Another short and sweet week of comics!
Today, we check out Dark X-Men #1, Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #1, and Blast to the Past for Fantastic Four Annual #2. Enjoy and spread the word!
We're seeing some brand new number ones this week.
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In the aftermath of Utopia, Norman's got his own mutants.
Dark X-Men #1
Writer: Paul Cornell
Penciler: Leonard Kirk
In this first issue collector's item, a bunch of people almost go off a cliff! Norman tries to keep his X-Men brand pure! Mystique assesses her team! The Dark X-Men visit one of the near victims of a tragic cliff accident! Omega finds himself over-charged on mutant energy! Mimic sees his depressing future! Dark Beast sends Mimic after Omega courtesy of some designer drugs. Nate Grey goes corporeal in front of Mystique and Dark Beast!
There are less that two hundred mutants running around the Marvel Universe. It might seem to be a lot when you're thinking about putting people on X-Teams but in global terms it's a TINY number.
So when a crowd of people from Burton, California stop whatever they're doing and nearly walk off a cliff while chanting "I'm an X-Man," chances are they aren't REALLY X-Men. Just sayin'. It also looks very bad for the mutant community when normal people nearly die with your flagship team on their lips. That's bad press.
It's not something Cyclops is equipped to deal with right now. He's probably busy making sure the mutant island of Utopia doesn't slip into the ocean. Norman Osborn? This is suddenly his problem. That's because at the end of Utopia, Norman was still championing mutant rights with his very own team of X-Men. He took control of the brand. Never you mind Cyclops and his team of X-Men. The name "X-Men" is officially a Norman Osborn trademark. Don't look up the legality of that. It's all a matter of public opinion.
To keep that brand all shiny and spotless, he has to keep on top of situations just like the potential lemming incident in Burton. His message is "mutants policing mutants." That means his very own X-Men will fly over to Burton and make a public display of "dealing with" this situation.
Norman's X-Men team is a lot smaller than it was during the Utopia crossover. Emma Frost took her leave from the team and ended up stealing Cloak and Dagger on her way out the door. Dark Wolverine is apparently not on the roster anymore. That leaves the team with Omega and Mimic from the original line-up. Mystique has gone from impersonating Professor Xavier to being field leader. Dark Beast has been upgraded from research and development to field duty as well. This might seem to be a small group to take into a combat situation but Norman doesn't expect this team to do any fighting. In fact, it's preferable if they refrain from that sort of thing. This is just a PR mission to keep a firm message about the X-Men brand.
You don't know it yet but this is going to be your favorite roster of X-Men in recent memory. Think about it! In the rest of the X-Men books, you have the rest of the mutant population fighting from panel time. In here, you have four mutants. That's it. That's all you need. It's very refreshing to read about such a tight group. Besides, this series isn't actually about the X-Men. It's all about Norman Osborn. You'll find that out in later issues. For now, let's keep focused on this whole PR mission to Burton.
Once Osborn's briefing with the X-Men is done, he walks down the hall with Mystique. Raven Darkholme has taken on the form of Jean Grey when she's in the field. This is because Mystique is still a wanted lady for various crimes and even though Norman is giving criminals a get out of jail free card, he's also dressing them up as heroes. Since Raven also feels like she's been screwed over by the real X-Men on more than one occasion, this is her chance to screw them right back.
Mystique is less than pleased at the Dark X-Men roster but Norman tells her they work with what they're given. He asks Raven's opinion on her fellow teammates. Let's break that on down.
Dark Beast. This version of Hank McCoy is from the alternate timeline that we lovingly know as Age of Apocalypse. He is not a good guy. At all. In fact, he'll engage in multiple unethical practices just in the course of one day. Regardless of that, Mystique feels that this is her only teammate that is actually 100% sane. That is probably the scariest bit of them all.
