“The Prisoner– The Power– And– Dr. Doom!”
By: Stan Lee and John Buscema/ Inking: Joe Sinnott/ Lettering: Artie Simek
After two issues of ill-suited Neal Adams fill-in, new artist John Buscema is onboard and the results are… fine. The book’s visuals have gone from the amazing to the merely very good. Buscema gives the book a straight-up sword and sorcery vibe, as opposed to Kirby’s funkier take on the genre. As for the plotting, well, it is fairly bonkers.
In the Marvel comics shared universe, there is one villain that stands above the rest: Doctor Doom. Doctor Doom is the king of a tiny European nation. Doctor Doom is one of the world’s most brilliant minds in the field of super-science. Doctor Doom has invented time travel. Doctor Doom is never seen outside of a suit of armor he wears, conferring super powers upon him. Doctor Doom’s face beneath his mask is horribly mutilated, although it never seen, never depicted on-panel.
Doctor Bake semi-randomly stumbles upon the fact that Doctor Doom will soon have ICBMs at his disposal after meeting Cosette, the daughter of the man who Doom has conscripted to build his missiles. Rather that just attack Doom head-on, Thor sets a trap.
Blake calls reporter Harris Hobbs, who does not remember that Blake and Thor are one and the same, thanks to Thor’s powers of hypnosis, used in issue #123. Blake gets Hobbs to run a story claiming that famous neurologist Doctor Donald Blake has developed a method of plastic surgery that can repair any amount of facial disfigurement. Surely Doctor Doom could not resist such a surgery.
While Blake waits for Doom to take his bait, Odin calls upon Thor, telling him it is time to speak of The World Beyond. Thor begs Odin permission to finish his operation against Doom. Odin grants this boon.
Presumably, Blake spends the next few days letting down any number of scarred and malformed hopefuls before Doom eventually kidnaps him and spirits him to his nation of Latvaria. Once they arrive, Doom demands that Blake repair his face and shows the doctor his visage. Blake is so horrified by what he sees that he totally loses his composure, screaming, “Oh no! No! In the name of heaven– I never dreamt it would be like that!! There’s nothing medical science can do! Nothing!!”
A furious Doom locks the doctor up in his dungeon. Blake turns into Thor, busts loose and Doom fires a stalker missile at Thor!
First appearance: Doctor Doom, Cosette