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by: Protoclown

Hello, and welcome to "Tales from the Longbox", my new regular comic column here on I-Mockery! For those of you who aren't serious collectors of comics, the title refers to the long white boxes that comic geeks keep their books in. Given how much I love comic books, it was only natural that I would eventually start up my own column on this part of the site (after RoG kicked me up off my lazy ass, of course). I may not have the historical perspective that Max Burbank has, but I follow a wide range of different titles that should give me a pretty broad perspective on what's going on in the world of comic books today. So I'll be adding a new topic of discussion at least once a month from here on out, or possibly more depending on how frequently new topics hit me. I'll be using this space to discuss things that amuse or interest me about the fascinating world of comics, and no subject between twenty-two stapled pages will be too sacred for me to poke fun at, as I'm perfectly happy to make fun of things I really like.

For my timely first column, I'll be discussing The Fantastic Four to coincide with the movie release, and as my special shtick this month I'll be interviewing Doctor Doom. Actually I'll be pretending to interview Doctor Doom and actually writing the whole thing myself, because (and I know some of you basement-dwelling fanboys will be crushed by this brazen admission) Doctor Doom isn't a real person. So without further ado, let's get started!

PROTO: So, Doctor Doom, I'm sure by now you've seen the Fantastic Four movie trailer. What are your thoughts on that?

The Human Torch, The Thing, Mr. Fantastic, and The Invisible Woman
speeding along on their way to sucking with a vengeance

In the movie, the Four are portrayed by Some Guy, The Commish,
that hot stripper chick from "Sin City", and Some Other Guy

DOOM: Doom saw this trailer when he went to see "The Pacifier" and Doom was disgusted at how the "actor" who portrayed him did not even properly shout his lines in a booming voice of anger! Doom loathes Richards to the very core of his being! Doom does not "talk" his problems over; Doom does not say, "Susan, let's not fight"! Doom flips the table over Susan's head and crushes her skull like the insignificant and empty melon that it is! And then Doom dispatches his Doombots to destroy Richards and the rest of his cowardly ilk in the Baxter Building while they sleep!

One of Dr. Doom's deadly Doombots, servants
who carry out his evil bidding (actual size)

P: Yes, but in the comics, you've clearly never done that because all the Fantastic Four are still—

D: It is that accursed Reed Richards! He foils all of Doom's plans through the intervention of divine providence, for without the aid of an entire pantheon of deific allies, Richards is NO match for Doom! It's because God hates Doom that even Doom's plans for this "fantastic" movie have crumbled to fine dust in his mighty gauntleted hands!

P: Your plans for the movie? What do you mean?

D: Perhaps you've heard of the original "Fantastic Four" movie from about ten years ago. That celluloid atrocity was written, produced and directed by none other than DOOM himself!

P: Yes, I was unfortunate enough to have downloaded and watched parts of that movie. It ranks right up there with the Star Wars Holiday special on the "Dear God, Why!??" list. The Thing looks like a walking pile of shit, it's so dark you can hardly tell what the hell is going on (which is a GOOD thing), and the special effects look like they were created by drawing on the actual film reel with crayon. But how can you claim this movie to be yours, when Roger Corman is the producer behind this hideous abomination?

These aren't crappy quality screencaps. It really IS that bad.

D: A Doombot imposter, nothing more! Acting on the will of Doom himself! That movie was DOOM'S creation entirely!

P: WHY on earth would you take credit for such an abysmal film?

D: It was all part of Doom's brilliant scheme to discredit Richards by showing the entire world how pathetically lame his little family is! When the world saw that cheesy film, they would grow to HATE the Fantastic Four and everything they stand for, and then Doom would enjoy the tasty fruit borne by his plan while washing it down with a goblet filled with Richards' tears! But thanks to Richards and his interference, the movie never saw the light of day! He offered Marvel funding so that they could film a movie about Blade instead, thus diverting attention away from the Fantastic Four and foiling my scheme!

Blade. What an asshole.

P: So how did this new movie come to pass?

D: Thanks to what that sniveling fool Richards started, Marvel has had quite a successful movie franchise since the original gay Blade movie. Doom knew it was only a matter of time before they returned their attention to the Fantastic Four, with more ambitious intentions. That's why Doom carefully crafted maniacal machinations ensuring that the villain in the movie would be the extra lame Mole Man, and that each member of the Fantastic Four would be played by Rob Schneider. Obviously, this plan has failed, due to the endless interference of Richards!

In the comic book, Doom looks like some gay D&D wizard. In the film,
Doom looks like some shitty Halloween costume of a gay D&D wizard

D: Doom was dismayed to learn that he was to be the villain instead of the Mole Man! Doom does not want to be associated with such lameness as the Fantastic Four movie! The choice of a worthy adversary such as Doom is flattering, but the execution is unforgivable! It is inevitable that this Hollywood film will end with the unrealistic and foolish defeat of Doom! Unacceptable! If Doom were playing himself in the movie, rather than some wretch from the dregs of television, he would spring a surprise by killing the actors in the final battle scene! Let them film that, and the world shall see the glorious victory of Doom! Unfortunately, this movie was filmed on a closed set, and Doom was unable to sneak his way past the security guards.