Omega. Michael Pointer was found shortly after House of M and somehow absorbed all of the mutant powers lost when the Scarlet Witch declared the end of mutants. After killing Alpha Flight and making trouble for the New Avengers under the control of Xorn, Pointer spent some time with Omega Flight and meandered his way on to the current roster of Dark X-Men. Pointer absorbs mutant powers and has little control of his own. Using the Omega Machine, his power absorption is regulated. Unfortunately, a side effect of absorbing mutant powers appears to be absorbing thoughts as well. Pointer seems to go a little bit crazy when he's absorbing energies. This leads to him saying nonesensical statements and singing showtunes. Raven's thoughts on all of this should be pretty obvious.
Mimic. Calvin Rankin was the first mutant to join the X-Men after the original line-up. You'd think he'd get more respect in the Marvel Universe just for that fact but he's drifted through obscurity for most of the past few decades. When he does show up, he's usually joining the Brotherhood or other criminal organizations. This has been explained as Cal dealing with psychological issues. He has bi-polar disorder and severe depression issues and is currently being treated by Karla Sofen (you may know her better as Moonstone or her current identity as Dark Ms. Marvel). Raven is most concerned by the fact that Dr. Sofen doesn't seem to really care about Mimic's many issues.
Mystique. Raven Darkholme isn't actually giving an assessment of herself. She's more interested in how Norman is treating her. Norman planted bombs in her head that will explode at his command. This keeps her in line. Still, Ozzy is treating her as some sort of "equal." At the very least, Norman respects her and is slightly scared of her despite the safeguards keeping her under control. Raven is interested in all of this but warns Norman that when she gets an opening, she's totally going to take it.
The Dark X-Men take a Norman Osborn approved X-Jet on a trip over to Burton, CA and land the thing right in front of town hall. Since this is an eclectic cast of X-Men, the conversations can get more than a little interesting. Raven declined the Mayor's request to send a civic delegation to the hospital with the mutants just so that they don't get a hint at how off these X-Men actually are.
The people that nearly chanted themselves off a cliff have mostly been checked out as fine. The one they're looking at right now has a few bumps and bruises but is really ready to get out of this hospital bed and get back to work. Dark Beast sprays him with truth mist that will make him answer any of their questions honestly. Raven's not happy with that but Evil McCoy thinks it a prudent move. Now they know they're getting the truth. When they ask the guy about why he was chanting "I am an X-Man," he suddenly recognizes these guys as Norman Osborn's X-Men team.
This is where things get... strange. Mimic and Omega checked this guy out before the questioning started and they couldn't sense any mutant powers at all. That changes all of a sudden. Mimic is being hit by one powerset while Omega is getting overcharge by another. Pointer can't help what he's doing. He explodes into the air with too much power to handle.
Well, this PR mission is a failure. Raven tries to send Mimic after Omega but first Mimic has his own problems to deal with. The mutant power he is copying is precognition. This doesn't make him see his future in a happy way. In fact, quite the opposite. Calvin sees himself settling down with a girl and having a baby only to have his optic blasts rage out of control, killing both of them. For a man like Rankin who suffers from depression, this isn't helping matters.
Omega is having his own troubles. Flying wildly through the sky, he encounters a new helicopter and starts spouting jibberish to the news crew. After that embarrassment, he speeds straight into the ground and destroys a local library in the process.
Since Mimic is overcome by his vision and isn't going anywhere on his own, Dark Beast gives him a blast of spray courage. This is another concoction of his that mixes together lots of chemicals to make whoever comes in contact with it revving for action. Mimic wings off to stop Omega's rampage. Raven is, again, less than pleased with Evil McCoy's methods. Now they have two mutant problems in the air of Burton.
Mimic lands in the rubble of the library and punches an embarrassed Omega straight out of the building. Omega's destruction isn't done yet. His wild flight path now leads him to destroy a local statue of a former mayor.
