In the 1990s, Marvel Comics took strides to update itself for a new era of comic books – but few things it did were more out there, and inventive, as its Timeslip series, featuring fresh, and often wild, interpretations of the company’s iconic roster of characters. Among those to get the Timeslip treatment was Doctor Doom, whose origin and look were reimagined by artist John Paul Leon.

Each Timeslip version of a character was produced by a noted artist of the time, appearing as a two-page spread in Marvel Vision magazine.

Timeslip Marvel explanation text page

John Paul Leon’s Doctor Doom wears a cumbersome-looking metal suit – akin to the earliest versions of Iron Man’s armor – made for the Latverian dictator by Tibetan monks.

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Timeslip Doctor Doom Takes Stan Lee’s Vision To The Next Level

doctor doom timeslip redesign 1990s

The conceit for many Marvel’s Timeslip entries is on full display with its Doctor Doom spread, as John Paul Leon’s design is accompanied by a cursive scrawl from “Stan Lee” explaining his concept for the Doom character, and asking Leon to sketches on his desk “this afternoon” and “a full design tomorrow morning.” With Timeslip, Marvel offered notable comic book artists of the ’90s the opportunity to present what their vision for the company’s iconic characters would have been, had they been in the original artist’s position when Stan Lee first had the idea. Now, twenty-five years later, Leon’s design could be a blueprint for the MCU version of Doom.

Iron Man and Doctor Doom fighting in DoomQuest Marvel Comics

Beyond their appearance in Marvel Vision, the Timeslip character redesigns have not been used by Marvel. However, they are worth going back to for inspiration –for current Marvel creators, as well as the creative teams behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel fans have long awaited the Fantastic Four’s entry into the MCU, and the Timeslip Doctor Doom could serve as great inspiration for the next on-screen adaptation of Marvel’s most enduring villain. Described as having lost his face as a result of a disastrous science experiment, this Doom contrasts an onerous metal suit with regal paraphernalia, as due his status as ruler of Latveria.

With just a single image, artist John Paul Leon conveys Doom’s rage at having been humiliated and permanently scarred, which simultaneously exists alongside his continued extreme view of his importance. Despite the near-absurdity of his metal armor, Timeslip Doom carries himself with unassailable dignity – which makes him as great a threat to the Fantastic Four as ever. Visually the diametric opposite of the sleek Doctor Doom suit often depicted, the Timeslip version of the character would make for an exciting, stand-out adaptation choice for bringing the villain alive on screen in a way that previous films failed to achieve.

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