Doom Psychoanalysis

ourchair

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Hey, I dug this up from the archives. It's a paper I did that psychoanalyzes Doctor Doom that I submitted for a class in Abnormal Psychology a couple years ago. It's obvious I took some bits from Wikipedia to hurry up writing the exposition, but I thought it'd be an amusing read for all! Tell me whatcha think! :D
Ultimate Fantastic Four # 7By Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen:

“I was perfect. I have always been perfect. You were never perfect. Scrawny little effort of a man. You never understood that science is an art, not a system. Modern science comes from Descartes, who said that the conquest of nature is achieved through measurement and number. Do you know how he came to that realization? He had a psychedelic experience with mushrooms in which an angel told him this was so.”

Doctor Doom is a super-villain from the Marvel Comics continuity, and is the arch-nemesis of the family of adventurers known as The Fantastic Four. A monarch of a fictional eastern European nation known as Latveria, Doom is feared by the populace but is also deeply respected as a leader responsible for that nation’s strength and economic prosperity. He cloaks his plans for world domination beneath his diplomatic immunity.

Born Victor Von Doom to Werner and Cynthia Von Doom, both of who were gypsies, Doom lost his family at an early age. His mother attempted to gain power to protect her gypsy tribe from persecution from Latverian authorities by striking a deal with the demon known as Mephisto, but as is so often the case when dealing with demons, she was betrayed and killed. Victor’s father was later killed by the authorities when he failed to cure a Latverian baron’s wife of terminal cancer and Doom was placed in the care of the remaining gypsy tribe. Victor vowed to make the entire world pay for the loss of his parents.

Doom possesses some skill in sorcery and the mystical arts, a talent he inherited from his parents, but he is most noted for his scientific accomplishments, particularly in the field of robotics: his subordinate army of Doombots are designed to behave like him, save in his presence. Few people are able to tell them apart from him. Doom’s trademark armor is equipped with a variety of weapons and devices of his design, and generates a force field that few can penetrate.

While a child, he discovered his mother's magical artifacts and von Doom began his studies into the occult as well as developing his innate scientific abilities. His astounding reputation came to the attention of the fictional Empire State University in America and Von Doom was offered a full scholarship. Access to American resources and technology was too tempting to pass, and so he jumped at the offer.

There, Doom made the acquaintance of Reed Richards and Benjamin Grimm, who would become his enemies as Fantastic Four members in later years. Richards was pleased to meet a scientific equal in Doom, but to Doom, Richards represented a substantial threat to his sense of self-superiority. Doom began conducting hazardous extra-dimensional experiments.

The focus of Doom's research was to construct a trans-dimensional projection device with which he could communicate with his dead mother. Richards pointed out a miscalculation in the design, but Doom's pride prevented him from accepting Richards' advice and fixing the device before testing it. The machine worked perfectly for a brief moment but then exploded, permanently scarring his face. Doom refused to acknowledge his own fault in the matter and blamed Richards for the accident, finding it easier to believe that Richards had sabotaged his work out of jealousy than admit to his own imperfection.

Doom was expelled from school afterward, as his experiment was considered forbidden. He traveled the world searching for a cure for his scarred face. In truth the scarring was not particularly bad, but as a symbol of his failure, Doom was particularly sensitive to it.

Doom traveled to Tibet and he found a group of monks amongst whom he lived for a number of years. They assisted him in crafting a suit of body armor that concealed not only his scarred face but his entire body as well. It has also been suggested that he put the mask on before it had sufficiently cooled, resulting in severe facial burns that only added to his disfigurement.

This suit would become his trademark, and thanks to the weapons and devices built into it, places him on par in terms of combat ability with most other superhumans in the Marvel universe. He then returned to his homeland, overthrew the standing government, and crowned himself king. Ruling with an iron fist and an equally strong will, Doom began to redirect the small nation's resources to help him realize his goals.

Doom is driven by three goals in life. First, the liberation of his mother from Hell: Doom possesses strong Oedipal fixations on his mother. Because Doom finds such thoughts unacceptable, he sanitizes them by externalizing the blame onto the rest of the world. He thus feels the rest of the world is flawed.

His second objective is the domination of the world. Doom believes that he is the only person with enough intelligence and wisdom to bring order to the entire planet. His relatively successful leadership of Latveria only serves to affirm this belief.

His third objective is to bring about the destruction/defeat of Reed Richards, who later became Mister Fantastic of the Fantastic Four. Doom cannot accept the idea that Richards may be anything more than his inferior, and defeating him would prove that to himself.

It’s not a stretch to consider that Doom suffers three different personality disorders to a certain degree. He is quite possibly a narcissistic and paranoid personality with an obsessive-compulsive disorder.

In 2004, Doom’s character was rewritten by Warren Ellis in Ultimate Fantastic Four, a series that excised decades of continuity from the characters and gave them a new millennium context. Ellis, a British scribe known for his negative attitudes toward superheroes and his penchant for esoteric scientific research, decided to emphasize the conflict between Richards and Doom by highlighting their epistemic differences as scientists. This provides us with a more complex and richer material upon which to base our diagnosis of his psychopathology than the material authored by Lee and Kirby.