P: But wait a minute—you just said you didn't want to be associated with the FF movie, and yet you appear in the original FF movie, which is FAR worse, and which you proudly claim to be the impetus behind. That doesn't make sens—

D: SILENCE! What manner of chicanery is this? Doom has decided that you will only ask questions that will make him look good! For Doom wields a cosmic laser, with which he will enforce his insurmountable will! He will enforce his will on your FACE if you do not silence your yapping!

P: Well, enough about the movie anyway. I think we can agree that it will almost definitely suck, despite having The Commish in it. Did you ever watch that show?

D: Indeed, Doom was known to sit with his pipe and enjoy the occasional episode of "The Commish". But The Commish is no match for Doom! Even when covered in special effects!

The Commish lacking his special effects but making up for it in Twinkies

P: Let's focus on the comic for a bit. I've never really been a reader of the Fantastic Four comic, I only just started when Straczynski (the Babylon 5 guy) took over last month, because despite some insane WTF moments in Spider-Man, he's a pretty decent writer. But the book has always had this stigma to me of being one of the lamer comics out there, so I've always steered away from it.

I just can't imagine why anyone would think this was lame.

D: Doom understands your reluctance. Doom makes every effort to stay away from the Fantastic Four book as well, but Richards keeps dragging him into all of his family bullshit that he wants no part of! Doom merely wants a quick, clean kill and to be done with them once and for all! But Richards always thwarts my efforts! Curse his smirking defiance!

P: You know, it's kind of hard to believe that a book about a guy whose power is to set himself on fire can be so lame.

D: Ah, this reminds Doom of another of his mighty schemes! Back when the Fantastic Four cartoon aired in the 1970s, Doom's clever manipulations ensured that the Human Torch was removed from the show and replaced with H.E.R.B.I.E. the Robot.

P: I remember hearing about that. Apparently Marvel was worried that children who saw the cartoon would try to emulate the Human Torch's powers, so they did away with him altogether so as to not have to worry about the liability. Now why on earth would you even BOTHER producing a cartoon about a team when you have to immediately eliminate a quarter of its members due to something so stupid?

You know, I can barely tell the difference anyway.

D: Because Doom willed it! That is reason enough! Doom also tried to get H.E.R.B.I.E. to replace the Human Torch in the movie, but alas, his efforts were thwarted by copyright infringement over some other movie involving "a love bug". Doom has seen this trailer and declares it an abomination! If only Doom had known, he would have tried to replace the Human Torch with this "love bug" instead!

A potential future member of the team?

P: Well, apparently Marvel isn't so worried about kids setting themselves on fire anymore. I guess they can just defer blame to Beavis and Butt-head these days. Speaking of kids, what the hell is up with that Franklin Richards kid anyway? Is he riding the short bus or what? And why the hell did he always have that 4½ on the chest of his suit? Doesn't that imply that he's somehow MORE than the rest of the team? Shouldn't his number be 3½?

D: Doom has no time to think about the mewling offspring of his nemesis—only that they too shall reap the same punishments simply for being spawned by the accursed Richards.

The offspring of Reed and Sue Richards, seen here mewling

P: Well, best of luck with that. That's one annoying kid. And apparently he's got a little sister now too. I didn't even know about that. What's up with these kids aging, but the rest of the family staying exactly the same? I mean, Reed Richards had white streaks in his hair 40 years ago. Shouldn't he be like 90 now or something?

D: Comic characters don't age—

P: But wh—

D: Don't ask about that ever again. Seriously. Doom commands it!

P: Oooookay. Hey, what was up with She-Hulk joining the team back in the 80s? Where the hell did the Thing go during that time? Like I said, I never really read the book, but I was always vaguely aware of what was going on in the Marvel Universe.

My god, is that Stan Lee? On the actual cover?
This goes right on top of the list of ‘Things that Should Never, Ever Happen'

D: She-Hulk joined that pathetic team of weasels after the Thing wussed out and left because he feared the power of Doom! Doom would much rather fight She-Hulk anyway, and be pinned to the ground while wrestling with her, being firmly mashed beneath her large green—

P: Yeah, speaking of hot chicks on the team, how about the Invisible Woman's new costume when she was possessed by evil entity Malice? That was one helluva costume change. And then later she got repossessed or something and changed her costume again. What was up with the "4" on her chest? How the hell did parts of it stay "up"? Tape? Sticky backing?

