the first two Fantastic Four films and an amorphous blob in the reboot. Doctor Doom is perhaps the greatest supervillain in the Marvel Universe with a great backstory but is squandered in the films.
In the comics, Doctor Doom was not dismissed from Marvel’s continuity, unlike the Fantastic Four. He’s just too big for that, and he even becomes a new Iron Man. But shouldn’t Marvel’s policy of non-promotion include him? Mutantkind is in decline due to the rise of more Inhumans. Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch have been retconned as not being mutants and not being the offspring of Magneto. Those are moves opposite of promoting Fox’s properties. Then we have Doctor Doom who could just as easily have been removed from the Marvel Universe at the conclusion of the Secret Wars event. Reed in the end kills or eliminates Doctor Doom from all realities but he didn’t. Doom comes back, no longer disfigured and seems to see the world in a whole new perspective.
Next, we have a statement from Stan Lee via Screen Rant that Doctor Doom is not a villain. Either this is a publicity stunt or because of old age but Stan Lee clears the iconic villain of villainy.
“Everybody has Doctor Doom misunderstood. Everybody thinks he’s a criminal, but all he wants is to rule the world. Now, if you really think about it objectively, you could walk up to a policeman, and you could say, ‘Excuse me, officer, I want to tell you something: I want to rule the world.’ He can’t arrest you; it’s not a crime to want to rule the world. So […] it’s unfair that he’s considered a villain because he just wants to rule the world. Then maybe he could do a better job of it. So I’m very interested in Doctor Doom, and I’d like to clear his name.”
— Stan Lee
In All New All Different Marvel, Doctor Doom turns over a new leaf by taking over for Tony Stark by becoming the Infamous Iron Man. But what is all this female Iron Man Riri Williams business? She’s basically Tony’s official successor, but whatever the plan is, Doctor Doom is now a hero.
Third, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn also revealed that Ego the Living Planet, who will soon be featured in Guardians of the Galaxy 2, played by Kurt Russel was surprisingly not a Marvel property. Pretty strange considering Ego first appeared in Thor while Marvel owns the Inhumans who became mainstream in Fantastic Four. Quake, an Inhuman in Agents of SHIELD is originally a mutant in the comics. Anyway, Ego was actually traded by Fox for less-known Negasonic Teenage Warhead who was featured in the Deadpool film. Negasonic, while a mutant had a different power set but Fox wanted her powers to be something that some other Marvel character had. Marvel probably had a patent on powers, so they basically made a deal. Ego who could have been used nicely by Fox in some future Fantastic Four movie was given to Marvel and will soon be featured in Guardians of the Galaxy. This shows that Fox is ready to make deals with Marvel just like the deal they made so they can produce Legion, a TV series for the X-Men franchise. Marvel is currently kicking ass with the Inhumans on TV in Agents of SHIELD, and they can afford to keep the X-Men out of the MCU.
The X-Men franchise is big. It’s practically a third or a quarter of the entire Marvel Universe and Fox can still make something big out of it, and they plan on doing so. They announced that the X-Men film franchise will undergo a soft reboot and that there’s at least one TV series in the works such as Legion. Warner has the DCEU and five superhero TV shows (Arrow, LOT, The Flash, Supergirl and Gotham. not shared but it works). Marvel has the MCU, AOS and the Netflix shows. If properly handled, Fox can do the same with X-Men, Legion, X-Force and New Mutants. There’s even X-Factor and if they want the UK into the action, eXcalibur.
What does all this mean? What other characters were involved in the Legion trade-off? Could it be Doctor Doom? Could the MCU finally have that complex villain it’s looking for? Could Stan Lee’s statement not have been a coincidence? Doctor Doom can easily be integrated into the MCU in many ways, one of which you can check out in one of my pitch articles.
If it’s not Doctor Doom, could it even be Galactus? The Devourer of Worlds as was mentioned in the Doctor Strange film? Maybe even both. Maybe Fox secretly gave up the Fantastic Four and Marvel will give them creative input on the X-Men. That would be awesome.