Mystique and Dark Beast are left alone to deal with the poor patient who suddenly developed multiple mutant abilities. Raven realizes that it isn't HIM per say. Someone is funneling powers through the bed-ridden patient. DB believes the easiest solution is to just euthanize the fellow but Mystique orders against doing anything like that. She reveals to Dark Beast that she has a bomb in her that will explode if she displeases America's top cop. Nothing would piss Norman off more than killing a hospital patient on a goodwill mission in his name.
Suddenly, whatever is inside this guy starts to show itself. It thinks really hard about being only one person and there is a body made of energy now talking to the two Dark X-Men. This body knows who both of them are. It's not happy to see Dark Beast but it believes Mystique, who is still wearing Jean Grey's face, to be his mother. This might confuse Raven but Beast is starting to get on the right page and he isn't excited.
The energy being tries to become more tangible. There's a flash of light and Nathan Grey, the X-Man, is in the room.
And he is asking for help.
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #1
Writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Artist: Kevin Walker
In this star-spanning first issue, the Imperial Guard fight against a rebellion on Izumbard! Gladiator gets involved! Kallark's aides tell him he shouldn't get his hands dirty! Talon stops impersonating Chancellor Araki! The Imperial Guard fight amongst themselves about politics! Mentor chooses a team for a mission into the Fault! The Starjammers give this team a ride!
The Planet of Izumbard is pretty much the ship-building planet for the Shi'ar Imperium. They've built ships for the Shi'ar for 1700 years. You'd think a planet with such a long tradition would be the last to revolt against the Imperium but you'd be wrong. The shipyard planet has been pushed to the brink of collapse. During the War of Kings, Izumbard wasted away it's supplies to keep Vulcan's fleets well-stocked in warships. Even now, the new administration has been ordering more ships to replenish it's fleets. Izumbard has been pushed to it's breaking point.
So the planet is exploding with organized rebellion. The leader of this rebellion is explaining via some communication device that Izumbard isn't revolting just for it's own independence but because it has been abused by the Imperium. He demands that the Shi'ar vacate his planet and leave them alone. Before he's done delivering his message, a huge piece of war ship smashes into his tower. Izumbard has just been made a priority.
Here come the Imperial Guard.
The specifics of this battle are mostly unnecessary. The Guard is full of so many members that it's really hard to keep track. Be that as it may, the following scenes highlight several Guardsmen, even naming them and listing their various powers. If you don't already know who most of these people are, my trying to describe them with mere words will be a wasted effort. For the most part. I will mention one particular Guardsman: Voltar. His power set isn't listed but he's the guy who kills the leader of this revolt moments before getting caught up in an explosion when the power grid overloads. This just goes to show that the Imperial Guard can die. It's almost part of the job.
Up above the battle, the Imperial Guard's Praetor, Mentor, is directing the Shi'ar counter revolutionary tactics. He's repositioning troop placement to take care of hot zones and is satisfied that this is all down to numbers at this point. By that measurement, the Shi'ar Imperium will pacify the planet by the end of the day. The new Majestor of the Shi'ar Empire, Gladiator, tells Mentor that he should take care of the shipyards before the Izumbardi are able to get some newly-built ships airborn. Mentor gracefully takes this critisism of his lead but tells the Majestor that he's already sent some Imperial Guardmen to the area.
They should be reaching the area shortly.
Let's move right over the that battlefield. Again, we've got lots of Imperials in this part of the fight and a nice battle that takes place aboard one of the newly launched war ships. There are no casualties in this particular battle. There IS, however, one incredible breach of protocol. Majestor Gladiator joins the battle and starts batting starships against eachother. When the fight is over, he apologizes for getting involved but his former teammates tell him that it's totally cool.
The planet is brought back under control and martial law is declared. Gladiator returns to his command ship and sits upon his throne.
