Here's the deal with Doctor Doom: He's Batman, while also being Iron Man and Doctor Strange. And since he too also rules over a tiny soverign nation, there's a little bit of the Pope in there too. Dude is more OP than playing Oddjob in Goldeneye against a blind toddler. Which is why it makes complete sense that he could take on immortal space gods.
One of Marvel's alternate-universe "What If?" books took on this very scenario, when a souped-up Doom battled the Celestials.
The Celestials are almost as old as the universe, and are regarded as the beings responsible for creating life and death. You can also blame these guys for alternate universes (like the one in which this comic takes place), and pretty much all mutants in general. Not only are they immensely powerful, they're also freaking huge. Remember Knowhere, the scummy spaceport in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie? That whole station was made inside the head of a dead Celestial.
So how does a puny mortal like Doom stand a chance? Well, this "What If?" story proposes a change to the classic 80s mega comics event Secret Wars, in which Doom temporarily obtained godlike power. In the regular universe, Doom lost his newfound abilities pretty quickly, but the What If imagines a universe where he managed to hold onto that power. And boy, did Doom ever use it.
Imagine trying to take on a giant space monster one notch below Galactus -- and now imagine that there are several of them. That's what Doom was up against in his conquest to rule the cosmos, but he kept up the fight for years with the aid of an army of Doombots and other technologies.
But that was an alternate universe. In the "real" (but to be clear, still fake) Marvel Universe, Doom also stared down some Celestials, only now without his phenomenal cosmic powers. It didn't go so well.
During Jonathan Hickman's epic run on Fantastic Four (and the spinoff, Future Foundation), Doom became a sympathetic, and even heroic figure. The scene you see above is not a Doom blinded by his ceaseless quest for power, but a desperate Doom hoping to stave off the haywire deities known as the Mad Celestials. Doom knows he can't win, but he fights anyway to buy time for Valeria Richards, supergenius wonderdaughter of Reed Richards and Sue Storm. In the end, Doom lasts 28 minutes against four Celestials, which is as impressive as Frankie Muniz lasting 90 seconds in the ring with Ronda Rousey.
But it wasn't a completely selfless act. Valeria had promised Doom a way to return to form, and he found just that in the aftermath.
What would a God Doom be like in the official Marvel Universe canon? Let's find out.
Whereas the aforementioned "What If?" issue was a spinoff of the 80s Secret Wars, there's a new miniseries currently running under the same name. Along with artist Esad Ribic, Hickman also helmed 2015's Secret Wars, a bizarre epic which begins with every universe in the Marvel Comics canon colliding. The result is one Franksteinian planet, stitched together with characters and locations from every reality. The undisputed ruler of this Battleworld: Doctor Doom.
It's only fitting, since it was Doom himself who collected the shattered remains of various universes and congealed them into one amorphous mass. Doom is the savior of everyone in existence, and he is treated as such.
Worshipped as a creation deity, Doom also has an army of Thors from several different universes at his command. Imagine watching an episode of Law and Order, only every cop is a different thunder god -- and now you can come to grips with the fact that it's a real comic that you should read. Doom certainly has the resources befitting of a god, since he killed the Beyonders (the dicks who got the multiverse into this mess in the first place) and took their powers.
Doom ruled over Battleworld for years, only to find a handful of heroes from the vanilla Marvel Universe that had survived in stasis. The group wasn't thrilled about the prospect of bending the knee to God Emperor Doom, but they didn't have much of a choice. Even Thanos was humbled by His Doominess.
The miniseries hasn't ended as of this writing, but this is more or less Doom's ideal existence. He's the the god-king of all knowable reality, and he feels that everyone alive owes him a debt of gratitude and servitude -- and he even has kind of a case for it. Even with all his power, there's still one thing Doom can't do: Fix his face.
Just like that, Doctor Doom turns from a tyrannical cosmic dictator to a tragic figure that you kind of want to root for. That's the heart of what makes this character so great, and it's something that the films completely miss the mark on. For all the horrible things he's done, there's still reasoning behind Doom's actions, and however deplorable that reasoning might be, it still makes complete sense to him. He might be a god, but that doesn't mean he's not human.