Doctor Doom Proved Fantastic Four Are More Important Than the Avengers

While the Avengers are Marvel Comics’ flagship superhero team as it encompasses the greatest number of diverse heroes spanning across the entire fictional universe, the Fantastic Four is still Marvel’s First Family, and Doctor Doom proved once and for all that they will always be more important than the Avengers–at least, in his eyes.

The Fantastic Four made their Marvel Comics debut in 1961’s Fantastic Four #1 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby with an amazing cast of superheroes that consisted of Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Human Torch, and the Thing. Two years later, the Avengers came onto the scene in Avengers #1 with Iron Man, Thor, Ant-Man, the Wasp, and the Hulk making up that impressive squad. While the two teams were similar and came out roughly at the same time, the Fantastic Four stood apart because, unlike the Avengers who deliberately stayed out of each other’s personal lives, the Fantastic Four were an actual family who faced problems that weren’t withholden to superhero antics. Another key difference is that, after only sixteen issues, the Avengers roster changed completely and has been a revolving door of heroes from that point forward whereas the Fantastic Four has basically stayed the same since the team’s first appearance, making it a squad of irreplaceable characters that can’t be filtered out every few issues.

In Avengers #25 by Stan Lee and Don Heck, the Avengers–a team which, at that time consisted of Captain America, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, and Quicksilver–had just finished a battle through the timestream against Kang the Conqueror when they find themselves in the crosshairs of Doctor Doom. At this point, readers were probably wondering why an established Fantastic Four villain would be troubling himself with spying on the Avengers, and not even the original team at that. Well, Doctor Doom sums up his motives perfectly in the opening pages of this issue, saying, “Before I battle the Fantastic Four again, I must fill their hearts with fear! And, what better way to do so than by defeating another super-powered team, such as the Avengers, with the greatest of ease?!!”.

Basically, Doctor Doom only wanted to destroy the Avengers to show the Fantastic Four how powerful he is. This means that Doctor Doom only sees the Avengers as pawns to a much larger game that he is playing with Marvel’s premier superhero team, the Fantastic Four, which would make sense given the lack of structure exhibited by the Avengers thus far. In the second Avengers issue, one of the founding members, the Hulk, left the team because he wasn’t getting the respect he earned after Hulk was instrumental in defeating Loki in the first issue. Then, a few issues later, the entire original lineup left the team because they wanted to retire and pass the torch to an entirely different group of heroes. This instability made the Avengers seem weak and uncoordinated, making them the perfect victims for Doctor Doom’s schemes.

Little did Doctor Doom know, however, that the Avengers was not a team to underestimate, especially Scarlet Witch who used her Hex power to destroy all of Doctor Doom’s machinations within his villainous lab, earning the Avengers their victory. However, even after being beaten by the Avengers, Doctor Doom rarely bothered himself with fighting them again as he only did so the first time as a physiological tactic against the Fantastic Four–proving that Doctor Doom views the Fantastic Four as a more important team than the Avengers.

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