Doctor Doom’s Greatest Desire Proves He’ll Be the MCU’s Most Dangerous Wildcard
Doctor Doom’s habit of wanting to be seen as a noble hero gives his range of abilities an additional layer of danger.
Of all the Marvel villains yet to make their way to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Doctor Doom might be one of the most important. While he is a villain powerful enough and with enough abilities to theoretically endanger any hero in the universe, his very human desires are what make him particularly dangerous.
Doctor Doom’s attempts to become a hero in the eyes of the world speaks to one of his more engaging characteristics — and serves as a good reminder of what makes him so dangerous. Ahead of his inevitable MCU debut, it’s the ultimate proof of just how dark the character can really be.
One of the surprisingly definitive elements of Doctor Doom over the years has been his desire for respect and adoration. He proclaims himself to be the greatest man in the world at every opportunity and more or less uses Latveria as a showcase of his capabilities. His feigned nobility speaks to how he wants to be seen even by his enemies, trying to forcibly earn their respect and admiration. More than once, he’s done his best to even replace heroes that so often vex him. Multiple alternate realities exist where variants of Doom became regarded as a hero or stole an identity. In the core-Marvel Universe, he briefly usurped the role of Iron Man after spending most of Secret Wars with a stolen version of Reed Richards’ family. Doom is confident in his greatness and wants everyone else to recognize it.
But none of this has ever stopped him from being an absolute monster. Doctor Doom has crossed terrifying lines to gain an edge over his enemies, even using the skin of his long-lost love to craft a demonically enhanced armor. It creates an interesting contrast, as Doctor Doom can have noble intentions or relatable goals, such as when he wanted to rescue his mother’s soul from Mephisto. It allows him to work together with heroes on occasion. But his ruthless nature and monstrous drive allows him to excuse committing genuinely terrible acts in the name of the greater good, which helps make him such a terrifying villain. These desires might actually be what makes Doctor Doom so dangerous.
That self-assured confidence allowed him to stare into the eyes of Black Panther’s god Bast without blinking in Doomwar, and still allowed him to continue hurting countless innocents. Doctor Doom doesn’t just want to beat his enemies, he wants them to praise and adore him for doing so. All of this sets Doctor Doom up as one of the most exciting villains yet to come to the MCU. He essentially has the same kind of ego-driven flaws as Mysterio in Spider-Man: Far From Home, but with follow-through, abilities, and sheer resilience to give him the genuine potential to force the world into his orbit. His tendency to target heroes and desire to replace them makes him Marvel’s Lex Luthor — only with a wider range of abilities to make him seriously dangerous to anyone.
Doctor Doom’s abilities are genuinely impressive, and his drive to replace heroes in the eyes of the world has never had a better opening than in the current MCU. With Captain America and Iron Man both removed from the board — and no Fantastic Four yet on the scene to steal his thunder — Doctor Doom’s arrival could easily allow him to usurp their legacies. While all of these aspects mean it’s possible Doctor Doom can work alongside the heroes on occasion, it never detracts from the sheer danger he genuinely offers the heroes. It’s an element that makes Doctor Doom such an engaging and terrifying villain.
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