Richards designs an experimental transportation device that moves things through the N-Zone as a way of crossing distance. Doom believes that Richards’ formulas are flawed, so he rewrites the coordinates which results in an accident. Instead of just transporting an apple, the transporter takes Richards, Doom and three others into the N-Zone and as a result, their bodies are altered. Months later, Richards muses:
“I didn’t get the numbers wrong, Dr. Storm. I’ve been over it and over it. The N-Zone translation should have been perfect. But he insisted the schematic was flawed. And I thought we settled it. I was right. I know I was right. But he would just walk in and change things without saying anything. He did it the first time we met… I knew phase-space theory and he didn’t. He thought it was flawed because he didn’t understand it and he wouldn’t admit it to me or himself.”
Doom suffers from a paranoid personality because of his deep mistrust of others. He sees himself as a blameless individual and as such, his approach to life is one of defensive projection: he cannot be wrong, so everyone else must be wrong. He reacts to constructive criticism as attempts to demean him or undermine his self-worth.

On occasion, Doom has found himself allied with Richards when faced with a common enemy, but even when he makes such reluctant alliances, he is preoccupied with doubts about the trustworthiness of Richards, and often terminates these alliances at his convenience, supposedly before they can betray him.

In Ellis’ reinvention, Doom has this behavior molded into him by his father at an early age. We learn that Doom is the descendant of Vlad Tepes Dracula of Wallachia, the man who was the historical basis for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. According to his father:
“Eastern Europe [in the fifteenth century] was a nightmarish place. Wisdom was gone. There was no truth. But Vlad Dracula understood that truth is inborn. That men of greatness must bend an ignorant world to their truth by any means necessary. And so he bent Wallachia to his will.

He was cruel, but cruelty is no vice. It is a tool of necessity, nothing more. He brought order to this world [by applying] intelligence to the superstitions of Wallachia. He impaled his enemies around his keep to create the notion of a ring of ghosts. He allowed his subjects to believe he drank blood. He placed no limits on himself.

And it was nothing but amassed moral and intellectual weakness that brought him down. But never forget, yours is the blood of Vlad Dracula: Mythic power and the royal prerogative. Today… you begin the labor of becoming worthy of your own blood.
Because of this, Doom does not believe that science is a system of knowledge but a self-ordained instinct for truth, while this is not necessarily cause for psychological concern, Doom uses this to justify all his actions. It is the drive for his lack of responsibility as a scientist and his inability to admit his own flaws.

Even after the transporter accident occurs, transforming Richards and his friends into freakishly powered beings, Doom rationalizes his “corrections” to Richards’ formula:
Your precious reason is all based on a hallucination. And you pit your invented “phase-space theory” against my infallible instinctual knowledge of that which is right? Your system was so utterly wrong that not even I could fix it.”
The accident converted Doom’s body into a metal skeleton and reducing his internal organs into noxious material Instead of a megalomaniacal dictator in armor, Ellis’ Doom is a self-righteous scientist transmuted the armor that scarred his flesh have now become one.

Doom’s narcissism drives him to excessive grandiosity, and this adjective has often been used to describe him by his creators Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Doom often brags about his accomplishments, whether it’s the supposed ingenuity of his scheme or the power of his inventions. He is obsessed with omnipotence, having occasionally seized the powers of cosmic beings such as the Galactus (a planet-eating entity) and The Watcher (an alien voyeur of Earth with a pact of non-intervention).

In Ellis’ continuity, Doom is the leader of a small commune in Copenhagen known as the Keep. While he does provide for the needs of young Europeans lacking food, shelter and electricity, Doom obviously feeds off of the adulation and respect of the Keeps inhabitants. He whips them into a zealous frenzy telling them to prepare for a bunch of self-righteous Americans who want to take him away for what he suggests is his unsanctioned providence.

Getting back to Lee and Kirby’s Doom, this character is also fraught with obsessive compulsive disorder. The sight of the scar gives him unpleasant thoughts which he wishes to purge himself of. Furthermore, the scar has been canonically established as not being significant enough to mar his good looks, but Doom magnifies this scar because it is a symbol of failure, and as such, he feels compelled to rid himself of its sight as a way of ridding himself of those thoughts, of the perceived inadequacies that may threaten his narcissistic sense of self-worth.

The faceplate to his armor is his solution to that. As mentioned above, Doom was so eager to hide his deformity that he deformed himself further in the process by placing an insufficiently cooled faceplate on. In his mind, not only can he not see his failure, but no one else can either.

