August 1978: Supervillain Team Up 15 – In which we learn we can root for Doctor Doom


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Synopsis: Supervillain Team Up 15 was written by Larry Lieber with art by Wally Wood, George Tuska and Mike Esposito and as I opened this issue, I realised that I broke rule 1: This is a reprint of another comic, but to be honest I’ll let myself off, since this was enjoyable little romp.

Supreme Monarch of Latveria, Doctor Doom has ended the rebellion of Prince Rudolpho, but this has left Doom’s castle in ruins and Doom instructs his vassals to rebuild the castle while he pops on holiday for a little while. After he takes off for the Riviera, giving the Red Skull and his allies, former Nazi villains called the Exiles, the chance to nip in and conquer the nation of Latveria.

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So these geriatric Nazi’s take the country over in an attempt to restart the Reich. All the while Doom kicks back, the only worry is thieves which fail embarrassingly and boredom, so he decides to fly back home and bask in his people’s loyalty.

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By the time he arrives, we have flags and goosestepping. Doom lands on the ramparts of his castle to be shot at by his own guards. They don’t do too well, so the Red Skull starts using Doom’s own stuff and temporarily bring Doom down using sleep gas. He awakens in a capsule, on display to show the Latverians that Doom cannot stop them and that the Red Skull is supreme. The Red Skull’s army now starts rounding up undesirables in a history repeating itself way. Doom frees himself because, well he’s Doom and then we have a Doom who has enough of the Red Skull’s s**t and demolishes the Exiles and gets the upper hand on the SKull and exposes him to a gas.


The Skull and the others away and find themselves to be 6 inches tall and facing a colossal Doctor Doom. Doom puts them in a rocket back to their base on Exile Island, where they are likely to learn that this was all some kind of hypnosis, they have been outwitted by Doctor Doom, who wanders off reflecting on the power of his own mind.


Notes: In the words of Andrew Leyland, ‘this is bobbins’. The story makes no sense and lurches from moment to moment, with no sense of passage of time, so it looks like the Red Skull conquered a whole country overnight, which he may have done. This story does showcase the difference between Doom and the Red Skull. The Red Skull’s MO, character and goals do seem to change depending on the writer or era and this weakens him as a character. Doom however is Doom and that’s about it, there’s been some subtly and nuance to the character, but the basics have never altered. Lee and Kirby got it right from the beginning and Doom was one of the best examples.

For more on Doctor Doom and the Hated Richards and his ilk, the best place is the Fantasticast, a detailed and amusing look at the Fantastic Four from the beginning of the Marvel Age of comics to whenever a good FF movie is made.

Next Time: We return to licensed properties as we enter a new universe (not that one).

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