Monday, March 21, 2011

Best of "What If...?": #6

Volume 1 #22 (1980)
What if Doctor Doom had become a hero?

CoverWritten by Don Glut
Drawn by Fred Kida

Years ago, Victor von Doom was a poor Romani youth growing up alone in the tiny kingdom of Latveria. During Victor's early childhood, both of his parents were put to death: first, his mother for practicing witchcraft, and later, his father for failing to cure the Latverian baron’s wife. Upon becoming a graduate student in America, Victor swore that he would find a way to reach the mother he had never known.

Although Victor was hugely intelligent, he was also so arrogant as to refuse to acknowledge his rare mistakes. Reed Richards, a fellow student of equal genius, once noted a critical flaw in Victor’s calculations, but his warning went ignored. Thus, when Victor finally attempted to contact his late mother, his machine exploded in his face, leaving him with nothing to show for his work but scars.

If only Victor had listened to Reed, his experiment might have succeeded. In a world unlike our own, Victor’s machine locates his mother’s soul in Hell. Instead of finding a reason to hate Richards, Doom finds a reason to thank him before departing to pursue a fantastic new project: the liberation of his mother’s soul…

“Yes, farewell, Victor von Doom… though I can’t shrug off the feeling… that tragedy will follow your accomplishments, no matter how noble they may be.”

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