Over twenty years ago a young Latverian man name Victor Von Doom
, who was filled with such cruelty and ambition sought out a mysterious dimension-hopping God-like extraterrestrial called The Marquis of Death and became his Apprentice. After teaching Von Doom everything he knew, The Marquis left Earth-616 and went on a genocidal sojourn that would last for well over two full decades.
During this time he gained a new Apprentice, a young man from our world named Clyde Wyncham
whose power to bridge the gaps between the Real World and the Worlds of Fiction brought on a catastrophe known as the "1985" incident in which our world was nearly annihilated by the villains of The Marvel Universe.
More than likely it was this event which drew The Marquis of Death to Clyde but the full details are not known, what is known however is that for the next twenty years The Marquis of Death and his new Apprentice traveled from one Universe to the next, destroying everyone and everything in each one they visited.
Time passed and eventually their sojourn lead them to Earth-One Dimension Away where they once again slaughtered everyone and everything in it but not before they tortured this world's Reed Richards
by telling him exactly how The Thing
and his Sister-in-Law Susan
When the alternate Reed demanded to know why they did it, The Marquis of Death tore his heart out and ate while explaining that it was just the way things are. This prompted a violent response from Reed's husband Jack (The Human Torch
of this Universe) who was quickly and easily disposed of by The Marquis of Death.
Following Jack's death and the destruction of the last living thing in that reality (the Sun) they departed for the next world which interestingly enough was none other than Earth-616. The Marquis of Death was surprised to hear that they were headed back to see his old pupil and eager to learn of his progress.
Shortly before their arrival Earth's weather patterns and ecological systems underwent dramatic changes and to make things even more frightening the desecrated corpse of an alternate reality version of Uatu the Watcher
was found washed ashore on a beach.
While the mainstream version of Reed Richards was already aware of the existence of Doom's Master he knew almost nothing about him and upon discovering the alternate Uatu's corpse was horrified to learn that The Marquis of Death was operating on a very high scale of power, one that he had seldom had to face in direct conflict with.
In Latveria, following the defeat of Morgan Le Fay
, Doctor Doom was welcomed back home with open arms by his people. A group of young children were given the chance to ask Doom a single question after hearing that he was going to prepare a large celebration for The Marquis of Death's arrival.
A young girl inquired as to what The Marquis had taught Doom and Doom responded that The Marquis taught him everything he knew. Hours later the celebration was fully underway; the skies over Latveria became both dark and light at the same time, the wind howled and lightning roared through the Heavens.
As the intensity of the storm grew Doom told his manservant Dubois not to look his Master in the eyes and bowed down on one knee as The Marquis of Death and Clyde Wyncham appeared seemingly out of thin air.
After properly greeting them, The Marquis allowed Doom to rise and then demanded that he asked The Marquis the question he wanted to. Doom was initially perplexed until The Marquis laid it out right there and then for him.
The question Doom was supposed to ask was did he wonder if The Marquis was happy with his progress, his achievements, the fact that he was known as the greatest villain who ever lived. Doom then asked for the answer to this question and as lightning began to tear apart a large chunk of Castle Doom. The Marquis of Death explained his disdain for all of Doom's failures.
He could smell the defeat on Doom's body, he could hear the heartbeats of those who had beaten him, and looking around all The Marquis saw was happiness and wealth. It outright disgusted The Marquis of Death to the point where he burned Doom alive and then together with Clyde formed a fantasy world in Victor's mind where he lived a perfect life.
Where he had killed The Marquis and Clyde after a six week long battle, though his regret over the loss of Reed Richards' life lead him to rehabilitate and redeem himself. In this fantasy Doom was married to Susan who was pregnant with their first child and had built a large statue in honor of Reed's sacrifice.
It all turned out to be a lie though when "Susan" tore herself apart and revealed "herself" to be Clyde. The Marquis then emerged from "The Omega Box" which Doom had supposedly killed The Marquis of Death and Clyde with.
The Marquis told Victor that not even five seconds had passed them by let alone five years like Doom believed. After bringing Doom into reality, they explained that they were merely having fun with Doom and had given him the perfect life so that they could take it away.
That is when things got truly worse, The Marquis of Death told Doom not to mourn the loss of his fantasy but rather the loss of Latveria itself and in one fell swoop all of Latveria was destroyed. The only survivors being Doom, The Marquis of Death and Clyde Wyncham.
Beaten and horrified Doom flew into an outrage and proclaimed that he would make The Marquis suffer for the atrocities he had committed. The Marquis, unimpressed with Doom's display of defiant bravado, turned his blood to stone and his heart into acid and told Doom that he had not come to wage war but rather to punish Doom for his failures.
The Marquis of Death and Clyde Wyncham then dragged Doom towards a gateway into the past which lead to The Pliocene Age and tossed Doom's ragged corpse into the ocean where it was consumed by a Megalodon (a Pliocene Age Shark.)
The Marquis then expressed how disappointed he was and that he had expected so many great things from Doom. Clyde expressed that The Marquis honor, which Doom had severely tarnished, could be restored by initiating The Slaughter (the destruction of Earth-616.)
The Marquis of Death declined that option however and said that he would regain his honor by rectifying all of Doom's mistakes starting with The Fantastic Four
The Marquis of Death then unshielded the rest of his face, picked up Doom's burnt and partially melted mask and placed it on his own face declaring himself to be the new Doctor Doom while wondering how The Fantastic Four would fare in battle against him.