Episode 146: Diplomatic Immunity (Fantastic Four Annual #2) -- September 1964
In this episode:
Mike and Ed discuss diplomatic immunity and how it works in practice with Dr. Victor Von Doom. As a head of state, he cannot be charged domestically with a crime, but he can be expelled. And if he is expelled and returns to the country, he no longer has immunity. At least that is how we think it works. So why, after all of the crimes Doom has committed in our country, has he not been officially expelled? Also: Yes, Reed Richards, attempted murder IS a crime in our country.
Behind the comic:
This is a seminal issue. One part (not discussed in the episode) explores the relationship between Rama Tut (soon to be Kang) and Dr. Doom (where they hypothize that they might be the same person at different points in their timeline). Another part is the full origin story of Dr. Doom. Until this point, Doom was just a crazy scientist. This issue retroactively changes his origin story to include being the monarch of Latveria. The third part of the issue is Doom’s battle with the Fantastic Four, where the idea of diplomatic immunity is brought up (and discussed in our episode).
In this issue:
Dr. Doom recounts his humble origins in the small European nation of Latveria. Orphaned at a young age, with a grudge against the aristocracy of Latveria, young Victor Von Doom trains to be both a brilliant scientist and talented sorcerer. His research leads him to a scholarship in the US, where he meets a young Reed Richards. While at university, Doom sustains a serious facial injury when one of his experiments goes awry. This tragedy ultimately leads him to don the famous mask, and persona, of Dr. Doom, and to him taking over Latveria as its absolute monarch. And the world trembles!
In another story, we see Dr. Doom rescued from space by the time traveller Rama Tut, who has himself escaped the Fantastic Four from the distant past. Doom is deposited back on Earth and thereafter sets up a devious plan to break the Fantastic Four apart. Basically, he has them invited to the Latverian embassy, and they are tricked into thinking they are each others’ enemies. Eventually, the Four battle Doom once more, all leading to a battle of wills between Reed Richards and Dr. Doom. Reed wins, of course, by fooling Doom into thinking that he won. And with that, Doom saunters away, safe in the (mistaken) believe that he has defeated his mortal enemy.
Assumed before the next episode:
People are wondering whether Latveria’s diplomats will be expelled after their leader tried to kill America’s sweethearts, the Fantastic Four.
This episode takes place:
After the Fantastic Four have once again defeated Dr. Doom.