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CSBG Archive

The Abandoned An’ Forsaked – So Is Dr. Doom a Deadbeat Or What?

Every week, we will be examining comic book stories and ideas that were not only abandoned, but also had the stories/plots specifically “overturned” by a later writer (as if they were a legal precedent). Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of The Abandoned An’ Forsaked. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.

Today we look at how the late, great Dwayne McDuffie explained away the classic “Where’s my money, honey?” confrontation between Luke Cage and Doctor Doom.

As you know (or if you don’t, then check this description of the story here), Steve Englehart once had an issue of Luke Cage, Hero for Hire where Luke Cage does some work for Doctor Doom only to be stiffed out of his $200 fee…

Angered, Cage travels all the way to Latveria to get his money…

Click here if you want to see more from that tale.

Now, interestingly, look at the above dialogue and look at the dialogue in the finale of the story…

You could pretty easily make the argument that Doom does not think that he ACTUALLY owes Cage the money (he even specifically says “what you say I owe you”) but is just amazed that Cage would travel from the United States to Europe just to collect on a $200 debt.

This is the approach that Dwayne McDuffie used roughly fifteen years later when he addressed the situaiton in an issue of Damage Control (the company that fixes messes caused by superhero fights) and decided to do some damage control on Doom’s rep…

And just in case you were wondering if this was just a coincidence, McDuffie actually posted a comment right here at Comics Should Be Good in 2010 (in a discussion of the aforementioned “Where’s my money, honey?” scene) stating:

My Damage Control story ” When Doom Defaults!” was a direct response to this one, which I hated as a child.

Good stuff by McDuffie.

Our pal Iron Maiden pointed this one out awhile back.

If you have a suggestion for a future Abandoned an’ Forsaked, be sure to let me know at bcronin@comicbookresources.com! Do note that the key to abandoned an’ forsaked is that a story is both abandoned and then a later story directly overwrites/contradicts/retcons the abandoned story. I mention this only because I get a lot of suggestions for abandoned stories, but not so much abandoned AND forsaked stories.


And didn’t John Byrne officially ‘abandon and forsake’ all stories where Doom acted out of character by saying the “Doom” in any such incident was a Doombot?

@Hank: It was Simonson who did that on his FF run, in issue #350.

Nope. Byrne did it first in his issue focusing on Dr. Doom, FF #258.

And I agree with McDuffie. Doom may be treacherous at times, but still has a sense of honor. He wouldn’t do something so petty as run out on a $200 debt.

Yeah, I can’t, even for a second, see Doom not paying a (for him, certainly) small bill that is due. Doom is many things, but petty for pettys sake isn’t one of them.

While the story line of Dr.Doom welching on a $200 debt is LOL comic gold, who is going to collect it from him, seriously the only characters on Marvels character roster that would act as “collection agents” would be Luke Cage, Punisher, Deadpool, Cross Bones, and Task Master (okay that last one is a stretch because I like Task Master)

All of the Damage Control series were hilarious…and they certainly made a lot of sense, all things considered.

Frankly, I always loved that Cage story. I didn’t really care if it was in character for Doom or not — I loved the fact that Cage would go all the way to Latveria, to get up in Doom’s face to collect what he felt he was fairly owed. I respected that.

“do you have any photo ID?”


The trouble with the Doombot approach is that not everyone agrees what’s out of character for Doom.
I personally think he’d be above stiffing someone (though I did love that Luke Cage story)–but on the other hand, when the Terrible Trio captured the FF for him (FF 23, I believe) Doom promises them five grand each; instead they get a “priceless” dimensional transporter that sends them to limbo until Doom needs them again. And that’s Lee and Kirby.
When I read the Damage Control story (and I love that one too) my thought was that Doom is just being practical: Having Damage Control clear up after his battles is probably cheaper than rebuilding the embassy, and less of a problem than if the US froze Latverian assets. Cage and the Trio, on the other hand, are disposable cannon fodder, not really worth of respect until Cage proves otherwise.

always thought that if there is one thing doom would never do is welch on a debt espically given what cage did to get him to pay up not to mention also pay damage control for after all the last thing doom would ever want is to wind up being on some ones debt given his ego.

Y’know, the easy explanation is that Doom just wanted to test Cage’s strength and determination, and engineered this incident to evaluate his abilities.

Hey, don’t I get a credit for pointing this one out Brian? :-)

Oh right, I meant to mention you. Sorry about that.

Considering what happened to them in Civil War, is it possible that Damage Control could be considered Abandoned ‘n’ Forsaked?

Out of curiosity, is there any textual evidence that Doom was, in fact noble or honorable at the time this story came out? All I can think of are counter-examples: He uses his genius to cheat the European aristocracy as a teenager; his betrayal of the Terrible Trio; his willingness to double-cross Namor after they team up.in FF 6; and when Doom fights the Avengers, he’s willing to let a handicapped Latverian boy stay crippled for life rather than let them escape. Reed does say in their first appearance that he keeps his word, but that’s about it.
And while we’re on the subject of Doom, I seem to recall that What If 22 identified Doom as a true heir to the Latverian throne (and not in a way that could be explained by the divergence point). Is there any previous backing (or later backing) for that claim, because it struck me out of the blue at the time.

Damage Control appeared in a mini after Civil War, I think. World War Hulk was after that, right? Anyway, they clean up after that. It’s a 3 issue mini that McDuffie wrote and it’s pretty funny stuff.