He congratulates Admiral Ka'arduum for his leadership of the Shi'ar space fleet. He also notices that there are words not being said by his two advisors. Chancellor Araki and Ka'arduum finally come out and say it. A Majestor shouldn't be entering battles and risking his life needlessly. Majestor Kallark tells them that he is pretty damn powerful and Mentor chimes in about how hard to kill the Shi'ar emperor is. What they fail to mention is how many times Vulcan took a personal interest in the fighting but that might lead to the fact that Vulcan disappeared after personally challenging the Inhuman King, Black Bolt. The issue doesn't end with Kallark promising never to do it again, that's for certain.
Araki leaves the throne room and returns to her own quarters. If you've been reading this column or have checked out the War of Kings, you might remember that this version of Araki isn't the genuine article. She's actually the Raptor known as Talon in disguise. Talon has brought the real Araki along with him and after giving her some instruction which go over a lot like hypnosis, Talon releases her back into her role as Chancellor. Talon has other places to be.
Later on, on Chandilar, the Imperial Guard celebrate their victory on Izumbard and make a toast to the fallen Voltar. The conversation turns to politics and we know that's not going to end well. Many members of the Imperial Guard are uneasy seeing Gladiator on the throne. They're supposed to look up to the emperor and see him as something more than normal but Kallark served with them. Even though he's pretty much invincible, he's still one of them. Other members of the Guard take the opposing view that there's no one better to rule the Shi'ar Imperium than a guy like Gladiator. This kind of wildly differing opinions mixed with differing natures and powers of the Guard lead to blows.
Some Imperial Guard members are smart enough to stay out of the political conversation but they still come in to try and break up the fight. This just makes the battle larger. Everything is put to a halt when Mentor enters with Oracle and the brand new Smasher. He has a special mission that he needs members for. Looks like those involved in the fighting just volunteered.
The Fault. It's a big tear in time and space and also a potential problem for the Shi'ar Empire. The Shi'ar aren't getting much information back from their drones so Gladiator has decided to send a team in to check the place out and assess it's danger. This will be a quick mission in and out. Since the Shi'ar fleet is spread so thin, Kallark has outsourced the Imperial Guard's transportation. They'll be getting a very fast ship with a very capable crew.
They Imperial Guardsmen turn around and can't believe that they're going to be taking the Starjammer into the Fault. Ch'od and Raza, the Starjammers, aren't too thrilled themselves.
Fantastic Four Annual #2
Writer: Stan Lee
Penciler: Jack Kirby
In this story, Dr. Doom makes a trek out of his palace to a lonely hilltop where his origin story can begin. Many years ago, Victor Von Doom's father failed at healing the wife of a Latverian Baron and his gypsy people suffered for it. Werner Von Doom lost his life trying to escape, though it was because of the elements and not the Baron's soldiers. Victor grew into a scientific genius who scammed the rich and gave to the poor. His scientific prowess garnered the attention of Empire State University's Dean of Science and Von Doom found himself going to college on a full scholarship. While at ESU, he met Reed Richards and gained a life-long enemy. Richards warned him that his figures on contacting the netherworld were incorrect; but Doom went through with them anyway, causing a huge explosion and getting kicked out of ESU. Victor head to Tibet and trains in arcane stuff. This is where he forges his armored suit. Doom returns to the world and begins his reign of terror. Back on that hilltop, Doom rededicates himself to ruling the world before returning to his castle.
Did you know that Dr. Doom was the ruler of Latveria? Of course you did. At the time FFA2 came out, it was a brand new revelation. The fact was even hidden from the people of Marvel Earth.
Doom is sitting calmly in his chamber when his servant, Boris, enters and tells him that "the time has come!" The old man leads Dr. Doom out of his castle in Latveria and out into the country side. As the two walk, the narrator tells us that this is the kingdom of Doctor Doom: Latveria. It rests in the Bavarian Alps. That places in in the German/Austrian region of Europe. If you look for it's actual location on the Marvel map, it isn't in that area at all even though in this comic people seem to be speaking bits of German. Instead, it's just south of Hungary.
