WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Doctor Doom #3 by Christopher Cantwell, Salvador Larroca, Guru-eFX and VC's Cory Petit, on sale Wednesday, Dec. 4.
Doctor Doom and Mephisto have been making the rounds over the last year in the Marvel Universe. Coming in first place on the leaderboard for most appearances has to be Marvel's Number 1 Devil. It all started with the former ruler of Hell appearing in Avengers with a revived Phil Coulson; Champions to give Miles Morales a "One More Day" type of offering; Doctor Strange to accept Stephen Strange's demonic deal; War of the Realms to aide the Power Elite; Deadpool to steal Wade Wilson's heart; Ghost Rider to reclaim the title of King of Hell; and Valkyrie to recruit his own Valkyrie.
As for Doctor Doom, he fought his rivals the Fantastic Four, headlines his own solo series, takes center stage in a 2099 event series and has a guest-starring role in Amazing Spider-Man. The only place Victor Von Doom comes off as a sympathetic figure is in his recently-launched series, where he was framed for a terroristic act he didn't commit.
However, Doom voluntarily turned himself over to the authorities as a show of good faith. The good vibes didn't last long once Kang the Conqueror confirmed Doom has a peaceful family existence waiting for him sometime in the far future. Now on the run, Doctor Doom was struck down by a sniper bullet and killed, which is an almost identical situation to what happened in Amazing Spider-Man #33-34 -- thought that turned out to be a Doombot.
A preview of Doctor Doom #3 finds Victor dead and in Hell, which would leave any normal man screaming in terror. Of course, it will take much more than the afterlife to scare Doctor Doom.
After surveying his situation, Doctor Doom begins marching towards a figure in the distance, who turns out to be Mephisto. Ever since losing the Ruler of Hell title to Johnny Blaze in Damnation, Mephisto has been plotting and scheming to get it back. How he managed to gain access back to Hell remains a mystery for now, but the two villains quickly get down to exchanging pleasantries.
Victor lets Mephisto know that just like the last time he died and went to Hell, he doesn't plan on staying long. Just as Mephisto tries to lay claim to Doctor Doom's soul, Victor unleashes a vicious punch to the devil's face, leaving him down on the mat.
Doctor Doom cares nothing for respecting a person's boundaries. Whether it be on their home (hell) turf or in another dimension, Doom has no equal or bows down to any god or deity. Victor also fancies himself a new suit of armor that is fitting for a realm of demons and sinners. After all, if you're going to look the devil square in his face and deliver a wicked left punch, you better look the part.
It's a safe bet that Doctor Doom will somehow find a way to escape from Hell to continue on his solo adventure. Of course, he will search for the person who tried to assassinate him, and will surely have some words for Morgan Le Fay, who could have orchestrated the entire scenario. Either way, Doctor Doom is victorious in a Round 1 knockout of Mephisto.
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