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CSBG Archive

The Abandoned An’ Forsaked – Doctor Doom Worked for Hitler?

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 the time that Doctor Doom did some work as a young man for, of all people, Adolf Hitler!

Typically, I do not address retcons that involve sliding timescales, because they generally are far too mundane. It really doesn’t seem like you’re abandoning and forsaking much by noting that yes, Reed Richards and Ben Grimm obviously no longer fought in World War II. However, today’s story seemed a bit more outlandish, so I figured I’d address how Roger Stern dealt with Invaders #32-33.

In Invaders #32, written by Roy Thomas with art by Alan Kupperberg and Frank Springer, Hitler hires a scientist who says that he can bring the actual Thor from the past into the present. The scientist (Dr. Olsen) has an assistant named Hans who wears bandages on his face….

They succeed in their plan and Hitler soon tricks Thor into trying to kill Joseph Stalin (as this was during the time in the war where Germany was invading the USSR)…

We see more of Hitler’s mad plan in #33 (what Thor actually does in the past is a whole other story)…

So yes, Victor Von Doom is working for the Nazis.

However, now that he is in charge, Von Doom doesn’t let Hitler go through with the plan…

And they have an interesting conversation…

Okay, so obviously the timeline stuff needed to be addressed, but also, the idea of Von Doom willingly working with the Nazis seems odd, as well.

In 1998′s Marvel Universe #2, Roger Stern deals with it all. In the issue (drawn by Steve Epting and Al Williamson), we see that a young Baron Von Strucker witnessed the events of Invaders #33, but saw something different…

Von Strucker then ended up in the future (well, HIS future)…

and eventually encounters Doom, who explains that of course he went back in time to STUDY the Nazis, not to actually work for them…

Him leaving Hitler alive makes a WHOLE lot more sense when you keep in mind that he knows Hitler was going to die soon anyways.

Thanks to Senhor Suíno for the suggestion! If YOU have a suggestion for a future Abandoned an’ Forsaked, let me know by e-mailing me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com

42 Comments

Okay, but none of that explains why the Asgardians were whomping on a bunch of half-naked wrestlers or why Volstaag’s limbs appear to be growing directly out of his ribcage and he has an arm growing from his groin.

Ah, man, I loved the MARVEL UNIVERSE series SO MUCH, it was one of the earliest things I read when I started buying American regularly (living in the UK as I do).

I still hate the world for that Marvel Universe series only lasting 7 issues. Such a great idea for a book and the two arcs that were written were phenomenal. Some of Roger Stern’s best work.

Right on, Nick.

What? Thor got sucked into WW2 from the past? When did Odin force his son into mortal form? The 50s, or did he make Thor get reincarnated? That wasn’t very clear in the encyclopedia.

And Dr. Doom went BACK in time?! What was younger self doing during the war, while Richards and Grimm were on the frontlines?

Dave C., originally, it *was* simply Roy Thomas revealing what Doom was doing at that time. However, Reed and Ben are now too young to have fought in WWII, as is Doom, so now none of them were there (except via time-travel like what Doom does in the later story/retcon.)

As a kid, I loved the reveal that Doom was working with Hitler in that issue.

It does seem like an odd lapse of character (never mind the questionable aging continuity) but back then it was just neat to see a familiar (bandaged) face turn up unexpectedly.

Thought that I would second all the love that Roger Stern’s MARVEL UNIVERSE is receiving. It was a really fine piece of work, and his explanation/retcon for Doom’s presence in WW2 was nicely thought out.

Speaking of Stern’s all too brief MARVEL UNIVERSE run, has anyone reconciled Stern’s depiction of Steve Rogers’ Revolutionary War namesake Captain Steve Rogers (in CAPTAIN AMERICA:SENTINEL OF LIBERTY 6-7) with the idea that Steve’s parents were immigrants from Ireland? Frankly, I’ve always thought that the Revolutionary War background should be kept, seeing as how it derives from Jack Kirby himself (Captain Rogers was introduced in CAPTAIN AMERICA 194 during Kirby’s Bicentennial storyline). The easiest way to deal with the problem, I suppose, would be to have one of Captain Steven Roger’s descendants marry into an Irish family (cf how Irish leader Charles Stewart Parnell was the grandson of War of 1812 hero Admiral Charles Stewart).

The One and Only

April 13, 2013 at 9:21 am

Roger Stern’s MARVEL UNIVERSE is probably one of my favorite cancelled series out there. Plumbing the history of the Marvel Universe before the Fantastic Four’s debut was a cool idea. And the Invaders and Monster Hunters tales were some good storytelling there. Great book.

Gotta love that Kupperberg shot of Hitler. It looks almost like a scene from Downfall.

