SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Marvel Two-In-One Annual #1 by Chip Zdarsky, Declan Shalvey, Jordie Bellaire and Joe Caramagna, on sale now.
Why is Doctor Doom a good guy now? A question which has floated in the aether since Victor’s turn to the side of angels with Infamous Iron Man #1. Sure, he’s given vague answers about a higher calling and wanting to turn his life around, but what exactly happened to Doctor Doom between Secret Wars and Infamous Iron Man which caused him to make sure a drastic change to everything we know about him.
This week’s Marvel Two-In-One Annual #1 answers that question by revealing a key scene between Doctor Doom and Reed Richards, taking place following their climactic fight in Secret Wars #9, but prior to the reconstruction of the Marvel Universe.
Doom Is Doom
The makeshift Fantastic Four of The Human Torch, The Thing, Doctor Doom and Rachna Koul have once again found themselves in an alternate universe searching for the missing Future Foundation, and with two energy signatures to track the team splits into pairs. Doom and Ben Grimm head off to Latveria where they find an alternate Doctor Doom who has just succeeded in killing the Fantastic Four, as he stands triumphantly over the corpse of his world’s Mister Fantastic.
Threatening to kill The Thing all over again, the alt-Doom is challenged by our Doom, who points out that now he has defeated his greatest enemies only one challenge remains, to defeat himself. Shedding their armor, the two Dooms clash and while the alt-Doom gets the upper hand, our Doom finds an escape in the form of a switch which transports his consciousness into the null space where he finds a new Council of Reeds.
In order to discuss the new information provided in Marvel Two-In-One Annual #1, we need to establish what we know about the end of Secret Wars. In a world where Reed Richards didn’t exist and Doctor Doom was the God of All Things, everything began to break down when Reed emerged from stasis and Doom once again let his old grudges rule his actions. Ultimately, the pair of enemies fought and Reed forced Doom to admit that if Mr. Fantastic was the one with the godlike power at his disposal, he would have done a much better job at fixing the universe.
Although he didn’t mean such an admission to have such consequences, Molecule Man took this to mean that he should stop funneling his power through Doom and instead focus it into Reed, which is what allowed Mr. Fantastic to restore the Multiverse. Earth-616 was recreated as the Prime Marvel Universe, Doom’s face was healed and The Future Foundation departed into the multiverse to work with the Molecule Man on recreating the destroyed worlds.