On a small hill, Doom and Boris pause while Doom recounts his history that started on this very spot.
Many years ago, a group of gypsies had set up camp in this location. Victor Von Doom, his father (Werner Von Doom), and Boris were among their number. One day, the Latverian Baron sent soldiers to pick up Werner for a very special assignment. Werner was a gypsy healer and the Baroness was extremely ill and needed his attention. Werner claimed that she was beyond his powers but the Baron forced him to do whatever he could anyway.
Knowing that the Baroness's death would coincide with his own, Werner finished what healing he could before returning to his people. Once there, he saddled a horse and tried to escape Latveria. Werner was right. When the Baroness died, the Baron sent men into the gypsy camp looking for him and his son. The Von Dooms wouldn't fare much better with their escape. Their horse runs away from them and they're stuck hungry and freezing in a downpour. Werner does what he can to ease his son's burden and manages to get them both back to camp before collapsing.
Both are in a bad way but Victor is the only one who will survive. On his deathbed, Werner tries to give the gypsies a warning against his son but Victor believes that it's a warning for the gypsies to protect him from the world. He swears vengeance on all who defy him.
Boris does his best to raise Victor but, let's face it, he's no Alfred. Every lesson in how good Werner was only cements in Victor's mind what good deeds will get you. In Werner's tent, Victor finds his dead mother's belongings and learns that she was a powerful sorceress. Victor grows up studying the dark arts as well as becoming a technical genius. With his mechanical knowledge he travels the countryside scamming the wealthy out of their money.
His antics finally catch up with him and Doom is captured and placed before a firing squad. Once the bullets fire, Victor shouts vengeance and them all. When the soldiers take a closer look, they realize that this was the first in a long line of Doombots.
Victor isn't completely evil yet. He doesn't keep his riches. Instead, he gives them out to the poor in a redistribution of wealth scheme. No wonder the powerful hate him! After a few more incidents with the authorities, his antics catch the attention of the Dean of Science from Empire State University. Victor is offered a full scholarship and takes the Dean up on the matter. He leaves Boris in charge of his gypsy band.
On his first day at ESU, Victor Von Doom meets Reed Richards and the two don't become friends. After Doom turns down Reed's offer to room together, he takes off to find a room all to himself. The frees up Reed to room with Ben Grimm and that all works out for the best.
Von Doom ends up finding his own room where he is able to conduct his arcane experiments in peace. One day, Reed comes over to check on him and looks through Von Doom's notes. When he tries to warn Victor about some errors in his calculations, Von Doom loses his temper and throws Reed out of his room. That'll teach Reed to enter someone's room unannounced and go through their personal notes.
Still, Reed's warnings prove true and make him Doom's lifelong enemy. Victor's experiments were leading up to contacting the netherworld. Von Doom has a lackey already who has helped him set up all his equipment. The lackey isn't so sure contacting the netherworld is a good idea but, because he's a lackey, it isn't up to him. Doom orders the device turned on and because his calculations are off, it blows up in his face. Literally.
Victor Von Doom is horribly disfigured in the explosion and because his experiments weren't approved and took out part of the dormitories, he is expelled from ESU. He never did get that doctorate that he's claiming. Since Victor Von Doom had a very attractive face, he is very upset to have lost his good looks. Even though he has only himself to blame, he'd rather blame the world.
Instead of heading back to Latveria, Doom instead travels to Tibet where he studies black magic with a hidden sect of monks. In time, he masters all their techniques and becomes their master. In some twisted purification rite, Doom forges the various pieces for his armored suit. The face plate is put on before it has cooled down, burning his face even more. At this point, Victor has moved beyond the pain and has rechristened himself as Doctor Doom! With that, Doom returns to the world and begins his bid for domination.
Sometime in there, he managed to become ultimate ruler of Latveria.
We return to that hilltop where the origin of Doom began so many years ago. Doctor Doom rededicates himself to the domination of the world before travelling back to his castle.