The only thing invisible here is her costume

D: Ah, yes. Doom remembers this well, because this was another one of his secret schemes! Doom saw to it that the Richards harlot would be possessed by the evil incorporeal being, thus ensuring that she would dress in a slutty manner that would bring great shame to the Richards family! Doom knows nothing about "sticky backing" for it is weak and insignificant!

P: I'm noticing that you seem to take credit for everything that goes poorly for the Richards family. But it was definitely an interesting change, that's for sure. This is one team that's pretty much kept the same look since the beginning (with minor variances), wearing those crappy looking blue, black and white jumpsuits. I can kind of see why they had the whole Malice thing happen, so that they could up the sex appeal of the book and sell to a market of horny fourteen year old boys. Cuz sexy those blue jumpsuits ain't.

Hey, so who was that other blonde chick hanging out with the team for a while with the black bands in her hair? Some clone of Spider-man's first love Gwen Stacey? What was up with Marvel and blonde chicks with black bands in their hair? Does Stan Lee have some kind of fetish we don't know about?

The black hairband was a common Marvel hair accessory, because it
was easier to color. And because Stan Lee was creepy and weird.

D: Doom believes her name was Crystal and she was some girlfriend of flamer Johnny Storm. Doom does not know about any fetishes, but he will remind that Stan Lee came up with the concept of "Stripperella".

If there was any doubt that Stan Lee has become
a dirty old man, let me erase all traces of it here

P: Something best left forgotten. In fact, you can say that about almost anything Stan Lee has created since the 70s. Know another thing best forgotten? The Fantasticar! You ever steal that thing and go for a spin?

Sadly, this is as pimpin' a ride as the FF will ever have

D: Doom mocks the Fantasticar! Doom would never ride in such a ridiculous conveyance vessel!

P: You know, it's funny you should mention that, because I happened to find some leftover vehicles from the Secret War—

Doom got around the Secret Wars in style, with his Doom Copter, Doom Cycle,
Doom Roller, and Doom Humvee complete with "graphix"

D: DOOM will not be held responsible for the results of marketing aimed at a child demographic! And Doom would point out that all of these are infinitely cooler than the Fantasticar!

P: And what's up with Ben Grimm's blind girlfriend Alicia Masters? I guess they were saying that since she was blind she wouldn't notice or care that he's made of 500 pounds of rock, but I would think that his rocky body would be far more offensive to the sense of touch than to the eyes.

Apparently she thinks her boyfriend is a giant, bearded floating head…

D: Doom does not care! He thinks that the Thing looks like a giant Cheeto! And the next time we do battle, Doom will make him go "crunch"!

P: I'd like to wrap this up by briefly discussing some of the other FF villains. The Fantastic Four certainly has one of the lamest rogue's galleries in comics (present company excluded, of course). First off, the worst offender of all: The Mole Man? Why? Just… why?

Perhaps the song "Candle in the Wind" is actually about the Human Torch

D: Doom laughs to think that the Fantastic Four are menaced by a midget version of Elton John who lives underground!

The Super Skrull and some random Shi'ar schmuck.
I pray daily that they never put any of this shit into a future movie.

P: Then there's the whole Skrull thing. I've never been interested in figuring out that mess. What a boring, lame bunch of aliens. Are we supposed to care about this? And who's lamer—the Skrulls or the Shi'ar who frequently show up in X-Men? And speaking of aliens, they've certainly had their share of scraps with the planet devouring Galactus. I mean, that guy's supposed to be badass—he eats planets after all, but how the hell are you supposed to take him seriously in that getup?

D: Doom thinks that Galactus just looks like a Sentinel with a funny hat. And his "herald" looks like Iceman riding a surfboard.

They're both about the same height, but you're telling me that
Galactus eats planets? There are buildings taller than him!

P: And then there's the Mad Thinker and his creation the Awesome Android.

He may be a mad thinker, but a snappy dresser he is not.
He's not much for designing things either.

D: Even Doom cannot find words of mockery to describe his feelings on this!

P: Now let's talk about you for a minute. You hate Reed Richards, that much is clear. But I heard that the whole reason you hate him is because he bested you at some science project and your face got scratched up somewhat in an explosion. At which point you decided to forge a mask to cover your tiny little paper cut, and then placed it on your face for the first time while it was still steaming hot, thus scarring you even more horribly? Doesn't that seem a little… insane? And also, why do you wear a green mini-skirt anyway?

D: SKIRT!? Doom shall blast you into tiny pieces of oblivion for that insult!!!

*blam, thud, argh, various comic death noises*

D: Behold! This is Doom's comic column now, and it shall be called "Commandments from Latveria", where we shall hereby discuss only things that interest Doom! Next month we shall discuss Doom's desire to skin Richards alive and cook him in a giant vat of boiling gumbo! And then the month after that, we shall talk about how Doom will cut the air-brakes to the Fantasticar! And then the month after that, we shall talk about fashion!



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