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When Doctor Doom's Action Figure Led to a New Costume For Him!

In "Follow the Path," I spotlight changes made to comic book characters that are based on outside media, as well as characters who entirely came from outside media. I’m sure you can think of other examples, so feel free to e-mail me at brianc@cbr.com if you want to suggest some other examples for future installments.

Today, we look at one of the rare instances of the Secret Wars toy line having an influence on the comic book series!

As you likely know by now, in 1984, Marvel launched Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars...

This was a tie-in with the toy line of the same name...

As you can see, the toys did a pretty amazing job replicating the designs of the characters from the Marvel Universe (well, except for that dumb thing where they all had to have Secret Shields, so Captain America did not get to have his own shield).

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However, there was a notable exception. For whatever reason, Mattel decided that Doctor Doom needed a re-design from his Jack Kirby classic look...

to a new, more futuristic design...

When the series began, though, Doom was in his classic outfit, as seen here in Secret Wars #1 (by Jim Shooter, Mike Zeck and John Beatty)...

However, one of the most classic moments in the entire series came in Secret Wars #10 (with that iconic Mike Zeck cover)...

Doom decided that he was going to steal the power of the Beyonder, the supremely powerful being that had brought the heroes and villains together to make them fight for its own amusement. I just love that about Doom. He's the only dude that meets, like, God and says, "Hmmm...how can I steal God's powers?"

Anyhow, Doom amped up his abilities (through technology and power he stole from Galactus) to take on the Beyonder and in the process, his costume was torn, even as Doom was becoming more powerful...

Here, then, we see Doom actually transform his costume into a new look, based on the Secret Wars action figure...

He then asks the superheroes for help taking on the Beyonder...

They say no (well, Magneto looked like he was willing to help, but that's it).

In the end, though, Doom won...

Obviously, eventually Doom lost and the Beyonder got his powers back. When Doom showed up in the comics, he was back to his original costume...

So it was just a very minor impact, but the Secret Wars toy line at least had SOME impact for a little bit of time!

Reader David P. thought it was worth noting the likely reasons why Doom's original costume wouldn't have worked for an action figure. He explained, "My guess is that Doom’s armor redesign was mainly due to cost savings and practicality. His kilt wouldn’t have worked with the figure type. Toybiz made him his own head and torso but he’s rocking the same arm and legs as the Ironman figure. It’s a time honored toy tradition."

That's it for this installment of Follow the Path! If anyone else has a suggestion for a comic book character changing due to TV or movies (or other outside comic book sources, like, say, action figures), drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com!

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