All this time, Boris has remained his faithful servant. When Doom returns to his private chamber, Boris remarks that nothing will stop Doom from conquering the world.
Writer: Stan Lee
Penciler: Jack Kirby
In this story, the Fantastic Four have engine troubles on their Fantasticar! Dr. Doom is rescued from his outer space banishment by Rama Tut and is sent back to earth! Doom returns to the Latverian Embassy in New York! The Fantastic Four attend a ball in their honor at the Embassy and most of them make the mistake of drinking! Doom forces the Four to see unflattering images of each other and causes another bout of infighting. While the Four destroy themselves, Doom takes off his facemask, looks at himself in the mirror, freaks out and shoots the mirror. His panic attack causes the Four to reunite and attack Doom instead of each other. Doom escapes the embassy and meets the Fantastic Four back at the Baxter Building. After a complicated fight, Reed challenges Doom to a one-on-one duel of the minds and they drink a toast before the fight. During the battle, Doom believes he has finally defeated Reed but it turns out that it is just the effects of the drink that Reed gave him. He walks off, certain of his final victory. The Four can't end this any other way considering Doom's diplomatic immunity.
Continuing the wacky way that most Fantastic Four stories are opened, the team crash lands on the streets of New York due to engine troubles with the Fantasticar. Hijinks ensue but nothing of any lasting importance. Ben does make some extra money smashing up an old car into a piece of modern art for an art dealer before the Fantastic Four are on their way.
The origin story told above probably happens AFTER this story even though it's told before. The reason for that is that the last time we saw Doctor Doom (in Fantastic Four #23) he was teleported out into outer space after falling into his own trap. That's where we pick him up in this issue. Doom is floating helplessly near Jupiter and he's only got a few minutes of oxygen left. It's fortunate then that Rama Tut happens by.
Once aboard Rama Tut's ship, the two villains have a conversation where they wonder if they are actually the same person from different timelines. Their logic seems pretty flawed and history shows that they are, in fact, separate people but the talk prevents them from turning on each other OR teaming up (since if one of them died during the team-up it could have repercussions for them both). Instead, Tut gives Doom the means to return to earth and then heads back to the future to plan his own revenge.
Sue and Reed watch Doom's craft fall from the sky but neither suspect it's their greatest enemy returning to earth. Reed just believes that it can't be a natural meteor due to it's trajectory.
Doctor Doom parachutes away from the falling craft and walks the streets of New York on his way to the Latverian Embassy.
The world doesn't know that Doctor Doom rules Latveria. There are rumors about a dictator but the official story places control in the hands of an elected Prime Minister. When Doctor Doom walks into the Latverian Embassy, he does so in secret to keep the illusion of democracy.
The Latverian Ambassador spots his leader and cancels an interview to attend to Doom. Doctor Doom has a plan percolating in his head and it means PARTY TIME.
The Fantastic Four are invited to a party at the Latverian Embassy and they've been asked to attend in the Fantastic Four suits for some reason. During the meal, Sue asks who rules Latveria and Reed answers that it is officially the Prime Minister but there are wild rumors about the truth of that. No matter, you don't go to an embassy ball and insult your host. You just fight it out in his rooms. That'll happen later.
For now, the Fantactic Four enjoy their meals. When they are served a native fruit drink from Latveria, three of the Four gulp it down without thinking twice. Reed, however, is just suspicious enough to refrain from drinking. He tries to warn Sue against drinking it as well but she has already drained her glass.
What follows is a night of dancing and merriment. While Ben cuts it up on the dance floor, Johnny takes a beautiful young countess off to the terrace to get some alone time in. Once he's there, he starts in on the small talk. You know, stuff like "who's really in charge of your country?" The Countess reveals that the ruler is simply known as "the Master" before Johnny is taunted away from her by an angry Thing. Johnny gets swatted down by Ben but we can all see that he's quite see-through.
