Daily Cal Caption Misnames Dr. Doom as Skeletor

Ben Ebert is a UC Berkeley student. Respond at [email protected].

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I was pretty disturbed the morning of Monday, February 11, when I saw the front page of The Daily Californian.

Comics are something I'm pretty passionate about and I am always looking for them to recognized and respected by the mainstream.

So I thought to myself, "DUDE, that is not Skeletor."

The caption for the photo accompanying "Cloyne Court Moves To The Mainstream" reads "A MURAL of Skeletor welcomes visitors and residents of the Cloyne Court co-op as they enter the front door."

That, of course, is not a mural of Skeletor. The green hood and metallic faceplate that covers imagined hideous scars of contested origin are those of Dr. Doom, the classic archnemesis of the Fantastic Four created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in the early 1960s.

Skeletor, meanwhile, was a cheap, generic villain created to combat He-Man and sell exorbitant amounts of merchandise in the early, ever-greedy 1980s He-Man was the top-selling toy of 1983, he was created to sell toys, and the cartoon and action figure sales model was vigorously copied more than 40 times based on the He-Man design.

Although now fondly remembered in fits of nostalgia by children of the 1980s, there is nothing particularly unique about him.

Dr. Doom, however, has born no imitation.

The combination of an almost sympathetic, compassionate dictator for the people of Latveria versus the ruthless, competitive character of his feud with the leader of the Fantastic Four, Mr. Fantastic, made Doom unique to comics, the sort of ridiculously unreal yet identifiable quality that Lee and Kirby were known for. Adding a human element to their villains as well as heroes that had not been seen in comics before.


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