Doom is an individual of pathological vanity and impatience, so convinced of his own perfection and infallibility that the suggestion that he is capable of error can make him fly into a near-homicidal rage. Because he is perfect, Dr. Doom could not have erred in his calculations in his experiment to reach his mother. It must have been Richards, who was snooping in Doom's quarters, who sabotaged his work and made it blow up in his face. Clearly, Reed was jealous of Victor's brilliance and considered Victor a threat. For "causing" the destruction of Victor Von Doom's perfect, handsome features, then, Richards had to be destroyed. From that comes the adversarial relationship between Richards and Doom.

The only way to treat Doom is to make him realize that his sense of self-worth doesn’t necessarily have to be dependent on absolute perfection. His insecurities could be addressed by making him realistically assess himself based on his accomplishments and become satisfied with his merits as an individual. By addressing his self-worth, Doom may begin to realize that his mask and his unrealistic goals are unnecessary.

Unfortunately, it is quite likely that Doom would kill any psychoanalyst who would suggest that he has an unhealthy fixation on his mother.
 

ourchair

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GMaster said:
You spend waaaay too much time writing this stuff you know that? But hey, keep on doing, Pretty interesting, hehe.
I actually wrote that paper faster than people would think, including my professor. Maybe you mean to say I spend waaaaay too much time THINKING about comic book characters, because THAT'S something I cannot argue. :p

I also wrote similar papers psychoanalyzing Rorschach and Dr. Manhattan from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen.
 
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ProjectX2

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Damn. You like the FF don't ya?
 

ourchair

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Goodwill said:
Great paper... It's a depth that I would have never seen about Doom had it not been for you.
Thanks. Although I wish I reacted to writing it in such a positive manner as well.

See, when I finished writing it I cried out loud, "God Doom, you are one sick sad little mother****er! What is your damn problem?!" And then I ate a Pop Tart and everything was right with the world.
 

ultimatedjf

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ourchair said:
Thanks. Although I wish I reacted to writing it in such a positive manner as well.

See, when I finished writing it I cried out loud, "God Doom, you are one sick sad little mother****er! What is your damn problem?!" And then I ate a Pop Tart and everything was right with the world.


Ahh, pop tarts make everyone feel better (See HoM #2). Way back when I was in elementary school, some girl was having a tantrum by her locker going "WHERE IS MY PRECIOUS POP TART?!" I sure hope she found it. She could've been She-Hulk. :D
 

ourchair

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ultimatedjf said:
Ahh, pop tarts make everyone feel better (See HoM #2). Way back when I was in elementary school, some girl was having a tantrum by her locker going "WHERE IS MY PRECIOUS POP TART?!" I sure hope she found it. She could've been She-Hulk. :D
Naw, the real She-Hulk (Dan Slott's version of her) would've been all like, "WHERE IS MY CHUMBAWUMBA CD?!?!?!"
 

Goodwill

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ourchair said:
Thanks. Although I wish I reacted to writing it in such a positive manner as well.

See, when I finished writing it I cried out loud, "God Doom, you are one sick sad little mother****er! What is your damn problem?!" And then I ate a Pop Tart and everything was right with the world.

Pop tarts... I swear there is something in them that will cure the common cold.
 

notTHATtodd

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All I can say is wow. I'm impressed with the paper in it's nearly obsessive attention to the forty years of history that the Doctor Doom character spans. Just out of curiousity, how is your relationship with your mother... *begins backing slowly away* :wink:
 

ourchair

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notTHATtodd said:
All I can say is wow. I'm impressed with the paper in it's nearly obsessive attention to the forty years of history that the Doctor Doom character spans.
You should see what I do with just a mere three hundred pages of Watchmen.

notTHATtodd said:
Just out of curiousity, how is your relationship with your mother... *begins backing slowly away* :wink:
It's funny you mention that. We were talking about mental associations in one of my psych classes recently and one of the things my professor asked was, "When I ask you to think of something, what's the first thing you do? Like if I asked you what do you think of your mother?"

Then for rhetoric's sake he answered, "Most likely you think of what she looks like." Then I answered, "No sir. I think of what she TASTES like" and proceeded to creep him out with a bunch of slurping noises.
 

notTHATtodd

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ourchair said:
Then for rhetoric's sake he answered, "Most likely you think of what she looks like." Then I answered, "No sir. I think of what she TASTES like" and proceeded to creep him out with a bunch of slurping noises.

Hey, thanks! I don't think I've experienced my skin actually attempting to actually crawl off my body before. It's an interesting feeling.
 

E

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notTHATtodd said:
Hey, thanks! I don't think I've experienced my skin actually attempting to actually crawl off my body before. It's an interesting feeling.

:lol:
 

ourchair

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notTHATtodd said:
Hey, thanks! I don't think I've experienced my skin actually attempting to actually crawl off my body before. It's an interesting feeling.
You should ask Ultimate Doom how that feels. You can compare notes or something. It'll be a bond of men, like two teenagers who talk about their first wet dream.
 

notTHATtodd

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ourchair said:
You should ask Ultimate Doom how that feels. You can compare notes or something. It'll be a bond of men, like two teenagers who talk about their first wet dream.

Reading this just makes me feel dirty....oops...there goes my skin again...
 

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