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By Thomas Wheeler

I told you I'd get around to this one after I reviewed The Thing and Namor, and I finally found Doom at Toys "R" Us in mid-December. So, let's finally have our DOCTOR DOOM review, shall we?

Every time I encounter a Doom figure, it amazes me that Mego, back in the 70's, never did this character. Out of all of Marvel's long host of villains, there are likely none that have the reputation and the grim appearance of the supreme monarch of Latveria who seeks to conquer the world and rid himself of his most hated foe, Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four.

Victor Von Doom was born into a gypsy camp in the tiny country of Latveria, but it was only after his mother's death that he learned that he was the rightful heir to the throne. Still, he did not claim this title. He learned everything he could about the worlds of science and magic, eventually enrolling in the same American university as Reed Richards. There, Doom conducted mysterious experiments. A miscalculation in one resulted in an explosion, which left a meager scar on Doom's face, but he believed himself to be disfigured beyond reason. He left the university and took refuge in a hidden monastery in Tibet. There he had fashioned for himself a grim suit of high tech armor. The mask was placed on his face when it was still red-hot, and this truly destroyed Doom's face for all time. He returned to Latveria, claimed the throne, and, using it as a base of power, started a reign of terror bent on global conquest using all of the tools and technology his mind could imagine.

The Doctor Doom figure is a very impressive piece of work. As well articulated as either Thing or Namor, the figure's armor is a dull metallic grey, with a certain amount of tarnish to it. The dark green tunic and near-black hood and cape add to the grim image. The mask is removable, showing, curiously, a still-handsome face except for a tiny scar on one cheek. There is a variant Doom available, with a mechanical face, one of the Doctor's numerous Doombots, which he uses for "lesser operations" that do not require his personal presence.

Doom is an enigma as a character. He is ruthless towards the world, yet caring in his own way towards his people. He has a nobility that many heroes lack, and yet he suffers from a colossal ego. He has, on rare occasion, teamed up with everybody from the Fantastic Four to the Avengers, when his own interests have been threatened. There is no doubt that he is a villain. There is also no doubt that he is one of the most complex characters in the history of the Marvel Universe. And this figure is an excellent representation of him.

According to news sources, the next assortment in the line will include Wolverine, Thor, Ghost Rider, and Magneto. All look fairly impressive, although I've never been much of a Ghost Rider fan. I'd also think they'd get around to Daredevil, what with his forthcoming (as of this writing) movie. But we'll see what happens. As I said when I reviewed the Thing and Namor, MARVEL LEGENDS is a very impressive line overall, and I look forward to seeing it continue.