The Justice League Doom 2 disc animated movie has an interesting featurette on the life of McDuffie that’s pretty nicely done. It is odd that they don’t ever feature Dwayne speaking (especially as the one bit of film is from the All Star Superman movie premiere, and he’s getting interviewed by someone), and the end is a bit overdone with all the interviewees shown in mourning at the end of the featurette, but it covers his life pretty well and shows he was an interesting guy all around. I’m not afraid to say I teared up with the interviews with his widow.

And as much as I love the comic book All Star Superman, I think the animated film streamlines the story in an excellent way, explains a few things that Morrison didn’t clarify as well as he could have, and gives one character a nice bit at the end. Great stuff, if you haven’t seen it.

The trouble with the Doombot approach is that not everyone agrees what’s out of character for Doom.

Personally, I think that’s the beauty of it. If Creator A doesn’t like Creator B’s story, it was a Doombot. Then if Creator C doesn’t like Creator A’s story, THAT becomes a Doombot. This way, each creator & fan can believe in the Doctor Doom they want to believe in.

So did Luke Cage’s shirt fall completely off every time he swore vengeance on someone?

My question: what kind of (non-photo) ID does Doom carry around in his armor? Was it his Blockbuster Video card? His library card? His American Express card?

Yeah, and does he sign his checks “Doctor Doom”, or “Victor von Doom”, or what?

He also totally has a fake Avengers ID to impress the ladies at clubs.

For anyone who read the fairly recent Mark Millar story arc in Fantastic Four, it concludes with Doom becoming a very powerful being. Yet, very shortly afterwards, this is never mentioned and he returns to the Doom that we all know. It seems that this pattern repeats. Doom amassing great power and then either doesn’t do anything with it or it is ignored by the writers. I’m still waiting for Doom to do something significant. Where is the Civil War, Siege, Secret Invasion where Doom is the main villain?

Travis, I figure he just signs his checks Doom. Because he enjoys having a name like that
For that matter, his press releases are probably headlined “message of doom.”

Average Joe Everyman

October 8, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Maybe his stationary headings is “Doom Sayings”

I must concur with “leakybucket” up there. Mark Millar’s Master of Doom storyline definitely qualifies as Abandoned and Forsaked. Doom was sent back to prehistoric times and spent millions of years amassing dark magical powers so he could destroy his mentor. He then refers to himself as an “infinitely superior being” to Reed Richards, and therefor has nothing has nothing to prove by fighting the FF again, so he simply vanishes back to Latveria, which had been completely destroyed in the previous issue so, presumably, he was able to restore it.

That’s a pretty big change in the character, which has subsequently ignored. The next crossover with Doom as the main villain was the Black Panther DOOMWAR series, and there was no mention of any serious upgrade to Doom.

Hey J.R. LeMar,
Thanks for agreeing. Its not only the Black Panther story it was every appearance after that. I was looking forward to something more being done with the line but as always Doom doesn’t really do anything. Marvel also likes to keep the status quo.

Damage Control was classic. I love that the Count’s name is Flounder.

Well, I just mentioned Doomwar because I think that was the first storyline immediately following FF, and it was built around Doom being the big bad guy. But he didn’t seem and more powerful than usual, and still ended up losing in the end.

Although, thinking more about it, I’m not sure it totally fits the theme of this column, since no other writer has come along to explain away Doom’s big upgrade. It’s just been completely ignored, so far. So the story was “abandoned” but quite “forsaked” yet.

Maybe after Doom amassed all that power he went off to conquer and/destroy a bunch of parallel universes, like the Maquis of Death did, and left a Doombot to stand in for him on the regular Earth, and that’s been who we’ve been seeing since FF?

JR. Lemar, the forum is called “So Is Dr. Doom a Deadbeat Or What?” so it makes sense for our comments to be there. I really like your take on what happened next. I would have never thought of that but I guess it makes sense. Ultimately what is sad is that Hickman based a lot of what he did next on Millar’s run. True he made it his own but he took a lot of themes and ideas and built on them. This one Doom element was sadly avoided. Perhaps this Doom disappeared as you say to pursue other quests and that the Doom we see henceforth is simply the contemporary Doom before he goes on the quest to become Uber Doom. Perhaps Uber Doom comes from another dimension as did the Marquis of Death.

I just hope he come back again someday to do something. And maybe contemporary Doom will need to stop him..

I cannot, for the life of me, read Luke Cage’s “Where’s my money, honey?” without laughing. It is the single funniest thing I have ever seen. Instant laughs, EVERY time.

If nothing else, I would love Damage Control for how it handled the Punisher in a later story (which deserve an I Love You But Your Strange entry, hint hint). It’s a lot of fun to laugh at Frank Castle.

So how much did Mr. Fantastic pay in fuel and maintenance to get Cage flown over to Latverian? Even then, gas prices were going to a hell of a lot more than 200 bucks.

Or “Latveria”

I love that Dr. Doom says “No one will molest you!” to Cage when directing him to use the secret passage. Was that a concern in Latervia, molestation?

Well, if he’s using Doom’s “secret passage”, it doesn’t sound like Cage is the one getting molested….


Everyone knows that Reed has unlimited energy all figured out, he just doesn’t share it with the rest of the world because he’s such a useless tool…

Good to know there’s at least one other person who roots for Doom against Richards.

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