Marvel’s Multiverse Saga needs Dr. Doom in Kang’s shoes

Dr Doom
(Image credit: Marvel)

It’s no secret that Marvel is in a rough spot currently. The past several movies have landed rather poorly with both fans and critics, with the MCU’s most recent release, The Marvels, not even grossing over its own budget of $274.8 million. 

Most of the issues with the current MCU stem largely from a seemingly directionless, overarching narrative that's set within an ever-growing multiverse. At its helm is a time-traveler named Kang, the Conqueror, played by the once-rising star Jonathon Majors. 

Despite the multitudes of Kang variants as seen at the end of Ant-Man: Quantumania, it seems following yesterday’s news that the villainous face of Marvel’s Multiverse Saga may have to change. All signs point to a recast, but maybe it could have been rectified from the very start. 

Although Kang is certainly a terrifying villain, Dr. Doom would have served as a much better push into Marvel’s upcoming slate. In the comics, Doom proves to be one of (if not the) most intelligent entities, and the loss of Kang’s actor may help to draw out Marvel’s darkest arc yet. 

The MCU needs a Doctor

Dr. Doom as Reed Richards

(Image credit: Marvel)

Dr. Doom, better known as Victor von Doom, has always been one of the Fantastic Four’s most interesting villains, due in large part to the fact that he was a friend from the outset. 

The nature of Doom’s actions throughout the comics has always been one of selfishness, but he doesn’t always do evil just for evil’s sake, like Kang and other villains scattered throughout the current MCU.

Doom made his debut in Fantastic Four #5 and would eventually go on to become a major foil to the Avengers, among many other superhero team-ups. Jack Kirby, creator of the character, describes Doom’s appearance in a 1987 interview as being one “of approaching Death.” 

“Death is something without mercy and human flesh contains that element of mercy. Therefore, I had to erase it, and I did it with a mask.”

Jack Kirby

There’s a slew of lists across the internet describing Dr. Doom as the best Marvel supervillain. His presence is one of immediate terror, and he could have been a much more interesting multiversal antagonist over Kang given his cunning, wit, and potential motives in the MCU specifically. 

Doom is even the main antagonist of both iterations of the Secret Wars comics published in 1984 and 2015. In the latter, the supervillain literally assumes godhood and pulls all of Marvel's greatest characters into a Superbowl of epic proportions, wherein he rules with an iron fist as God Emperor Doom. 

In another comic entry, Kang himself meets a version of Dr. Doom that's really Reed Richards with infinity stones in the place of his eyes. This should serve as proof that Doom can ideally be anyone in the MCU, as even Kang himself assumes Victor’s identity at some points throughout the source material. 

Thus, as far as we know, Dr. Doom may have already made his MCU debut and could be the outlier in Marvel’s upcoming slate. And with Secret Wars being tapped as the next major Avengers crossover event, it makes sense that Doom would be the ultimate baddie of it all. 

The MCU’s Doom 

Dr doom

(Image credit: Marvel)

Since Endgame, the MCU has been floundering in an attempt to recapture that same mystery and intrigue as experienced in the lead up to Infinity War. Josh Brolin’s Thanos may not have had ample screen time leading up to his big reveal, but when he did finally make his entrance it was boisterous and moving. 

The current state of the MCU sees a rather goofy and multi-faceted antagonist in the form of Kang, who thus far hasn’t really shown the audience much of his potential. He’s been relegated to an Ant-Man feature film, in which he lost to literal ants, and played an incredible He Who Remains in both Loki seasons to little fanfare in the end. 

Now, following yesterday’s news of Majors’ departure from Marvel, it’s safe to say that Kang as an overarching villain just won’t be the same again. It’s unclear at this time what Marvel has in store for its multiversal villain, but recasting the character may not be enough to right the sinking MCU ship. 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, there could already be a plan in motion to move away from Kang's presence entirely. In its most recent report, THR says, "In November, Marvel hired Loki creator Michael Waldron to work on a new draft of what was once called Kang Dynasty, but is now being referred to as Avengers 5, according to sources." 

It will be interesting to see how Marvel approaches the situation and if Kang will be lost to the multiverse or not. This could very well point to a whole new strategy, but without a real tangible foe in the background, the MCU currently languishes in uncertainty. 

But, using Dr. Doom, Marvel could rework the coming tide with some fascinating twists as seen in the comics, like Kang and Doom’s underlying familial relationship. Although Kang is a descendant of Reed Richards, him and Doom still have an unspoken bond and Marvel could simply slot Doom into the Kang role without much alteration. 

Without a Fantastic Four movie, though, it’s hard to really introduce Doom in a fun and coherent way. Fans will have to wait until 2025 to even see what Marvel has to offer with its own Dr. Doom iteration and the rest of its First Family. 

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Ryan Epps
Staff Writer

Ryan Epps is a Staff Writer under the TV/AV section at Tom's Guide focusing on TVs and projectors. When not researching PHOLEDs and writing about the next major innovation in the projector space, he's consuming random anime from the 90's, playing Dark Souls 3 again, or reading yet another Haruki Murakami novel.