@Tracer Bullet
That was Hitler’s fantasy, wasn’t it? I guess he just has a weird fantasy, what with the vision of Asgardian gods fighting naked men. (Yeah, one guy has pants. Another clearly doesn’t, and a third clearly has no pants but has his skin below the waist colored purple anyway, so I figure the pants were added for the sake of censorship.)

Calling Dr. Doom working for Hitler odd is an understatemant IMHO.

RE: Doom working for Hitler,

Well, in the comic Doom was actually working with Dr Olsen (in order to reach his mother in the “spirit world”). Hence, his relationship with Hitler was, as it were, incidental (i.e., the guy that Doom was working with was also working with Hitler). Plus, Doom’s thought bubbles make it quite clear that he was not exactly happy about aiding Hitler.

I can see both versions being relatively faithful to the idea of Dr Doom, either way he has contempt for Hitler and expects him to lose, so doesn’t bother to kill him. Time traveling Doom presumably knows it would just create and alternate timeline anyway, right?

What I found weird was the line; ‘The one man who is even more evil that me.’ I know back in the day many Marvel bad guys oddly declared themselves to be evil just for the sake of evil, as ridiculous as that seems to me, but I never thought that Doom thought of himself as evil. After all, since in Doom’s mind, the ultimate good is what is good for Doom. Doom is just too hubris laden, too arrogant to concede even that somebody could legitimately oppose him out of morality.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not accusing Roy Thomas of being less than faithful to continuity of character, it totally fits in with how things were written at Marvel, but it just seems weird to read it now.

Loved this old story. I love all the ways Roy Thomas makes things fit together. I love all the odd bits of WW2 that have been carefully ignored from the beginnings of the Marvel era.

always was happy when marvel universe had doom reveal he just wanted to study the nazies not work for them and left hitler to the fate he knew history stated he deserved espicaly given how doom was a gypsies one of the races hitiler longed to wipe out . plus also it explained why doom would bring thor into ww2 not to mention doom daring strucker to try and change history.

bad johnny got out

April 13, 2013 at 3:41 pm

“Doom, who explains that of course he went back in time to STUDY the Nazis, not to actually work for them… Him saving Hitler makes a WHOLE lot more sense when you keep in mind that he knows Hitler was going to die soon anyways.”

All of which was already explained in those Invaders #32-33 excerpts. I am 100% not understanding what you or Roger Stern think needed to be forsaked, abandoned, apologized for, or however you want to say it. Brian, I’m not sure how to put this delicately: I think one of us might be super crazy.

Annoyged Grunt

April 13, 2013 at 3:44 pm

Dr Doom was The Unknown Soldier?

The Crazed Spruce

April 13, 2013 at 4:21 pm

All of which was already explained in those Invaders #32-33 excerpts. I am 100% not understanding what you or Roger Stern think needed to be forsaked, abandoned, apologized for, or however you want to say it. Brian, I’m not sure how to put this delicately: I think one of us might be super crazy.

In the original story, they were saying that Doom went to work Dr. Olsen just out of college, before he took over Latveria and became the epic supervillain we all know and love. (It was written in the early 70′s, so it’s a bi of a stretch, but it’s feasible.) Roger Stern added the time-travel element once the timeline became completely implausible.

bad johnny got out

April 13, 2013 at 5:31 pm

Is that all? Oh, okay.

I used to worry about where we’d get our psychotic antiheros from, once Vietnam got too far away. Turns out it wasn’t a problem at all.

Has anything been done regarding retconning Reed and Ben’s WW2 exploits? Like, say, MARVEL TWO IN ONE 77, which has a flashback to a WW2 mission that Ben had with the Howling Commandos? Are are such things just ignored?

I’m afraid I don’t see the part in the original where Doom saves Hitler’s life, there was no implication that Hitler would have died if Doom didn’t pull the wreckage off of him, and Doom’s script was just ‘I spare you,’ not ‘I saved you.’

You’ve convinced me, phred!

I just never know when somebody is being sarcastic.

Ha! Fair enough. I will specify that there was no sarcasm intended.

What I found weird was the line; ‘The one man who is even more evil that me.’

Did the writer of this tale realize that the Axis had a couple more members as well as numerous underlings? Did the writer know about Unit 731 of Japan? Shiro Ishii later appeared in a 1990′s published Nick Fury tale.

(Also, although a figure of circa 1200 BCE as I recall, since Doctor Doom can time travel to meet him, perhaps one could make mention of Moses.)

bad johnny got out

April 13, 2013 at 5:31 pm

Is that all? Oh, okay.

I used to worry about where we’d get our psychotic antiheros from, once Vietnam got too far away.

