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That Time Dr. Doom Lived a Million Years for Revenge...or Just Lied

In Abandoned an' Forsaked, we examine 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). Today, we look at how one of Doctor Doom's most epic victories was just a load of hogwash.

Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch's run on Fantastic Four began at a strange point in Marvel history. It was in that period between Civil War and Dark Reign. So Iron Man was trying to make a big deal out of how his legally registered Avengers team was such a big improvement over the non-registered team, so Iron Man went for some big wins and one of those big wins was to have the Avengers arrest Doctor Doom, once and for all. They achieved that victory and so Doom is in prison in Fantastic Four #562, when Reed Richards goes to visit Doom and Doom warns him of his master, someone Doom had never mentioned to this point in time...

At the end of the issue, Doom's warning is repeated (in case we forgot what happened earlier in the issue) as we see Doom's master in action and he looked really scary...

The next issue, we see Doom's master, the Marquis of Death, at work in an alternate dimension, working alongside a mysterious NEW apprentice...

In Fantastic Four #566, we see a Watcher from another dimension has been murdered. But who would do such a thing?

Okay, so "Dark Reign" begins and Norman Osborn makes sure to let Doctor Doom free. Doom heads home to Latveria, where he eagerly awaits the return of his master. The Marquis shows up and slowly seems to gauge Doom, before asking him if he thinks he's been as dangerous as the Marquis trained him to be. Doom says yes, but the Marquis thinks otherwise. He thinks that Doom has wasted his opportunity and tries to punish him for it...

The next issue is a pitched battle between Doom and the Marquis, but in the end, it turns out that the Marquis was just messing with Doom, including making it so that he believes that it is five years in the future and Doom has led all of the heroes of the Earth to defeat the Marquis and now Doom is married to the Invisible Woman and is about to have a child with her. That was all an illusion created by the Marquis just to be cruel to Doom.

He then deposits his dying body into a time machine and dropped him about a million years ago...

And so it appears that Doctor Doom has been killed and that the Marquis of Death is sort of taking Doom's place as the top villain in this dimension...

The Fantastic Four fight with the Marquis for the next two issues, which are also the final two issues of Millar and Hitch's run.

The Fantastic Four finally figure out a way to defeat the Marquis and it as at that point that the Marquis' new apprentice makes a shocking revelation - it has been Doom in disguise this whole time!!! He's lived a million years just to get back to this point in time so that he could gain his revenge, which he does, impressing the Marquis in the process...

Okay, you might note that that seems a bit hard to believe, so a later writer decided that if it seems hard to believe, it probably isn't true...

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