"Ben" runs away with Johnny in hot pursuit. The real Ben Grimm has been chumming it up with a heavy-set lady but that's interrupted when the fiery Torch starts burning up the place. This is why the Fantastic Four doesn't get many embassy ball invites. Johnny figures out pretty early on that the Thing wasn't actually responsible for the earlier incident but by that point it's too late. The fight is on.
Sue has a false vision all her own. She walks in on Reed making out with another woman. I mean, yeah, she can have feelings for Namor and keep stringing Reed along forever but as soon as she believes Reed is doing the same... it's on, mister! She runs from the room in tears, running into the other three members of the Four in the hallway. She doesn't even wonder how Reed got in the hallway from the room behind her or think it odd that he doesn't seem to have any idea what just happened in the other room. She just knows that pushing him around with invisible forcefields feels really good.
Reed has figured out what's been going on but the other Fantastic Four members aren't going to give him time to share. They just want to pound each other. That means we'll leave the explanations to Doctor Doom who is cheerfully watching from another room.
Yeah, the drinks were drugged. They allow someone with a stronger mind to place images in their heads. Doctor Doom used the opportunity to spread doubt throughout the Fantastic Four. This is incredibly easy to do because they're pretty much at each other's throats anyway.
Doom knows just how to spoil his victory, however. He decides that now would be the best time ever to remove his mask and get a good look at his face in the mirror. Like we all know, Victor is horribly disfigured. Once he sees his face in the mirror, he regrets ever looking and shoots the mirror to prevent seeing himself any longer than he has to.
The gun shots attract the attention of Reed and Sue. Sue realizes that she was getting played by the good Doctor and forces him out the building with an invisible forcefield. Doom disappears. Sue apologizes for severely overreacting and the two separate Johnny and Ben. The three rededicate themselves to taking down Doctor Doom, leaving Sue out because she's a girl and so delicate. Sue shouts at Reed for being an A-hole and is grudgingly returned to the roster. Reed might still be mad that Sue unfairly attacked him for stuff he didn't do and maybe he thinks he gets one free jerk moment.
The FF return to the Baxter Building where they find Doctor Doom waiting for them. This fight is for all the marbles! The Fantastic Four do a good four pages of back and forth fighting (one bit where Reed burns his hands while rescuing the Human Torch) before Mr. Fantastic challenges Doctor Doom to a one-on-one duel to the death. The clincher is that they'll be fighting with their brains. Who ever has be better mind wins! Before they face off, Reed has them drink one last drink together before they use his crazy Russian Roulette mind gun to calculate who's got the bigger brain.
Doctor Doom watches as a panicked Reed Richards is destroyed by the contraption. He's finally proven he's got the better mind and Reed is killed forever! The dictator no longer feels like he needs to attack the Fantastic Four. After all, they weren't the real target. It was all Reed Richards. With him gone, his quarrel has ended. Doom takes off in high spirits leaving a confused team of super heroes to wonder what he was on about.
Reed Richards casually watches as his arch-enemy strolls out of the Baxter Building. He explains to his small-minded teammates that the drink he shared with Doctor Doom contained the same ingredients as the drug everyone else took earlier. It made it so the one with the stronger mind could put images in the head of the one with the weaker mind. Reed totally just owned Doctor Doom and Victor doesn't even realize it yet.
The team wants to go after the dictator but Reed tells them that it'll do them no good. After all, Doom's got diplomatic immunity now. He would have to commit a terrible crime in order to get arrested. The only thing they could do would be kill Victor Von Doom and that's not something the Fantastic Four is willing to do. No, they'll have to wait for Doom to eventually realize that he was tricked and plan his latest rounds of attacks yet again.
Such is the life of the Fantastic Four.
How's about that? The origin of Doom and a further adventure of the Doctor to boot! You can't ask for better!
Until next time: Who Do YOU Trust?