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Back To The Sixties

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We start the new year with a flashback to the sixties, and an example of the big problems that crop up trying to use databases created by fans in this sort of research.

According to my database, which was compiled from several fan-built databases, the next issue to look at in the run of Doom's appearances is Marvel Superheroes #31. However, a quick look at this issue shows that it's in fact a reprint of several older stories, including a Stan Lee/Steve Ditko 'Tales To Astonish', an Iron Man from 1967 and, most relevant to us here, Daredevil #19 from 1965. As I say, I used several databases as sources for my 'corpus' of comics, but not a single one of them mentioned Daredevil #19 as having a Doom appearance. Admittedly that's probably because it's barely an appearance at all. Daredevil is on the run from some Hoods (or possibly Goons) and makes his way through a costume store, where he sees some display waxworks in familiar outfits. It would be very easy to argue that the original story was not included anywhere because it's just a dummy in a phoney costume and not technically a Doom appearance at all, , but i that case it shouldn't have been included in the listing for the reprint either. The whole thing is a good example of how the lack of strict guidelines about what counts as a 'real' appearance by a character produces multiple discrepancies between databases and indeed within the same databases, and shows why data cleaning (because that's what it is!) is vital for any analysis of them.

It's also a shame that I didn't discover this in the right chronological order, as it's an interesting use of Doom, or the appearance of Doom, at an early stage of the Marvel Universe. This was only his third appearance outside of his native series, 'Fantastic Four', and the fact that he's included in the panel without comment, alongside the much more well known Captain America, in a series that he's never been in before, shows how Marvel readers were expected to know what was going on elsewhere. In a way it's a harbinger of his use in 'Not Brand Echh' too.

Still, it gives me a chance to have a bit of a moan about the logistical problems inherent in this process before we get into the main business again, which we'll do next time as Doctor Doom once more meets Namor, The Sub-mariner!



link to information about this issue

posted 11/1/2019 by Mark Hibbett

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DOOMBOT FILTER: an animal that says 'to-whit to-whoo' (3)

(e.g. for an animal that says 'cluck' type 'hen')

An examination of Doctor Doom in The Marvel Age written by Mark Hibbett