====================================================================================

Sin-Cong

http://www.comicvine.com/sin-cong/4020-55936/

http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2012/12/01/the-abandoned-an-forsaked-is-rhodeys-mom-dead-or-what/

http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/rhodeymom9.jpg

Look carefully at the reference to Sin-Cong in the narration of the panel.

Perhaps this merits an entry.

PB210, it’s possible Doom didn’t know about Japan’s 731 unit. He’d be much more focused on Europe.
I like his contempt for Hitler’s racial policies in both versions. It’s rare to see Doom’s Roma ethnicity made use of.
And yes, joining in the love for Marvel Universe (I assume, by the way, Sterns’ Avengers 1 1/2 or whatever it was was intended for that book). This ingeniously resolves Doom’s presence in Invaders, and the Monster Hunters multiparter was equally entertaining.
I wonder if Reed and Ben having any military service has just dropped away. Heroes Reborn credited Ben with being a Gulf War pilot, but that’s the last time I recall anyone attempting to update it. Of course, far fewer people have military experience now, it’s not that surprising (and I doubt they’d show Reed out in the field with the OSS or its equivalent–more likely he’d be doing tech stuff).

RE Read and Ben’s service in WWII, I have always thought that you just shouldn’t overthink Marvel’s sliding time scale, it’s better to just ignore than to retcon. After all, once you get started, it’s hard to stop. There are just too many references to contemporary events scattered through the comics, from Captain America saving Reagan from turning into a giant reptile to Peter and Gwen going to see ‘I Am Curious (Yellow)’

It’s very hard to improve upon them in retcons anyway, better to just somehow suggest that it makes perfect sense that there have been ten presidents in the last 15 years in the Marvel Universe.

Roger Stern’s work never ceases to amaze me. He is consistently among the finest writers of any era.

The Captain saved Obama from becoming a permanent snake monster. ;)

I do not think the sliding time line is that much of a problem. Reed and Ben can still have served in the military with out that service being tied to any specific war (they could have been involved in clandestine operations while we were officially at peace).

Same with Tony Stark testing weapons in Vietnam. I do not really care for Iron Man’s origin being shifted to Afghanistan. There are plenty of hot spots in the jungles of Asia where Stark and some US operatives could have been testing weapons against rebels/terrorists/insurgents with out tying that event to a specific war in our world.

Stern’s Marvel Universe was great and is much missed. I would have loved to see some stories from the Lost Generation in there.

I liked the way this was handled by Roger Stern too and it was a hoot to see Kirby’s original costume for Doom showing up here. But it also serves to show this excursion to the past that Doom took was pretty early on in his life, undoubtedly just after returning from Tibet. It could be that it was just after his first encounter with the Fantastic Four but before teaming up with Sub-Mariner. In FF #5, Doom tell them that he has to stay behind to operate the time platform but here we see it operating seemly on remote control. After the FF left, he could have perfected that part.

BTW, all you Roger Stern buffs should be sure to pre-order his GN with Doctor Doom and Doctor Strange coming out this summer. This has long been out of print and it is great to see it back in circulation.

Oh, that’s totally good news.
I would say Doom in the original Invaders would have been not long after graduating college–I’d guess before he took on the mask (like Reed and Ben he’d have been at college in the late 1930s). As for his claim about the time-machine, I’d just assume that was a lie.

Incidentally, I would guess the reason Thor found the reference to the 20th century odd had to do with his society following a calendar other than the conventional one.

fraser

April 14, 2013 at 8:48 am

PB210, it’s possible Doom didn’t know about Japan’s 731 unit. He’d be much more focused on Europe.

===================================================================================

They do indicate that Doom at some later point had intelligence on the Yellow Claw, so at some point he started monitoring events in that general area.

http://www.geocities.ws/datacore_faf/yellow_claw.html

Good point. But if he is just out of college, he’s probably only beginning to think globally.

Roger Stern is amazing. Unlike Busiek or Roy Thomas, Stern is the one guy who can revisit, fix, and clarify old continuity conundrums without it feeling like a didactic piece of fanfiction. It just reads like an awesome story in its own right.

phred

April 13, 2013 at 1:50 pm

What I found weird was the line; ‘The one man who is even more evil that me.’

=======================================================\

Particularly odd to say as at this point, what has he done other than bungled an attempt to defeat Mephisto? Even if he means just the way the general public perceives him, this seems odd to say.

As I recall, the general public, per various tales, regarded Doctor Fu Manchu as only fictional, so Von Doom may not of known otherwise at this point to use him as a comparison.

Thanks for using my suggestion, Brian.

Simple. It was a Doombot. Sent back in time. By Doom using his time machine.

The thing that stands out to me is why wear armor if you need a force field to stop bullets from a Luger? For that, at least, couldn’t just the armor do the job?

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